Have I talked about how I really, really wanted to play a nurse on the actual hospital set of Med? Well, finally, on the season Finale of Chicago Med I did. And it was the very last day of filming for the season too so I made it just in time.
Nurse on Med
I’ve played a nurse before but on Chicago PD, not Med. So when I found out they wanted me for a two day booking on Chicago Med as a PICU nurse, I was pretty excited. I really wanted to be on the emergency room set but this was the next best thing. I was booked for a Friday and a Monday, the last day of filming for the season.
So on the Friday, guess what, we weren’t in the PICU but the Atrium. I’ve already been in the atrium (that’s the set with the loud steps I previously wrote about) and I was bummed because it wasn’t an inside hospital set. They sure did keep us busy however. My Apple watch said that I completed 15,721 steps for a distance of 6.93 miles and also 16 flights of stairs. Definitely worked hard that day. Which I love because time flies when you’re occupied and busy.
Then Monday came and our call time was 11:30 for this season finale of Chicago Med. I began my day with these awesome tacos. Sometimes the food is just so good I wonder if that’s part of the reason I love doing this work. And then guess what, we were off to the PICU and I was finally on a real inside hospital set. Yay!!!!! It’s about time. And with it being the absolute last day of filming for the season, it was also my last chance. I was quite a happy camper after that day.
Season Finale of Chicago Med
I worked eight days this season on Chicago Med, more than any other show I’ve worked on. To tell the truth, I was a little sad when we were wrapped this last Monday. But it won’t be long. If I remember correctly, Mom and I worked the first episode of the season last July so it will only be about three months or so before I can work again on this show. Since hospital shows are my favorite things to watch on TV, I really do want to spend more time in the background of Chicago Med.
It’s about time I updated this blog about my background experiences. I think I’ve been a little down lately and not in the mood to write. But here I am, ready to work and ready for my close up.
I recently had my third booking for Mixtape. This was originally a pilot for Fox and Netflix picked it up. Click here to see a video about this. Out of my three bookings for this show, I’ve only really liked one of them. That was the one I wrote about where I was in the conference room. This last one had us meeting in a parking lot and then going to a restaurant. It was a 4:30 pm call time which I do like because I am kind of a night owl. But my evening did not start out very well at all.
As I was turning in to the parking lot, I hit a curb pretty hard and blew out my tire. Well, actually my mom’s tire as I was borrowing her car. My husband had to fight rush hour traffic to come and put on the spare and he was not happy about it at all. So I was already upset about it but this made it even more upsetting. Ugh!
They took some extras over to the restaurant but left a few of us in the parking lot with a production assistant and someone from the casting agency. There were trucks with bathrooms and changing rooms but still, we were in a parking lot. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you just never know what you’ll get so be prepared for anything. Finally, after three hours or so, they took us over and I was used for one scene. Yes, only one and it was with my back to the action. So not really very fun.
Another thing that kind of annoyed me was that I was told to bring outfits for an upscale, business like, after work type of restaurant/bar. Since I’ve been on this show before, I know that they’re particular about wardrobe so I brought a ton of options. But no, we get there and find out it’s a barbecue place and very casual–the kind where you order at the counter and the food comes out in those red plastic baskets. So my choices really didn’t fit the location at all. Gathering and packing all of your clothes for a booking can be kind of a pain as you’re never sure what they are going to want. I try and be super prepared because I don’t want to be that extra, the one who shows up with nothing good. Most of the time, I have found that they like my first choice that I am already wearing but I’ve had to change quite often as well. So it’s important to bring great options.
I hope I haven’t discouraged you from trying to be an extra. While this booking was not the best, some of them are just so fun that it makes it worth it. And that’s just life in the background.
Hey there background friends. I have good news and bad news. First let’s go with the good news. I received some major screen time on episode 7 of Proven Innocent. Click here for a link to check out this video! It was pretty awesome seeing more than a fleeting image of myself on TV. The only sad part is that I also worked with my mom that day but I couldn’t find her in the episode. How about you Mom? Did you see yourself? I truly looked but maybe my fascination with seeing myself caused me to miss it. Anyway, it was such a fun thing when I saw how much time I was on screen. If you haven’t checked out Proven Innocent on Fox, please do. You won’t see me again until episode 13 when I am on the jury.
And Now Major Bad News
I guess I won’t be taking a break from background work for the next two months as that job I told you about last time fell through. Yep, it’s true. I had a great interview with the principal and the job was mine as soon as he checked my references. Knowing my references were great, I thought it was a sure thing. But nothing in this life is a sure thing, my friends. I guess the superintendent of the school district did not feel comfortable with hiring me due to the false accusation I told you about before. This situation is going to haunt me forever it seems. If you click here, you can read a letter I wrote to this superintendent. I know it won’t get me the job but maybe she will realize the impact her decision has had on me. I even asked her for advice. I am pretty sure I will never receive a response but if I do, you will be the first to know.
I’m sad. I am very sad about this whole thing. I’m still hanging in there and having faith that God will show me the way. Maybe it is time for my teaching career to be over. Maybe my talents are needed somewhere else. Who knows? But, in all honesty, my faith is wavering today and I ask for your prayers in helping me recover from this recent set back. Looking on the bright side, if I have to be sad, it might as well be as fun of a place as is Key West. With this view from my balcony, it’s hard to not notice God’s wondrous world.
I had another Mixtape booking yesterday. It was a lot of fun because I did not have to spend the entire day in holding like last time. Other than the beginning of the day when we were checking in and seeing wardrobe, the rest of the day was spent on set. I like that much better because there is always something going on, even during my down times.
Another Mixtape Booking
Since I had been cut from working on Mixtape the previous week, I was very happy to have another booking. For this booking, I played a DCFS Social Worker at a DCFS office. One scene I was in had us around a conference room table. It was me, three other extras, and the four actors. I love when we are able to work in small groups like that so much more when there is a huge group of extras. The whole day just feels more personal.
Where Did I Just See Her?
When one of the actresses entered, I knew I had just seen her on something. It took me a few minutes but then remembered she was on The Resident that I had just watched the night before. Her name is Jenna Dewan and you can click here to read more about her.
At first, I was supposed to be sitting right next to her which would have given me great camera time. But because I was wearing the same color they moved me across the table from her and I don’t think you’ll see much of me at all. Oh well. I also did a scene where I was just walking in the hallway. As long as you remember when you’re supposed to go, it’s pretty easy.
It was a good day as a background actor. The pictures are of James, Brian, and another James. All super nice guys. As you know from my previous post, I’m going to be out of the background for a little while but I’ll be back before you know it because I am so hooked on being in the background.
There has been a lot happening in the background, the foreground, and everywhere around. Last Friday, I was supposed to work on Mixtape. But around 9:30 pm, I still hadn’t received my call time or wardrobe requirements. I was going to wait until 10 pm to send an email but shortly after I received an email from 4 Star Casting that supposedly some of us were sent an email a few days before cancelling our booking but for some reason we did not receive it. I have to admit, I was a little ticked off as I had passed on submitting for a couple of other shows. I don’t know if I would have been chosen for those shows but at least I could have tried.
And to top it off, I had even been to the thrift store the day before to buy some dresses for this booking. It was supposed to be for a Hollywood Hills party and be on the fancier side. I have found thrift stores to be great to add to my extra wardrobe. I wouldn’t want to spend full price on something when I make as little as I do. But wardrobe is important if you want to be booked to work, so make sure to have a diverse collection of choices.
So, I was not happy but said, oh well, and let it go. And guess what? Another sign that the Good Lord is taking care of me. I received a phone call from a principal on Friday asking if I could teach 8th grade Language Arts for the rest of the school year. Now, you know what I’ve been through with my teaching career so this is kind of a big deal. It is going to be difficult to find a position again after everything that happened and my age does not help as well. School districts don’t want to hire someone with my experience because they would have to pay me more. So this call was pretty important and had I been working on Mixtape, I would not have been able to take it. Since the following Monday was that school’s Spring Break, I had to go in an interview that day!
Yes, I will miss being in the background for two months, but really, it’s only two months and I need the money big time. After that, who knows?! And that brings me to my next bit of news. The previous Saturday I went to an open casting call for Gill Talent. It’s kind of funny because I really didn’t even know I was going to an open call. One of my background friends mentioned that she had recently signed with them so I had emailed them and they said to come in the next day. So I did. Everybody was there with their professional head shots and I didn’t even have any. Instead of a true resume, I gave them a resume that explained how my teaching skills would translate well to acting as well as a couple of pictures of me at the bottom. I had to do a cold read with another girl and we had five minutes to practice before we went in the audition room.
When it was our turn, we walked into the room to find three talent agents sitting at the table. They asked for our resumes and head shots and here’s me saying, “I don’t have a head shot yet.” I really thought they would think “Who is this crazy lady coming in here with nothing?” They said they would let us know if they were taking us on as clients in four to five days. In all honesty, I really didn’t think anything would come of it and had kind of let it go from my thoughts.
Then the following Wednesday I received an email that said they wanted to represent me! Seriously! I now have an agent. I am really hoping for a commercial or an industrial. Industrials are videos for corporations for training or other purposes. I think my skills as a teacher, and a great one despite everything, would be wonderful for this. But the work is still up to me. They might send me on an audition, but I have to do the work that will land me the role. This means be prepared. Yesterday, I was again working on Mixtape and asked those in the know what they thought about my new agency and was happy to hear that they are very good and reputable.
SO NOW I HAVE AN AGENT! We’ll have to see what becomes of this and I’ll be busy teaching for the next couple of months so it may be nothing until summer. Or maybe nothing at all, who knows? Life is crazy, isn’t it?
A Break from the Background
I’m about 95% sure I have this temporary teaching job. The principal is on vacation and is planning to speak with my references when he returns. As long as everything checks out with that, the job is mine. And I know my references will say only good things about me so, barring some unforeseen thing, I will be taking a little break from the background. Sad, I know. I love being an extra, most of the time. But returning to the classroom will be a wonderful opportunity for me. I can reaffirm that I am an excellent educator and will hopefully leave this with a great reference that will help me obtain a full time position the following school year.
I’m planning on keeping this blog going, even during these two months so I’m not disappearing, just taking a little break from the background. I do have one more post about another Mixtape booking so be on the lookout for that and hopefully it’s not too long before I see you in the background.
So what’s going on in the background? Well, it hasn’t been the most exciting lately to be honest. You already know about me not being used when I last worked on Chicago Med. That was the first time I have ever worked and not been used at all in a scene. Guess what? It happened again! Yep, I was so excited to work on Empire because that was a new show for me and I sat there the whole day and was not used at all.
So after never happening, now it was twice. I can’t really complain though. Who wouldn’t want to be paid while sitting on the side of a television set with an abundant amount of really delicious snacks? I had been told that Empire was one of the worst for how well they feed us. I have to say that I did not find that to be true. I began early with a great breakfast in holding. On the set, there was a huge table with all sorts of stuff; donuts, croissant sandwiches, candy, chips, just about any snack item you can think of, it was there. Then around lunch, they wheeled in fried fish, onion rings, and fries. This is not so great when you’re trying to lose weight and you’re bored.
With all that food around and not having a lot to do, you can bet I cheated a bit (well, maybe a lot). Then it was time to check out around 2:45. We headed back to holding and I was told I needed to eat again as I had arrived at 6am! I explained that I did not want to eat as that was all I had been doing all day but they wouldn’t check me out until lunch was over. It did look good; spaghetti, meat balls, garlic bread, salad. But I couldn’t even possibly eat one more bite.
I was able to see a lady I had worked with back in September on Redline, Ahnree, and it was great to see her again. Click here to read more about this upcoming show starring Noah Wylie. We worked a great scene together in which they were only filming us and 3 other extras. We are hoping that the scene will make it into the show. Stay tuned! If you are watching Red Line when it opens in April and you see some ladies dancing at the end of a fancy gala scene, that will be us.
I spotted myself, briefly, on episode 5 of Proven Innocent. You can see my face in the scene on the court house steps. Well, it was supposed to be the court house but it was actually filmed at the Field Museum on the back steps. I was hoping for a better view in the debate scene when Bellows, played by Kelsey Grammer, is debating his opponent for Attorney General. But they didn’t show much of the audience at all and all I could find was the back of my head. Oh well, that’s how it goes in the background!
I also worked last week on Mixtape, a new show for Netflix. Click here if you’d like to read more about this upcoming musical drama. It’s set in Los Angeles but filmed in Chicago. So how did it go? Hmmmm, it was a very, very long and boring day. My call time was 4:48 am. Yes, in the morning! I hate that but if that’s what it takes, I’ll do it. They did not use me, or any extras for that matter, until about 5 pm. So they were paying for a room full of about 40 to 50 extras to sit there all day long. I was finally used in one angle of one scene.
This show stars Madeline Stowe and I have to say, at age 61, she is one of the most classically beautiful ladies in film and television. I was impressed. After this scene, we were all wrapped (that means finished) and some hadn’t even been used at all. I clocked out at 6:48 pm so it ended up being a 14 hour day with very little to show for it. But that’s why everybody can’t work in the background. You have to be prepared for days like this and approach it with humor and patience. If not, you’d go nuts! So sit there, read, play games on your phone, talk to the others, and eat or whatever can keep you occupied because the days in the background can be long, long, long.
I’m booked for this Friday again on Mixtape and I’ll let you know if the day goes any better. We’re supposed to be filming a fancy Hollywood party scene and we’re heading to an upscale suburb to do so. I won’t reveal which suburb because locations are supposed to be kept under wraps and I don’t know the exact location either. Not that I would tell! But it has me wondering exactly where we’ll be filming, maybe one of those fancy mansions? Perhaps this is why I like working as a background actor. It’s always something different and you never know what to expect.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading about what’s going on in the background.
Here is some more CONRAD fun from day two of this booking. First of all, click here to check out this Tweet. It has a fun scene that had us giggling, but we held it together for the actual shoot. So fun!
Fun on Set and New Friends
I had such a great time getting to know new people so had to take lots of
pics. First of all, Consuella was super fun to talk to and we discovered that we have worked a show or two together before. Most particularly, on Proven Innocent when she played the defendant’s aunt. What a nice lady and I hope to see her soon.
And did you know I have a new husband now? Ha, ha! Not really, just on TV. This is Bob and we were supposed to be a husband and wife duo. All we did was exit the building and walk away holding hands. Everyone thought we made a very cute couple. So funny. But really, he was a super nice guy and a great addition to our holding room group.
Here is a cute pic of two of the younger girls. Deb and Ashley were
having a lot of fun and the other pic is of Kristi Hum-Dell. Kristi was the first Assistant Director and she couldn’t have been nicer. I loved working with her. Hopefully, CONRAD will be picked up and I will again. That’s it for CONRAD. Stay tuned for more pics from my Empire booking and also my booking for Mixtape. Can’t wait to see how that one will go!