The following Friday morning came a lot sooner than I had expected. I was finishing getting ready for the infamous Disney Limo to come sweep me away into a land of talent and fame! Who am I kidding? I just want the vacation and big sum of money, and maybe a little something to put on a resume finally that wasn't extra work or a background person. Although, there was a Crest commercial I was the star of, which was pretty exciting. I remember all of my friends were super excited to hang out with the girl with the pearly whites while I basked in my fifteen minutes of fame. I got a couple of free drinks at bars and I got paid enough to pay for my schooling, but no great fame or fortune. So this was just another stepping stone.
The Limo arrived at 6:59 A.M. that morning, which is surprising because most of the entertainment industry is "fashionably late." The driver even got out of the car and came up to my apartment door to get me. How chivalrous.
"Hi, are you Meridith Johnson?" he asked me, although he obviously knew, he just wanted to be polite. I nodded to him. "I'm here to take you to Santa Clarita to meet up with the rest of the crew." He kept his eyes focused on mine, and it was as if he had no emotion within him; just a blank stare. I thought this was a little creepy, but I knew it was legit so I got into the Limo with all my stuff I was taking and fell asleep. Santa Clarita was only about an hour and a half away so I wanted to get as much sleep as I could. We left Anaheim at around 7:14 A.M. and arrived in Santa Clarita at 8:06 A.M.. So much for sleeping I guess.
I stepped out of the limo only to be greeted by a man wearing a blank white shirt, with scraggly gray hair and a little bit more on his face than a five o'clock shadow. "Meridith! I've been excited to meet you, love! How are you dear?" he asked me, and sounded pretty genuine. "How was the drive? Not too long I hope?"
"No, it was a fairly quick drive and I was very comfortable, thank you," I expressed to him. When I looked around, I had a different image in my head about what Santa Clarita was going to look like. I always knew it to be that cookie cutter town where everyone is an enslaved zombie and nobody has any personality at all, however, we were in the middle of a desert looking area, with a lot of rocks. "Meridith!" the man with the winded hair and scraggly beard called to me. "I never got to introduce myself. My name is Walter Ferral." I shook his hand, and the only thing that crept through my mind is that my agent, Cyndi, was being totally serious about Walt sending me a limo. What a dork I felt like. "It's very nice to meet you sir," I acknowledged. "Thank you very much for this opportunity! I'm super excited to be doing this." He just nodded and asked if I was hungry. We ordered sushi (trendy) and the whole crew ate, chatted and rested. I'm guessing they have been here a while setting up, since when I got here everything was in order. They must be exhausted.
I met a couple of people on the crew who were all very sweet and real down to Earth people. Then I met the knight.... it kind of went something like this....
"Hi, is your name Brian right?" I asked him in a friendly manner. "I'm excited to get to work with you. Everyone keeps telling me how right for the part you are..."
"But of course!" he interrupted me. I was a little taken by this. "I am the star of the show, and the star of the show needs to be the most qualified." I started to think, maybe, just maybe, he's one of those guys who just comes off pretentious but then you find out later that it was just a joke. So I stuck around and tried to talk to him. "So, I'm guessing this isn't your first role then?" I asked him politely. He began to laugh. "Ha! Of course not! I've been doing commercials since I was a toddler!" Funny, I've never seen him on television. He can't be that great.
"What are you looking at, milady?" What the fuck did he just call me? Milady? This is going to get old quick. I was staring at his shirt. It had a really interesting print with a bunch of Disney Characters. What a brown noser.
Eventually we did get to work that day. It started off okay, and while my knight in shining armor, Brian, was acting, he was a lot more down to Earth. I guess it's true about his talent. We first shot the ending scene, where we (you, me and everyone else on the Excalibur 3000) save the knight, Brian. This was a really easy scene, because most of it was filmed with CGI. We used the rocks and hills in the background to make sure it was somewhat realistic. Walt said to me earlier that Star Tours was far too fake looking and this, since we were in the 21st century, was going to be new and innovative. We had a green screen to place where the dragon was going to be, and a big dragon claw that was going to hold up Brian until we saved him in the nick of time.