It was dark in the movie theatre and the crowd was hushed. I was surrounded by my friends and we were enjoying a quiet Tuesday night, settling in to watch The Signal. I had been informed that it was shot in Atlanta with a low budget, so I was expecting a jumpy flick shot in familiar locations.
The movie begins and in the first scene you see a young man, naked, at night. The angle shifts to look on his face as he has a tender moment with his sweetheart. I start to get this nagging feeling in the back of my head. He looks so very familiar to me... maybe I've seen him in another movie. I try to disregard the feeling and keep watching. A little further in the, the nagging feeling happens again. A girl, appearing briefly in a scene with just a few lines, looks familiar. It's starting to get a bit strange. Then, even later while the nagging feeling remains, I get a real shock. There is a momentary flash of a face, a character with no name, no lines, no nothing... in fact he is credited merely as "Man with Hammer". Without being able to control myself, I burst out..
"Oh my god thats Mark McPherson!" to the entire theatre. I clap my hand over my mouth, ashamed to be loud while reeling from the fact that the man I just saw on screen was my friend Killian's dad, brother of my boss at work, and a person that I often run across in my professional life. I know a guy in a movie.
And so I continue to watch and enjoy the movie even more, knowing that there is a person in it (however briefly) that I have met and conversed with. I'm still getting the nagging feeling about the lead guy, but I'm pushing it away and keeping my bubble of contentment.
The movie ends and I am happy. It was so enjoyable and I was very glad that I had seen it. The credits start to roll and I start watching them to see who the main guy is. The first credit that catches my eye, though, is the woman playing Janice, who had looked familiar so briefly early on.
Suehyla El-Attar. Holy crap! Suehyla! She wrote Perfect Prayer! She acts all over town! I've worked with her! I can't stop exclaiming!
Now I'm truly excited. I keep watching the credits and then.... there it is.
Justin Welborn played the lead in a real live movie that I paid $6 to go see. Justin Freakin Welborn. I didn't recognize him without his glasses.
He was my friend Troy's last roommate. He's worked at my place of employment before, though never directly with me. I saw him in The Merry Wives of Windsor and thought he was fantastic on stage. And now, now he's the star of a real live movie.
I'm floored and excited. I can't stop going on about it. I call people I know. I call Troy to confirm that I'm not crazy and that it really was Justin. He's stunned that I went to the movie without knowing that some of "our people" were in it.
I know famous people. And I didn't even know they were famous. And if they aren't really that famous, well, they sure are going to be.
Watch carefully the next time you go to the movies. Dead Body #5 could be your landlord.