I’m writing a lecture on social network analysis for one of my classes. I thought it would be good to illustrate some of the features of networks with reference to the parlour game, ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon‘ – and then remembered that I had once been an extra in a film. Perhaps I too had a Bacon Number?
H20 was a miniseries starring Paul Gross. It was filmed in Ottawa in the winter of 2004. I thought it would be fun to see how tv movies get made, so I auditioned and got a few days of extra work. Most of the time, it was as a face in the crowd. But once – once! my big break! look ma! – I got to be in a scene with one of the principles (I saw Paul Gross once in the hallway of the Chateau Laurier, where we were filming, but that doesn’t seem enough for my purposes today). The principle was Yves Jacques, who was playing the premier of Quebec. If you watch the film, you can see me nod and answer the phone. 2 seconds of cinematic glory. But sufficient to generate a Bacon number (from the Oracle of Bacon, more or less, since us extras aren’t in the database):
Perhaps we need an archaeological equivalent. What’s your Wheeler Number? How many steps to the icon?
Michael Fulford was one of my supervisors; Fulford worked for Barry Cunliffe, who studied with Glyn Daniel ; Daniel was a host of the game show Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? along with Mortimer Wheeler (in 1971, Cunliffe also hosted)…. making my Wheeler Number 4. (or 3, depending on whether or not Cunliffe co-hosted with Wheeler in 1971).
Of course, it might be more …academic… to look at citations and co-authorships, but somehow it’s more satisfying to know that a game show figures in this linkage.