I loved the TV series Party of Five (1994-2000). Because the show was set in San Francisco, and I knew the location scout, I got to be an extra when they were filming exteriors. (The interiors were shot in Los Angeles) First I went with a friend and simply watched when they filmed in front of The Legion of Honor. During a break in filming we approached Jeremy London (Griffin) for a photo. He was very friendly. I told him I was born in Oklahoma but grew up in San Diego, and he said he was born in San Diego and grew up in Oklahoma. It was a small thing but it made us both smile.
My friend and I joined the filming again the following evening at Alamo Square, which is a famous San Francisco landmark. We were in a long shot behind Matthew Fox (now on Lost). Then we were in the background of a scene with Jeremy London and Neve Campbell. After filming, Jeremy was nice enough to autograph the photo I’d taken the day before.
I enjoyed the experience of being an extra for one night, but it was a lot of standing around waiting, and I don’t have the patience to do it regularly. Those night shoots go on and on, and it gets pretty chilly in San Francisco. Besides, if you show too much interest in the actors, you don’t get much respect from the film crew. Let’s face it, I was there for all the wrong reasons!
I was traveling in London when “my” episode was broadcast, and the later seasons of the series have not yet been released on DVD. It’s taken fifteen years, but today I finally got to see my big moment onscreen. It’s season four, episode 6: Immediate Family, which aired on October 29, 1997. I walked behind Julia (Neve Campbell) and Griffin (Jeremy London) as they strolled through Alamo Square. Here’s the scene, followed by a slow motion clip of my walk through. I only know it’s me because of the hat I was wearing. Such exciting stuff!
Here’s the photo I took of my friend and Jeremy London at the Legion of Honor. Her copy got the autograph. We didn’t want to bother him too much, so mine isn’t signed.
So, my Hollywood career ended almost as soon as it began, with a couple of seconds of actual screen time in a dimly lit park on a chilly San Francisco night. It was fun while it lasted.