Home > Los Angeles, TV > My tiny part in Firefly

My tiny part in Firefly

“Hey, you, you wanted to work on that Firefly thing, right? They’ve got something on the work lines,” a fellow extra told me while he listened to job postings for the next day.


“Yeah. I don’t know what they need for women, but maybe check it out.”

I briefly toyed with calling the women’s work line to actually see what they needed for women since they often posted pretty specific requirements–i.e., blonde, early to mid 30s cyclops between 5’8″ and 5’9″–but I didn’t want to waste any time and risk losing out on a spot, if there was one. I started dialing and was shocked when the phone rang on my third or fourth try instead of being endlessly busy. I was even more shocked when the casting director reviewed my file and murmured that I’d be a great fit.

I was stoked for the chance to work on another Whedon show. All things Whedon were good, as far as I was concerned.

fireflyI worked my one day as a “nurse.” It was shiny.

A week or two later, I watched the show’s first episode. I barely stayed awake through it. I called it a wash. (Note, a wash, not a Wash. Even then, I recognized the excellence of Wash.)

When an old friend learned I’d never watched the show before packing to visit me in Japan, he added his Firefly box set to his bag and told me we would be watching it. Period.

From the very different world of rural Japan, the show suddenly hit the spot for me.

As we watched a tiny version of me on a tiny screen in my tiny studio, I was excited to have been a teensy, tiny part of the show.

Back in the States, I watched Serenity, the movie that wrapped up what the too early canceled show could not. I didn’t care for it. I left the theater thinking, “Well, that happened. But why did it have to?”

That changed today.

Engaged in much needed cleaning this weekend, I played Firefly as background. When there was no more Firefly to watch (did I mention the cleaning was much needed?), I decided to give Serenity another try.

Like before, my own context has changed enough that I not only didn’t dislike the movie, I flat-out loved it. I can’t actually imagine why I didn’t love it the first time around, what with all the action! Chase scenes with spaceships! Strong women! Quirky, relatable characters! Witty dialogue! Scare factor! Butt-kicking! And, naturally, given its writer, love beautifully portrayed.

If you haven’t watched either Firefly or Serenity, give ‘em a shot. Maybe you’ll like ‘em. Maybe you won’t. I suspect you will; regardless, my love has been upgraded from “reserved” to “unconditional” today.

That’s enough typing, though. I’m short on eloquence tonight, and beside that–Serenity‘s not going to rewatch itself!

What show, movie or book did you dislike at first only to end up loving it later?

This was among posts accidentally deleted from this blog.
Reposted 9/5/15

  1. September 5, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Firefly was amazing. How wonderful that you got to be a part of it!

    • September 5, 2015 at 8:51 am

      I’m still really grateful to that guy calling it out to me. Usually getting another gig lined up meant calling the work lines relentlessly. This one day, it all just lined up. 🙂

  2. September 5, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Oh my gosh!! Which episode? Never mind. I must rewatch them all!!!

    • September 5, 2015 at 8:53 am

      I was an Alliance nurse when Alliance folks boarded Serenity in “Bushwhacked.” I helped carry the Reaver survivor out. 🙂

      • September 6, 2015 at 1:08 pm

        I pulled up the episode on my phone a couple times yesterday and quickly scrolled through it, but didn’t see you. If I find some time later I’ll watch it from start to finish.

  3. September 5, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I’m so nerdy excited! Now I must also re-watch them all to find you!

    • September 5, 2015 at 8:58 am

      Hee. I’m one of the Alliance folks who boards Serenity in “Bushwhacked.”

      What got me thinking about it was Farscape, which I’m finally watching after Anthony and Ra likened me to Ka D’Argo. I’ll be writing a post about Farscape (which I LOVE! How did I not watch it before?!) and imagine there’s a good chance I’ll want to link this post … hence its return!

      I’m overdue for a Firely watching myself … it’s been three years since my last! :0

      • September 7, 2015 at 8:21 pm

        I’ve never seen Farscape either (not really a surprise, I grew up with no TV and I still have no TV, so these things take me awhile) but after all the online chatter about it I think I’m going to have to check it out.

  4. September 5, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I recently watched Serenity (2-3 weeks ago). I think I’d watched it before but forgot. I liked it. I can’t think right now of any movies I didn’t like, but now do. There are shows I used to like that I have tried watching that I don’t like quite as well, such as Sliders.

    • September 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

      I watched Serenity at the dollar theater with Mackenzie, if I recall correctly. We both left in a state of underwhelmed, which makes me chuckle since I enjoy it so much now.

      I’m glad Nathan brought Firefly over to Japan. It’s one of the things that helped ease the loneliness, and remains–like a firefly–a shimmering dot of light in the darkness.

  5. September 5, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I loved Firefly! It was my favorite of all of his shows. Now I’ll have to go back and find that episode and rewatch it!

    • September 5, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Watching the bit we did today trying to find this scene got me wanting to watch it again … but probably after some more Farscape watching! You’d think I’d have learned my not-my-kind-of-show lesson from Firefly, but nooooo. Everything I learn, I must relearn at least a dozen times before it sticks. :p

  6. September 5, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Right … queued on Netflix… 🙂

    I rarely bother to go back to movies I don’t like – there are too many that I love and want to watch again! But books – yeah, that definitely happens. Sometimes a friend whose taste I’ve found reliable recommends a book, but it just doesn’t gel with me. I put it away and try again later, and usually love it. That happened with Annie Proulx’s “Shipping News”. I’m also currently taking a second swipe at David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas”. It looked interesting so I borrowed it from the library, and was well into it when I realized I’d tried it before, got irritated, and quit. The writing is beautiful, even though the structure of the story is … different, and potentially annoying. This time I’ve persevered and suddenly it’s clicked and so far I’m loving it.

  7. September 5, 2015 at 10:33 am

    One of my favorite movies and TV series! So jealous of you have even a small part in it! 🙂

    • September 5, 2015 at 11:29 am

      I’m still soooo glad for that affable other-extra offering that up! I had to call and call and call and call to get on Buffy and Angel, but thanks to that dude, Firefly happened during that brief window it could’ve.

      (Man, how I wish there were more episodes!)

  8. September 5, 2015 at 10:33 am

    I loved Firefly and Serenity. I watched it when I first moved to India about 6 years ago and didn’t have a computer. A friend put it on my iPod so I too watched it on a tiny little screen, but I was totally hooked. The first time I saw Pink Floyd the Wall I HATED It. But when I got a little older I watched it over and over again. I’m not sure what I’d think of it now, as it’s been at least 25 years.

    • September 5, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Reading your comments on The Wall reminds me when I first watched it about twenty years ago. I had no idea why someone would’ve made it, but I found it fascinating. “The Trial” ended up showing on several of my mix tapes. I, too, wonder how I’d feel about it now …

      • September 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm

        I loved the wall the one time I watched it at that jerk boyfriends of R’s before Nick. I loved the trial song.

  9. September 5, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I keep putting off watching Firefly simply because it is on my list of shows I won’t watch because I know I’ll get obsessive. Now, I simply must to find you on it and brag about it to my friends! Can you tell me the episode number? And did I mention that this makes you about a thousand times cooler than you already were? What other Whedon project were you on?

    • September 5, 2015 at 11:42 am

      IMDB lists “Bushwhacked” as S1E2, though Fox–*shakes fist*–originally played them out of order. This scene is about halfway through … or early enough to just watch through to get to this scene. 😉

      As for the other projects, I called incessantly to get on Buffy and Angel, but it took forever. It was very unlike this experience! I’m in the deep background of a few Buffy episodes, having worked on it seven times, but one of the last ones–one I wasn’t even called for, just showed up and hope they’d need an extra body!–was the one where I could be seen: “Storyteller.” (I’m one of the high school bystanders watching the hallway fight.)

      I worked on Angel twice. Once was when Fred and Gunn visited the pier. The other time was in “Supersymmetry,” where I showed up looking much more graceful than I ever have in real life. :p There’s an image from that in this post.

      (I touched on working as an extra on Buffy and Scrubs in this also-deleted post.)

      • September 5, 2015 at 11:47 am

        Thanks, Deb! (Hope I can call you that, or is there any other nickname you prefer? Or none?) It’s been years since I watched Buffy, but I’ve been meaning to start watching it again. Will watch that and Firefly, and your episodes on Angel!

        • September 5, 2015 at 11:49 am

          “Deb” is perfect, thank you. 🙂

        • September 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

          (Also, I rewatched both Angel and Buffy in their entirety while Littler J was new to the world! Awake already, so why not?! Heh.)

          • September 5, 2015 at 11:52 am

            Buffy was a really great show. I didn’t really get on with Angel that much, probably because I wasn’t that into David Boreanaz. Though I’ve been thinking about watching Bones.

  10. September 5, 2015 at 11:13 am

    My friends had gone on about how great Firefly was forever, how it was like Star Trek but Cowboys,etc. I thought, well I love Star Trek, so I sat down with my kids to watch FireFly. It took maybe 3 minutes for me to realize, THIS IS NOT A KID FRIENDLY SHOW!!

    I had to cancel family movie night and send the kids to bed. So I was kinda mad at my friends for not warning me that it wasn’t family friendly like Star Trek. Then I spent the next weeks hiding in my room after I sent the kids to bed, guiltily closet watching Firefly, occasionally letting the kids watch the Reaver and naked free episodes.

    I cannot forgive the killing of Wash in Serenity, so I am not a fair critic of the movie.

    • September 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

      Oh, my! Your friends’ analogy was pretty close, but, yeah–there are some distinct differences! Your telling of how you watched them made me chuckle.

      I changed the font color of your Serenity comment to hide it from anyone who hasn’t yet watched the movie. I’m tempted to edit those four words out because it’s such a significant event for the those characters, but would prefer doing so with your input.

      Are you OK with “I can’t forgive the W— bit” instead? Feel free to propose alternative phrasing.

    • September 5, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      That part was hard for me too. If for nothing else, that it killed any dream I ever had of somehow getting more episodes again.

      • September 5, 2015 at 7:51 pm

        I still think they could make it work! If they can revisit Full House, they can revisit this. Right?! Right? No? *sigh*

  11. September 5, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I first watched Firefly a couple of years ago. As an engineer, I had *several* co-workers who were rabid fans. They asked every day whether I had watched another episode or not. I absolutely fell in love with it and was so angry that Fox hadn’t allowed more to be made. I kept wanting to do something about it – even though it was old news by then…

    By the time I watched Serenity, two of the co-workers had managed to accidentally drop some major spoilers but I loved it anyway. I’ll have to watch Bushwacked again! 🙂

    • September 5, 2015 at 7:53 pm


      I’m just watching Farscape for the first time. Last night, I looked up one of the slang words they used on a Farscape wiki. That inspired me to look at others, until I came across an entire with a GINORMOUS spoiler. I grumbled about it to Anthony and stopped looking, wishing I’d stopped looking 30 seconds prior. D’oh!

  12. September 5, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    I loved, loved, loved Firefly. I’m thrilled to know that you were on it. Oddly enough, this is the third time this week that I’ve had a conversation about Firefly. Is the Universe telling me to watch it again? I think so!

  13. September 5, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I love Firefly! I am so glad my children got it for me on dvd. They later got me Serenity too!

  14. September 5, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    My husband has been after me to watch Firefly, but I keep putting it off. I’ve heard how amazing it is and I want to save it. Crazy, huh. One thing I didn’t like at first was The Office. Watched the first episode and thought “meh.” Started again three years later and though it was amazeballs.

    • September 6, 2015 at 5:04 am

      It occurs to me reading posts and comments like the above might create unreasonably high expectations! It’s fantastic, but it definitely won’t turn your living room gold. :p (Good news is that it also won’t turn you and/or your kiddos gold, either!)

      Your comment jogged me into remember Gilmore Girls was another one for me. I watched a couple of episodes and thought something like, “Not enough monsters, aliens or explosions.” I borrowed the box sets soon after moving back to LA in ’08 and found I loved how it felt like home. I’ve since found another few shows I like despite their lack of sci fi or horror elements.

      • September 6, 2015 at 11:00 am

        Haha! My husband watched the first few and thought it was even better than Buffy and Angel.

        I watched a few episodes of GG recently and was surprised at how much I liked it!

  15. September 5, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    LOL! Firefly, oddly enough. I watched the first episode and thought, “This is just silly and nonsensical.” Then, Dave told me I needed to watch it, explained that Fox had decided randomly to re-order the episodes, and sent me the DVD, which showed the episodes in the order they were supposed to be in… And I was hooked.

    • September 5, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      I should note that I watched it in England… It almost felt like I was with our friends watching Buffy!

      • September 6, 2015 at 5:08 am

        This makes me smile, remembering all those happy times … and all the Buffy videos that moved across the ocean a few times, because of how they transported me back to those wonderful times! ♥

    • September 6, 2015 at 5:06 am

      It was the same for me! I was surprised Whedon & company would have started at such a bizarre point. I didn’t even make it halfway through the not-really-first episode before tuning out. Nathan also explained Fox’s reordering to me while enticing me to give it another shot. 🙂

  16. NotAPunkRocker
    September 5, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Scrubs and Firefly? Too much awesome for me to make a proper comment!

    • September 6, 2015 at 5:10 am

      I worked on a bunch of shows during law school (diligence, right?), but these are the shows I kept my work stubs for. The ones that were a real experience for me. 😀

  17. September 5, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    My boyfriend is a big fan of Firefly – he’s convinced me to watch a few episodes but I can’t say I like it that much. Very cool that you had the chance to be in a series that has such a cult following though! Maybe I’ll like it more later, as you did 🙂

    • September 6, 2015 at 5:15 am

      The cult following part isn’t the cool thing for me. Getting to experience it was! Getting dressed up in my uniform and being a part of that universe for a moment was fantastic, as was getting to stand and watch scenes I wasn’t in be taped. When I watch the show, I get to see a couple of scenes both as they appear on the screen … and as I first saw them, more than a decade ago. It’s a treat, as was standing on Sunnydale’s main street on a warm, breezy November evening and remembering all the times I’d seen that street with friends back home. 🙂

  18. September 8, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Wow, you’re a star! And your hubby is a major producer-type! You are the closest thing to fame I’m ever likely to get, so don’t mind me if I ride on your coattails.

  1. February 3, 2016 at 4:13 am

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