First Time on Chicago PD

First Time on Chicago PD

Yesterday was the first time on Chicago PD for me!  I have been submitting and submitting for them and finally they chose me.  The above picture was taken at my home but that is the outfit I wore for my role as a “steakhouse restaurant patron.”

First Time on Chicago PD

First Time on Chicago PD
Chicago PD’s area at Cinespace

I was pretty excited to work on PD yesterday.  I love working on new (to me) shows.  It’s so interesting to see the different directors, crew, and actors for each show.  Our day began at Cinespace.  You can click here to read about Cinespace, the studio for so many Chicago productions.  Their website states, “Cinespace Chicago Film Studios is a family-owned company based in Chicago specializing in the development, management and operation of studio space and support facilities for the film, television, and digital media production industry.”  There is a lot to look at here and you can find some great photos too.  So we checked in, saw wardrobe, had a great hot breakfast, and then it was on the bus to the holding on Taylor Street.

First Time on Chicago PD
The Drum and Monkey pub on Taylor Street

PD was filming in two different Taylor Street restaurants and our holding was in a Taylor Street Pub called The Drum & Monkey.  It was a nice place and very comfortable for the long, long time I spent in holding that day.  I could see myself going here if I lived in this area.  Click here to check it out.  I only saw the restaurant I was able to work in.  Called Davanti Enoteca, it also looked like a place I would go.  They had some sample food out so we could pretend we were eating and although it had probably been sitting there for some time, it looked delicious.  We were able to take a peek at the menu too.  Looked very yummy.  Their website can be found by clicking here.

Not Much Time on Camera

Unfortunately, I didn’t have very much time on scene at all.  I worked the one scene but was quite a distance from the main action.  Me and another guy, Danny, did have a good time as he was quite funny but I’m sure I will not be seen on TV.  I did enjoy seeing Eriq La Salle as the director of this episode.  He was one of my favorites from the show ER.  He seemed like he was a pretty nice guy, as did Jason Beghe, the man who plays Hank Voight.  I saw him talking to a couple of extras which doesn’t always happen.  We’re not

First Time on Chicago PD
One of my new background friends

supposed to talk to the actors and they usually don’t make it a point to talk to us so it’s nice when they do.  Just from watching him, I think he is probably a pretty fun guy.

Other than that, I wasn’t used in the second restaurant scene and spent most of the day in holding.  As my mom says, “The pay is the same,” which is true but it’s not as fun as watching how the shows are made.  I do have to say, however, that it was a good day in holding.  I met some new background artist friends and we had some great conversations.  That is one thing I like about being an extra, the people I meet.

So all in all, it was a fun day with some really nice people even though I wasn’t used very much at all.  Hey, better than not using me even once because that too can happen.  Hopefully, I’ll soon have another chance to work on Chicago PD and have some fun things to say about it.  Thanks for reading mylifeinthebackground.com.  I’ll post as soon as I have another role.  With the holidays, the productions will be taking time off so it may be a couple of weeks.  Merry Christmas!!!

First Time on TV

Remember last week when I said I hadn’t yet seen myself on TV?  Well, that same evening I was watching Chicago Med and there I was!  Nobody who knows me would have noticed it was me, but I still felt pretty good about seeing myself for the first time on TV!

Chicago Med

The above picture is from the third time I worked on Chicago Med.  I told you about the first in the previous post; the one where Mom and I both worked as shoppers.  This one was an outdoor scene that was shot out in front of Rush Hospital in Chicago.  The second time I worked on Med was the same but I wasn’t seen on that episode.  Just this past week I worked for the fourth time and it was another outdoor scene, but at McCormick Place, not Rush.  And some exciting stuff happens on that one but since it hasn’t aired, I can’t yet reveal any secrets!

But back to the episode from the above picture.  It was just an okay day as far as the work day went.  We met in holding in a building about a block or so away.  After checking in and getting our wardrobe approved, we headed over to the hospital.  Some background actors received scrubs and other hospital garments but I was supposed to be an administrator so I was in my own clothes.  We were supposed to have nicer fall jackets and I didn’t have one so Mom and I headed to the thrift store earlier that week.  Luckily, I found two that I really liked for super cheap.  And I needed a nice fall coat that I could wear anyway.  I am finding that I love thrift stores to find my extra work wardrobe.  You really can find great deals on awesome clothes.  And since you need some diverse pieces so you can have lots of looks, it helps that you don’t have to spend full price.

Once at Rush, we have a smaller holding area blocked off from the main lobby.  Since it’s small and right in the hospital’s main entrance, we have to leave most of our stuff at the other place.  I had a small bag with a book and my iPad, but I find it hard to read with so much going on around me.  I really like it when there are some fun and talkative other extras because that makes it a little more entertaining for me.  Which was the case here so most of the time in holding I was having conversations and comparing our extra experiences.

The scene I shot took a good two hours or so to shoot but after that, I wasn’t really used much so spent most of the day in holding.  And they had us there for eight hours.  But that’s my life in the background.  You never know how it’s going to go.  Another reason this was just an okay day was that the timing didn’t work out for the full buffet lunch experience.  They did bring us pizza which kind of made me unhappy.  I have been trying to lose weight and the extra thick crust would not have been my choice.

First Time on TV
My step-dad, Jim, as an Uber driver. You can see him so clearly!

Not Just My First Time on TV

My mom and I had my step-dad, Jim, apply for a featured role on Chicago Fire as a crotchety old man.  He had never, ever worked before as an extra but he was chosen and played an Uber driver.  So the same night I saw myself, we then watched Chicago Fire and there he was!  Both of us on the same night.  The only thing I didn’t like was that I had also worked as a featured extra on the same episode of Chicago Fire but wasn’t seen on screen.  So at least someone from my family was!  Now we just have to see Mom!