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    Kraft Services at the Movie Set

    One of my most memorable times as I worked as an extra, specifically on “The Doors” movie set, was having a break and going to the Kraft Services table.

    Now, in case you think I could shmooze with stars like Val Kilmer on the set, forget it. Stars and extras were treated way differently. Never once did I see a “star” roaming on the same breadline with the extras. I fact, I think the stars were treated to meals at their own trailers so they wouldn’t have to mix with the “wannabees.” I heard they even brought in their own chefs and special foods.

    I did a little research on Google and found that a man named Paul Abraham was the brains behind the Kraft Services table.

    From what I remember, the Kraft Services table was a great meeting and relaxing area for all the extras to hang out at. There was everything from burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches to chips, fries and I even remember there being some fried veggies and dip on the buffet.

    The extras used to joke around and call the table the “feeding trough.” This is the area with possibly a hundred actors on any given movie set that would give them the opportunity to meet and greet each other instead of just being a nameless face on the set.

    According to Gerard Franzoni in researching film location catering, he found the setup in Los Angeles ably handled by Paul Abraham. Abraham was the front man “with the most outstanding people skills I have ever had the pleasure to be around,” Franzoni said.

    “This side of catering looks after all breaks, soft beverages and all junk foods that the cast and crew can consume. This form of catering is a grazing fest for all cast and crewmembers. The Kraft services Kitchen is opened all day until wrap is called at the end of the days filming.”

    My time as an extra on “The Doors” set was also a step up for me because I got to have a “featured” extra part as a waitress at the “Whiskey.” The famous bar was filmed on Hollywood Boulevard where the Doors actually first performed. This was an “on location” shoot, which means the filming has to accommodate to the building without movable walls as on a constructed set.

    When I mention to people nowadays that I participated in The Doors movie, I usually get the response, “What part did you play?” This is where I usually laugh and admit I was one of 100s chasing after Jim Morrison aka Val Kilmer.

    If you can pick me out of the film, let me know.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com