Before Real Estate, I Was a TV Extra
Working as an extra in television and movies can be a fun and easy way to get involved in the entertainment industry. Also known as background talent, extras are an essential part of almost any production. So how can you get on set? Read on.
Remaining professional at all times on set or when meeting with casting directors is truly the key to success in getting a job as an extra. One trick that can work to get “camera time” is by intentionally placing yourself in a visible part of the camera’s frame. This can be touchy, so don?t overplay it, but if you?re subtle, it can work.
Day In The Life Of An Extra
Working as an extra can allow a flexible work schedule as there will be days or weeks when you don?t have a call to be on a show. That said, once an extra is booked for work, they must commit to a full day – almost always including overtime exceeding 12 hour days, including nights and back-to-back days. These days, most films are shot at various locations instead of all on one stage or set. Plus, spending the day outside ?acting? like a person reading a newspaper can be a nice way to make some money!
Filmmakers will always need extras for their shows, so there is really never a glut out there. Working as TV extras can be very interesting and it is for this reason that many people have opted for this entirely different and fun career. Extra work can teach actors a lot of things that are not taught to them in their schools and colleges.
Anyone who has ever worked as a background performer (generally referred to as “extras”) on a film set or television show in Los Angeles has probably heard other extras talking about the stigma attached to people who do extra work on any kind of regular basis. Third, the talent agent does not want their clients being pigeonholed as a professional extra by directors. This extra work can be done discreetly without being singled out by a director, or having your talent agent knowing about it.
So How Do I Get On Set, And Should I?
- The main question arises of how to find genuine extra work? Some things to consider:
- There are many casting agencies that specialize in casting extras.
- Talent Agents that represent actors in Los Angeles discourage actors from doing extra work, and often advise getting a flexible job such as waiter or sales person instead.
- People look at extra work as a means to earn something during their free time.
- You will find yourself performing alongside college going students, retired individuals, and those without any job.
- Get into the mindset of your character and think of your hobbies and why jobs you can do related to them.
- When you start to get work and got chatting to others doing the same job, you?ll get to know the good agents, and before long you?ll be registered with three or four agencies and getting regular offers for extra work.