Yes, I was hanging out with Tom Cruise.
During my one, and only appearance in a major motion picture. I was in the movie Born On The Fourth Of July with Tom Cruise.
Being in a major motion picture was a great experience. For a full week I was hanging out with Tom Cruise, and having a blast. While doing this I really learned a lot about Movie Magic while there. It makes for a great story that I am going to share with you. A story of how some opportunities are made, not given.
It all started one day while driving to work in Dallas. I was listening to the radio, and a story came on about a movie being filmed at the Dallas Convention Center. Since I was a salesman and could schedule up my own day I went straight downtown to the conventions center to see what was going on.
Walking in the convention center I saw a hundreds of people hanging out, and waiting for something to happen. I was told they were the extras for the movie. I was told that if I wanted I could just wait with them. That I could be an extra in the movie, so I waited.
After about thirty minutes of waiting I heard a voice on the speaker say “All secret service agents come to east door”. I decided to go to the east door and see what the story was on the secret service agents. When I arrived at the east door I saw twelve men all wearing nice suits. Since I had a suit and tie, I knew would fit right in.
I remember when one of the people in charge of the cast came over, and started counting. I almost laughed when he said “there is thirteen of you guys. There is only suppose to be twelve.” I thought I was busted for sure. Then he said, “Oh well come on everyone lets go.” The next thing I knew we were all going to over to get our guns, badges, and earphones. Basically, they gave us everything a secret service agent would need.
After we were given our gear we were all marched into the arena. This was where the filming for the Republican Convention would take place. I was then assigned a spot to stand at. I was just suppose to stand at this spot, and stay there during the entire filming of the movie.
I have to tell you this was a terrible spot to stand. The camera would never see me if I stayed in this spot. I was very removed from the action, so I had to move. I moved to the main aisle, where all the filming was going on. The aisle that Tom Cruise would be rolling down in his wheel chair. I found a good spot, and just stood there like that was my assigned spot.
Before I knew it another guy came by, and told me to run into the crowd. He told me to help remove Tom Cruise from the convention center when all the fighting started. It was not five minutes later before the original guy, who told me where to stand came by. “What are you doing in over here?” he said. I simply pointed to the other guy, and said “he told me to stand here”. That was all it took to make this my new assigned spot.
For the next week I was within thirty feet of Tom Cruse all the time. I was right in the middle of the action. Personally, I thought Tom was great. He hung out with everyone between scenes. He was very pleasant, and talked all the time. I know people give him a hard time, but my only experience with him was great.
It took close to a week to film this one scene. I was amazed how long it took to get this one scene done. It is hard to believe that after a week of being in all that action, and that close to Tom I am only in the movie for a few seconds.
I guess most of my scene ended up on the cutting room floor. Oh well thats show biz, and the end of my story.
Just remember that sometime you have to make your own opportunities in life. The things that are left to those who wait, are left by those who hustle.