Extras Casting: Why Being an Acting Extra Is Worth a Day Out of Your Life! by Terri Jones

4 years ago

Extras Casting: Why Being an Acting Extra Is Worth a Day Out of Your Life!

I’ve never had any aspirations to be an actress. However, when Showtime'sHomeland” shot their last season in my hometown of Richmond, Va., I jumped at the chance to be an extra. And it turned out to be one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. But not for the reasons you might expect. Mainly, I enjoyed it because of all of the waiting. 

  • Waiting for the casting director to check your wardrobe.
  • Waiting to be bussed to the set.
  • Waiting to be told how to look and what to do when. 
  • Waiting for the cameras to get in the right position.

And then, after all that waiting, waiting to do it all over again. Sure, it was tedious, but all that idle time created the perfect environment to meet people, talk, laugh a lot (until the production crew yelled, “Quiet on the set!”) and make quick friendships.

While I do not routinely start talking to strangers, I did in this situation. A lot. We all immediately had something in common, making starting conversations easy. During the nine hours on set, I got to know an attorney, an OT, another writer, a retiree who was a regular extra and a guy whose wife sent in his info as a birthday present, among others.

The money’s lousy being an extra, but there’s so much more to gain!

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Donna John
That would be so much fun. What a great experience for you!
Elisa Schmitz
You are so right! I was an extra a few times after I graduated college. It is a lot of waiting around, but it is a lot of fun, too! Terri Jones

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