I had just finished taking a shower when a representative of Tammy Smith Casting informed me over the phone Vacation needed me back on set the next day. I instantly responded, “I’m confused. I thought it was over,” concerned about the sore throat that had gradually worsened for several days. Even swallowing my saliva became painful by the time I picked up the phone, and I was uncertain whether or not I could handle another session of shouting. Furthermore, I had already bidden farewell a couple of times to most of those involved in the movie, making my return somewhat awkward.
Though I arrived on set at eight in the morning, I began working near one, right before lunch. I only had one line left, and the technical crew placed me in front of the actors like the previous two times. However, Director John Francis Daley eventually yelled himself, probably as he believed that would have drawn a more ideal reaction from the protagonists for that particular segment. “Lunch break!” I was perplexed this might have been the end. Nonetheless, following a delicious meal and more wait observing the actors act like chameleons with lightning-fast emotion shifts from resting to filming, I was brought into the medic room again to record more lines. The staff originally seemed to think I could translate English into Korean as I read, so I had to request a minute to write the translations down. An assistant was impressed by how I managed the situation, that my brain functions differently. I sucked up the aggravating throat pain and screamed my lungs out once again, assuming this to be the last of my contribution to the movie. I received a virtual confirmation from two professionals the film will use my voice, and, although still not a hundred percent affirmative, I felt grateful I could play a fairly significant part in a movie filled with superstars as an extra.
Perhaps due to this being the last week of filming, the production appeared less crowded and more laid-back. I remained quiet and abstained from conversing with the adult actors near me to let them focus, but modest Ed Helms patted my shoulder walking past me and said, “Welcome back!” When we ran into each other again heading to lunch, he apologized to me for the crewmembers not letting me continue with my one line. Once again, I thought, “What a humble and down-to-earth man.” For the third time, I slowly sought and conveyed my gratitude towards numerous individuals who allowed this journey to be genially memorable. I will forever be appreciative of this unique experience for a nonprofessional actor.