FROM SHOW BIZ TO SUNDAY SCHOOL
Sharon Leann Wyatt’s autobiography
BEACH BLANKET BIMBOS (part two)
So the bikini became a necessary part of the extras wardrobe. I went out of my way to find something not too small, a discrete one with plenty of ruffles and bows. Some how that made me feel more covered, as much as that could be accomplished, with a half a yard of fabric. I always had the suits with the matching robe, or top of some sort, that would complete the ensemble.
May I interject at this point, with great resolution…I am so glad that I am not an extra in this day and age. Now the bikini is a great cover-up. I cannot express this emphatically enough. I feel for the girls who may very well be modest, as I was, and obviously there are still dirty old men on the set….need I say anymore? Oh, how I would detest hearing, “thong suit call.” I guess there is always something worse. An awful thought just occurred to me, where will they go from here, and still get a PG rating? Oh, that’s right they have gone off the rails, and embrace an “R” or “X” rating, or “unrated.”
I wasn’t the only one who had ill feelings about these ridiculous calls. As a matter of fact I can only think of a few girls who welcomed the chance to show off what God and/or a plastic surgeon had given them, and undoubtedly more of the later. For the most part, the women who worked at the studio were a fine group of hard-working and dedicated ladies, among whom were some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. Among these women, I’m sure the dress call (a call, where formal attire is required, evening gowns and furs were worn on some of these gorgeous sets), were more desired than any other call offered. You can imagine my profound self-disgust, and I confess to a taint of whimsy in titling this chapter, “Beach blanket bimbos.” But the crux of the matter is, there is more truth than poetry threaded through that musical phrase. The events recounted in the following stories are of two bathing suit calls, one being totally ridiculous, and the other terrifyingly intimidating to me.
The first call was on the television show, “Wackiest Ship in the Army.” It was a television version of the fairly well-received movie of the same title. It had a good cast and is therefore no reflection on the show as it was a rather cute format. It is also a story that gives me an opportunity to introduce again the “jet set.” Of course, in referring to themselves as such, for various sundry reasons, the best reason being, they had a reputation for being, what else, fast.
Among this group, there were a few that I found compatible, in fact quite cute and fun. But for the most part, the difference between us was quite apparent. At one point they were asking that I say I was eighteen, and not twenty-one. It seems most of them were saying they were twenty-one, or two, or at most three, and my fresh look contrasted too sharply with theirs, would I please say I was eighteen? I was flattered, but I had pretty much let everyone know my true age, which would allow more work.
It was strange that on more than one occasion, for reasons still unknown to me, we’d be cast together on a show. Many times it would be them, en masse, and me!
There, I would be in my almost missionary style of dress, and there they would be in their revealing wardrobe. Whatever it might be, there was always less of it, to show more! Long sleeves and high neck versus tight skirts and décolleté. An amusing little aside I must inject here is that once they appeared on a call all dressed up as Nuns, and I came from wardrobe as a “streetwalker.” We all had a laugh concerning the strange casting, for I was known as anything but what I was dressed as, and they ….well enough said. They just had a different approach to life, to say the very least. (Continued next month)