I had a dream I was driving Drew Barrymore around town. And, no I wasn’t an Uber or Lyft driver or even a Shyft* driver (*shameless plug for our comedic short film. Check out more about it here.) Nope, I was a “picture car driver” which, in the movie biz basically means you’re an extra...and so is your car. Though, please don’t tell my eighteen year old autumn bronze pearl Infiniti G20t Trixie that she was an extra. She’s only meant for true stardom.
We were working on some low budget film or a film that has a really big budget but was trying to cut some serious corners. They had a very sparse and shitty craft food services table complete with flies swarming all over the sticky grocery store donuts. However, they also had a very friendly crew which almost made up for a craft food services table stocked with nothing but bottom of the barrel brand processed foods.
Because the film crew could also tell that my car Trixie was destined for stardom, they decided to put Drew in my backseat. A non-descript crew member handed me a walkie-talkie which may have been pink or purple and just instructed us to drive around. Because it was a dream, I don’t remember seeing a camera actually capturing any footage of Drew. But, she didn’t seem to mind. She was as friendly, laid back, cute, personable and effervescent (yes, that’s a good word) as I remember her.
Quick pause, y’all. I will even change font so we don’t get confused between the dream and the flashback sequence. I actually did meet Drew Barrymore once in real life. I worked on the film Music and Lyrics in which she portrays a regular girl just watering a washed up pop star’s plants. Come to find out, her character (Sophie?) just so happens to be a phenomenal writer. Drew’s character and washed up pop star (portrayed by Hugh Grant, naturally) join forces both in the music world and in the love world, like a good romantic comedy. You may remember the song Pop! Goes my Heart (and if you need a refresher you can catch it HERE ). I sure as hell do. See by “worked” I mean that I was an extra at an amusement park and Hugh Grant’s Pop! Goes my Heart was on repeat. I was a non-union extra at an amusement park way out in Long Island with two of my good friends in the middle of the summer. And, I had the time of my life.
First thing in the morning, we're ushered into a tent for breakfast. While slopping runny oatmeal into a paper bowl at breakfast, I met a friendly Lab mix. Off white in color and very friendly, laid back, cute, personable and effervescent. I ran back to my friends and said, “Oh my GOD y’all. I just met the NICEST dog ever.” And, my friend said, “Turn around. There’s Drew Barrymore.” I turned around and saw Drew also slopping runny oatmeal into a paper bowl. JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. And, standing by her, was the Lab mix. I screamed, “OH MY GOD. THAT IS FLOSSIE! THAT DOG IS DREW BARRYMORE’S DOG.” My friends told me I should calm down just a little or else I’d get kicked off set.
Well, we didn’t get kicked off set because thirteen hours later of riding a carousel, listening to Pop! Goes my Heart on repeat, and sneaking into the union crafty to have Twinings tea (instead of non union Lipton tea), we are all pretty much shit for brains. Drew Barrymore, still looking fabulous and cute as ever comes up to the stage and takes a microphone. She says (I’m paraphrasing, it’s been a while), “Thank you all so, so much for coming today. You are all doing an amazing job. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And, Brooke Hoover? You can have Flossie if you want. I can tell she really loved you at breakfast.”
Okay so that last part may have been a lie. But, that’s the dream within a flashback within a dream short story. See what I’m trying to do there?
So, back to the tale about my dream. When you go to the city parks, you are told DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE. When you do extra work, you are told DO NOT APPROACH THE PRINCIPAL ACTORS. (Principal actors, to the layperson, means actors who actually speak.) I disobey the former all the time. The squirrels at Madison Square Park always smell my pumpkin seeds and I coming off the PATH train. But, because I also am a principal actor (during a lucky year), I don’t want the lowly extras speaking to me, either. Perish the thought. Therefore, I understand and respect that rule. Today I am an extra (even though my car Trixie might get upgraded to principal) and I have to honor the #filmlife caste system.
Drew gets into the back seat of my car. I don’t remember any of the introductions or pleatries. It’s a dream. While driving Drew around, I break rule numero uno. But, it’s because she’s already been so friendly and nice to me (even though I don’t remember the pleasantries, there were a LOT to get us to this place, okay?) I ask Drew if I can ask her some advice. I really don’t even know what I want to ask her. But, I’ve got a lot on my mind and a lot to unload. So, much like I’m doing with this tale, I open the flood gates and let ‘er rip.
I spend SO much time prefacing my advice questions. I tell Drew that I’m just doing background work as my “day job” to make money and work towards my union health insurance and pension.. I whine about my former agents and managers who never got me enough auditions. I tell her I have written a screenplay and I also have a webseries. Basically, I spend so much of my preface time by sounding like a “basic actor bitch”. She’s heard it all before. I sound like a stereotype...the bad always seeking never reaching actor type. But, no! I’m more than that. I’m Brooke Hoover! I’m different.
Drew kindly listens to my whining and rambling. She only checks her phone like twice in five hours and she apologizes when she does as such. I tell her I understand. She’s busy. She’s a mom. And, besides being an actress and producer, she has a well known makeup line that is also cruelty free (Flower Beauty) and not to mention she’s the brand ambassador for Crocs.
At one point she offers me an Utz chip and I kindly decline because it’s not Paleo. Because it’s a dream, Drew Barrymore eats Utz chips. I doubt she would in real life. Not because she’s not laid back and down to earth like the rest of us. But, because she’s from California.
After what seems like an eternity of me just unloading all my fears and worries that preface the actual grass-fed meat of the matter, my pink (or purple) walkie talkie goes off and says, “Thanks ladies. That’s a wrap.” I put my car Trixie into park and Drew asks me to please deactivate the child locks in the back seat and then says, “Great working with you and getting to you know, Brooke.”
I’m speechless. I spent SO much damn time in a car with a CELEBRITY who I have admired since I was a child who was ALL EARS to my questions about the biz and all I did was over explain myself the whole damn time. I even DECLINED an Utz chip from DREW BARRYMORE, y’all.
I wake up in a cold sweat. Like a cold sweat worse than from a flu or from the recurring Alcatraz nightmares I have. Not only did I miss my shot, I didn’t show myself in the best light. It’s MY worst nightmare...being a basic. Being one of “those types”. But what are “those types”? And, who am I to judge? Aren’t we all just trying to make it in this business, in any business, in this life? Wouldn’t Drew Barrymore be the best person to fail around considering she’s so friendly and giving (at least according to my run-in with her on Music and Lyrics ages ago and in my dream last night)? She’s been through hell and back - I mean that childhood she had, come on. Drew’s not judging me. So, why do I wake up in a cold sweat?
Because, even in my sleep, I’m judging myself. I can’t escape my constant beating myself up-ness. I’m failing myself by being mad at myself for failing. Instead of asking Drew all the questions I could have asked her such as, “What’s the best way for an unknown actor/writer/producer to get a distribution deal...or even to get over a five thousand dollars to shoot a decent sizzle reel?” “How do you deal with the fat shaming in Hollywood? I mean, Drew, you’re not even fat according to this plus size girl.” (And, if you want to read a great article about Drew wanting to Fat in Peace, check it out HERE.)
I don’t even ask her questions about her hit Netflix show Santa Clarita Diet (WATCH IT Y’ALL), why she chose Wal-mart over Target for her line of FLOWER makeup or about Flossie (who I’m sure is in heaven now, being driven around in cars by Precious, Kibbles and my other heaven pets.) Is turning down this opportunity a signal to the universe that I want help but I don’t really want to open up to receive it? Is turning down an Utz potato chip from Drew Barrymore showing the universe that I don’t want all the potential schwag bags from the Oscar after parties? Did I miss my one and only chance?
The answer to all of that, of course, logically, I know is “no.” I know what I’m doing is just self-sabotaging. And, the first way to stop self-sabotaging is to recognize it. And, I don’t know that by searching in the Dream Moods dictionary*. I know that by answering the question myself.
Check out Dream Moods if you haven’t already, y’all. It’s pretty awesome. Here is the link… www.dreammoods.com However, you won’t be able to find “Flossie” in there. Believe me, I tried.
©Brooke Hoover 2018