It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope, it was a news chopper, and we saw several of them as we patiently (patiently!) waited in line to win a role as a fabulous extra in the summer 2012 movie “The Avengers.” Fellow intern Michelle and I began our journey to the Holiday Inn in Independence around 10 a.m. — after stopping at Starbucks, of course. We sneakily parked in the neighboring apartment building and felt justified the instant we discovered the horrendous “Avengers”-related parking situation at the hotel. (Our favorite was the woman who backed her minivan into a tree.) We were to be “well-groomed and wearing [our] best business executive outfit,” so in our heels and black dress pants we started clacking toward the end of the line. We walked. And walked. And finally found the end of the line, laughing about how many people were there. One woman said, “I guess this is why they call it a ‘cattle call.’” Hah. Little did we know… We deemed the people around us our “line friends”: We held each other’s spots when potty breaks were necessary and shared life stories. You can really learn a lot about people in five hours. Brandon McGrigg’s friends did the casting call for “Fun Size,” and he stood in line with them for moral support. Since he enjoys doing theater, he thought that maybe this would be his big chance. Karen Thorn did it just for the experience, and Adrian Brad thought it would be cool to check it out. “I feel like it’s the natural progression,” line friend Natalie Dolezal said. “I love doing community theater, so I feel like this is moving up, even if it’s just an extra.” No matter what they said, everyone was there to get famous — even if it’s just for the chance to say, “Oh look! There’s me, right there, walking behind Robert Downey, Jr.” when they go see the movie with their friends. Michelle and I tried to estimate how long it would take to get inside. We thought two hours, three tops. Our line friends agreed. We spent the first hour in a small park area behind the hotel, and the clouds, paired up with a breeze, kept us decently cool. As we hit the parking lot, though, the malicious sun emerged, and the sweating started. When we finally hit the shade of the building, we were nearly drenched, and my forehead was feeling particularly crunchy. Time began to crawl as 2 and 3 p.m. came and went. The heels came off as we used notebooks to fan ourselves. I’m not sure how “well-groomed” I was by the time I got to the front of the line. People started adding the suit jackets that had been slung over their arms to their attire. For us, a suit jacket just wasn’t an option on a 97-degree day. They were lucky we had pants on. It was almost 4 p.m., and as we stood there, knowing we were the next group to go in, these two people who must have thought they owned the world tried to sidle in past the overheated, weary line. Everyone who saw them (including us) started yelling, and when the cordial policeman at the door threw them out, our rage turned to quiet cheers. This is how mobs begin, people. At last it was our turn. I thought I must have stepped into heaven as the cool air surrounded me. We packed into a small meeting room, and a woman started to explain how the whole process for the extras in “Group Hug” works. (They can’t tell you the name of the movie, even though it’s obvious.) Extras get paid $80 for the first eight hours and overtime wages after that. It’s a lot of waiting around, like the day of auditions. She also reminded us that filming will be downtown Cleveland in August (ugh!). We filled out an application, which asked us our name, clothing size, car make/model and availability. Apparently if your work schedule isn’t flexible, then you need not apply. Then they handed us each a number, took our pictures, and we were off on our merry way. All that waiting for that? It wasn’t until later that I figured out that the crunchy forehead feeling was my skin being fried. It was a neat experience to see what the fame-chasers endure on a regular basis, though, and who knows? You may see me soon at a theater near you. All I have to say is that I didn’t get second-degree burns for nothing. I’d better get a damn call!