Someday, I plan on starring in the movie of my life. Obviously, my friends would be my Oscar-worthy co-stars, and my years at Brown would be packed with awesome action scenes. The camera would zoom in on me dancing on tables at Fratty in the Ratty, kicking ass in intramural soccer, and killing my problem sets on the 4th floor of the SciLi—okay, so some scenes might not be as action-packed, but the movie would still be awesome.
My friends and I would dominate the movie set, but if we were the only people present, something would be missing. The scenes would only be complete with a crowd of background actors and actresses: my Brown extras.
Your Brown extras are the extra people who fill up your daily Brown experience with familiar faces. We all have our own Brown extras. You can picture that tall guy who works at the Blue Room who you keep seeing at sports parties, or that kid who sings a cappella who you pass on Thayer every day, or that blonde, freckled girl who is always on the elliptical when you go to the gym (but really, who are you??). You feel the urge to smile and say hi, because you know their faces as well as you know how to navigate the Ratty at noon, but then you remember that you don’t actually know them: they’re just your extras.
These special people populate the grandstands in the class-hopping, muffin-bingeing, diagonally-crossing relay that is life on College Hill. They cheer you on from the background of your four-year race, even though their voices get lost in the excitement. You don’t know their names, but they make Brown feel like home.
Brown provides the perfect movie set for extras. At a larger school, you might forget faces faster than the wind whips down The Walk; at a smaller school, most of the people are characters rather than extras. But at Brown, your extras dot the Main Green on sunny days and appear in the background of those pictures on Facebook that you don’t remember taking.
While it’s great to have these familiar faces floating around campus, maybe it’s time to give some of your extras bigger roles. Take a chance and smile at one of them as you pass him or her on the Main Green; chances are, you are their extra as well.
As for the movie of my life, the cameras are rolling. Hit me up if you want in — I could always use more Brown extras.