Friday, May 3, 2013

Holding Pattern: A Villanelle

Now that "Iron Man 3" is out, I can finally admit that I was an extra! They made us sign fierce nondisclosure agreements, so I wasn't able to talk about it before. I'm still not going to say much, to avoid spoilers, but I wanted to share at least a little bit. As for what it was like being an extra, the two previous posts ("Ready for my close-up, Mr. Wells?" and "I Am (Not) A Camera") talk a lot about my experience in a previous production, except that one wasn't so secretive (no NDA).
I didn't keep an exhaustive log for this production, but I did write a poem. I chose the villanelle form because the back-and-forth weaving and repetition of the refrain lines seemed to capture the mood of the extras as we went from Holding to the set to Holding to the set to Holding again so many times. Back in August 2012, I could only share it within a secret, closed group on Facebook for the IM3 extras. I hope my readers here like it as much as they did.

Holding Pattern: A Villanelle
by Patricia E. Matson

Hope is hovering in our hearts:
Some screen time, and a check, our goals.
We want so much to play our parts.

We speculate on Casting’s charts
And wonder how we’ll fill their holes;
Hope is hovering in our hearts.

Some are here for love of the arts;
A few might even sell their souls,
They long so much for bumped-up parts.

We move on set; star-watching starts --
We see HIM!  Crew says, “Back, you proles!”
But hope still hovers in our hearts.

Off at Holding, the wait restarts;
Food, cards, songs, dance, all have their roles.
We wait our turns to play our parts.

The magic nighttime rush departs.
Nine, then midnight, 3 a.m. tolls
While hope still hovers in our hearts;
We want so much to play our parts.


  1. A difficult pattern, executed beautifully.

    1. Thank you so much!
      I love your icon, by the way.

  2. I'm going to add some links here about IM3's premiere party just to keep everything in one place, but certainly nobody reading this needs to feel any obligation to click through and read/watch them.
    (includes interview with me)
    (wect story about premiere party)
    (StarNews story about the party)
    (StarNews photo gallery, includes pix of me, Catherine, and several friends)


Let me know what you think about this!