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          Getting the chance to interview an extra that appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street is just as exciting as interviewing a main character. This is because, regardless of their screen time, the story of their experience is unique and can be just as interesting.
          When I contacted John in regards to conducting an interview, I was confused as to exactly which scenes he appeared in. Although he is not the focal point of his specific shots, his absence would surely have affected the final outcome of the film in one way or another. I would like to take this quick moment to thank John for this unique look into the events which occurred behind the cameras and for new things to look out for while watching this horror classic!

(Click on a picture for an indepth look at that scene.)

          So we hear that in the 1984 film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, you were cast as a student of Springfield High. Which one are you and where do you appear?

         - I am honored to be interviewed! After the film credits (the first nightmare of the film) the scene jumps to the exterior of the school. That was a fun day of filming. As the camera opened and panned past the three young ghostly girls jumping rope it continued to the street to where you saw Johnny Depp and the other actors exit their car and begin walking toward school. All of us in that shot had to hide off camera, behind trees, behind walls, etc until the camera past us - then the three young girls ran off camera and we ran into position. I am seated on the wall next to the sidewalk in the tan shirt, blue slacks and sunglasses carrying the orange backpack. As the "stars" of the film walked past we followed behind them and walked toward the school.
            After the classroom scene opens on the teacher, the following shot follows the teacher from the front of the classroom to the rear of the classroom. I am the bored looking student in the blue and white striped shirt. YOU CAN CALL ME A FILM FLUB (continuity mistake) as after they completed that shot and moved the camera to the back of the classroom for the teacher's point of view they realized that the actor they had cast to read Shakespeare had not been placed in the classroom - so, guess who got the boot? Yep, one minute I am there and the next I am not!
            I had one other scene in the film; running up to the house across the street when the ambulance arrived near the end of the film.

         How did you come about getting this role?

         - Submitting my photo and resume to the casting director and getting selected. Charlie Messenger was the casting director that handled the classroom and school scenes. I would work for him again on several movies.

         Did you get to meet any of the main actors or the director Wes Craven? If so... tell us about it.

          - WOW - that was SO LONG AGO....to tell you the truth, I probably couldn't pick the director out of a line up as it was so many years ago. I do remember that EVERYONE on that film was super nice. It was a low budget film and most of the crew worked above and beyond their duties. As I did not interact with many of the "leads" I can't recall conversing with them, however, between shots we were all young aspiring actors and we chatted on how to advance our careers and who was filming what and where! This would be called "networking" later!

          How about the building that this scene was filmed (Springfield High)... what and where was it?

          - The actual school was, I believe, a grade school in Los Angeles or Hollywood. I want to say it was near Vermont and Fountain - near Sunset Junction area. The house itself, where I did the ambulance scene is just off Sunset near Fairfax. All of the exterior locations were close to home, that is, when I lived in Hollywood!
          *UPDATE* - Mr. Petersen contacted The Flesh Farm today (05/08/05) with a special surprise for all you Nightmare fans. "Many months ago I had gone up to LA for an audition and I took a detour. Next thing I know I was at the corner of TRACY and ST. GEORGE - the school where we shot Nightmare on Elm Street. The school is JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL and the address is 3939 Tracy, Los Angeles, CA. Of course, now that I have the address you can Google search it and see that the school has been featured in other films as well, like Girls Just Want to Have Fun - another film I did extra work on in the '80's!" - Thanks John! We appreciate your info!

         Did you keep any souvenirs from the whole Nightmare experience?

         - Souvenirs? No, except for my memories - didn't even get a call sheet, which I would collect with later work. I did develop a wonderful friendship with the girl sitting behind me in the classroom. Kathi Gibbs became Mrs. Kathi Wood last July and I had the honor of walking her down the aisle! I was blessed with her friendship that has last all these years!

         What was the most memorable moment of the whole Nightmare filming?

         - I would say all the laughing and giggling we did as we were hiding off camera about to run into place for that opening sequence.

         It has also come to The Flesh Farm's attention that you were also in Stephen King's: Christine. Where are you featured in this film?

         - I am at the football game and at the school - in the library. You can see me eating a sandwich on the lawn as Dennis (John Stockwell) runs to save Arnie (Keith Gordon) in the shop.

          Tell us about your Christine experience.

         - I remember I had a lot more work on CHRISTINE - lots of school scenes, football game, etc that kept me working longer than NIGHTMARE. In fact, I believe I only worked a total of two days on Nightmare - one day shoot and one night shoot.

          What are you up to now? Any big projects?

         - I am currently between gigs at the moment. I just completed a three month run of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN at the beautiful WELK RESORT in Escondido.  I have focused my career on the stage after going through the "awkward years" in Hollywood. I became to old to play a student, yet I did not look old enough to play an adult - so, the work stopped cold! Now that I am all grown up and working regularly on stage I may return to Hollywood someday, but I am happy to be working on stage - and it is so much more rewarding than film because of the live audiences who love to be entertained!

         Are you a fan of the Horror genre?  If so what are a few of your favorite films?

         - I enjoy all types of films. I loved THE RING, MIMIC and FINAL DESTINATION.

         For my final question…. How do you feel about the direction that the horror genre is heading? Do you think it has gotten better or worse since your beginnings in the genre?

         - With the advancement of film special effects and the distribution of video and DVD's I think the genre has come along way! Low budget films look just as expensive as studio films these days - which you couldn't say thirty years ago!



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