Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Extra, Extra...Extra

No, I don't particularly enjoy extra work (the currently preferred nomenclature is the somewhat less demeaning "background.") It isn't really acting, there is usually a lot of sitting around, and not everyone is nice/pleasant to you. BUT, there are some good things about being an extra; you often meet good people, the work isn't usually very strenuous, without fail there is a lot of free food, there's always a chance you could get bumped up to a principal, and most importantly - extra work is work, i.e. you get paid. And especially given the current economic climate, beggars (read: actors beginning their careers) can't be choosers when it comes to gigs that will pay the bills.

As I have explained to a couple people this week, doing SAG background on commercials is the Holy Grail of Extra Work. The rate is nearly 3 times the rate of doing background on (the usually more exciting) tv shows or movies. As such, it's very difficult work to get - everybody wants in. So, I was fortunate to get a call on Monday from a commercials casting agency (I highly recommend SAG actors looking to work to pay the $25 to get listed in these commercial CDs' books) to work on a Schlage door locks commercial on Tuesday. It was out in Chatsworth at the huge, now-abandoned former LA Times building. It was a nice small call, the commercial was pretty funny, and the money was good - so despite the 100 degree heat, it was a fine day.

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