What’s Going On 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.

What's Going On in the Background Henri
La belle Ahnree

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.

Brief Glimpses

What's Going On in the Background Proven Innocent Glimpse
Here I am on the set of Proven Innocent!

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!

What's Going On in the Background Proven Innocent Glimpse 2
And here too.
What's Going On in the Background Proven Innocent debate scene
Proven Innocent debate scene

Mixtape Marathon

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.

Me On Chicago Med

Hey Background friends!  Check out the above picture.  Do you see anyone you know in the background?  Yes, that’s me on Chicago Med.  And Dr. Halsted seriously needs a haircut.  By the way, his real name is Nick.  I met him in wardrobe when I was being fitted for a feature role on Chicago Fire.  Very nice guy!

Me On Chicago Med

Yes, it’s blurry but it’s me!  I was walking up this staircase directly behind the two actors in this scene.  And had a little trouble with it too.  Even though I was wearing tennis shoes, the stairs were loud.  After the first take, the 2nd Assistant Director asked me to try and walk with less noise.  After the second take, I looked like I was tiptoeing.  So I practiced on these stairs a bit and think I finally did okay.  They told me it wasn’t me and that these stairs were just loud so I didn’t feel too embarrassed but still, can’t they just make the stairs quieter?!

Me On Chicago Med staircase
The loud stairs on the set of Chicago Med

Here is a picture of the same staircase when I worked last week on Chicago PD.  You really shouldn’t take pictures of the set while you’re working.  But I did ask permission and made sure that I didn’t show any upcoming scenes.  I just knew I was going to write about my staircase dilemma and wanted a pic.  Again, I asked permission.  I guess it has been a problem with people taking pictures on the set and posting on social media.  I still haven’t worked on Empire but I hear they don’t even allow you to use your phone at all.  Apparently, someone released some footage which resulted in them having to re-shoot an entire scene.  That’s just what I heard, please don’t quote me as I do not have any of the actual details.

Chicago PD Booking

Me On Chicago Med nurse on PD
Me as a nurse on Chicago PD

My Chicago PD booking went very well.  We were on Med’s set, as I said above, and it was kind of cool that the crew had never used this set before.  The 2nd AD asked us what we usually do when on this set and I was able to tell her.  Also, they used my name when directing me which is nice.  You have to realize, there are a lot of us extras and usually we’re not referred to by name so it’s makes it special when we are.

For this episode, I played a nurse.  Check out my uniform!  I have been wanting to play a nurse on Med for quite some time now.  It wasn’t for the show Med but hey, PD is the next best thing.  Also, I was a bit disappointed because I have been dying to work on the ER set of Med.  When I was booked to be a nurse, I was hoping.  But no, maybe next time.  All in all, it

Me On Chicago Med waiting for scene
Waiting for our scene at Cinespace.

was a pretty easy day in the background.  We arrived at 3:30 pm which makes for great mid day drive time in Chicago’s traffic and left by 8 pm.  Again, a nice easy drive home.  I am not a morning person so I much prefer an afternoon call time over those hellish 5:30 or 6:30 am ones.  After we checked in and went to wardrobe, we were only in PD’s holding area at Cinespace briefly and then went to our second holding area on one of the stages not being used.  You can see that picture here.  Thanks for reading about me on Chicago Med and Chicago PD.  See you next time in the background!

 

Booked to Work

Yeah!  I have been booked to work this Friday on Chicago PD as a nurse.  This will only be my second time on this show.  I apply and apply and just when I thought they would never call again, they did!

Booked to Work

It’s time to get back to work.  I have just returned from a long weekend cruise with my Bama mom friends.  I never knew when my daughter chose the University of Alabama that I, also, would be having so much fun.  But I have drunk the Crimson Kool Aid and am now a huge fan.  There is actually a cruise for Bama moms.  The only requirement is that you have a child who is a current or former student.  It’s a great group of ladies and we have a riot.  The picture at the top of this posting is of me and some of the other Bama moms.  I have to admit, I was pretty tired after a weekend with these girls.  But life can’t be all fun and games so it’s back to reality–or back to the background.

Since I was out of contact with very limited internet, I really wasn’t expecting to have a booking this week.  You have to follow the postings quite closely and submit right away.  Luckily, I was checking my Facebook today and the posting had just arrived.  You have to submit right away if you want to be considered.  So how do I keep up to date without spending every waking minute on Facebook?  Well, hold down where it says “following.”  When you do that, you will notice a “see first” selection.  I choose this and also have FB notifications turned on so I can see when a posting comes across.  For Chicago PD, you need to follow New Deal Casting.  Click here for their Facebook page.

Booked to Work Chicago PD
New Deal Casting Facebook page
Booked to Work Chicago PD 2
Click on “see first.”

This booking is for season 6, episode 17 so look for me if you’re a fan of the show.  I love when I’m booked to work and excited to return to PD.  That’s all for now.  I’ll post an update after my booking.  See you next time in the background.

 

 

Two Days on Proven Innocent

Here we are, back working in the background.  Read below about my two days on Proven Innocent.  I love two day bookings.  It’s nice knowing exactly where you’re going and you are able to see the same people two days in a row.

Two Days on Proven Innocent

Two Days on Proven Innocent me and Anna
My Bama Mom friend and me with our Bama gear. Roll Tide!

Hey There!  I had a great two days on Proven Innocent last week.  The first day my call time was for 9am and I didn’t check out until 1am.  A very long day, that’s for sure!  You just never know how long you might be there when you’re working as an extra.  So if you’re interested in doing this work, make sure you have the entire day free.  I’ve had call times from 5:30 am to 7pm.  And you won’t know until the night before what time you will have to be there.  So be prepared for anything.  The second day was better as my call time was 12:30pm and I was finished by 7pm.  Much better hours but no overtime pay.  As of February 2019, this job pays $96 for 8 hours.  You receive a full 8 hours pay even if you don’t work that long.  After 8 hours, it is then time and a half, which works out to $18 per hour.  The day might be long but the ensuing check is very nice.

Two Days on Proven Innocent Marla and I
Marla and me on Proven Innocent

I had a very nice surprise for this booking too.  I was booked as courtroom gallery so I would have been sitting in the courtroom all day.  That’s still what I did but instead of the gallery, they chose me to be a juror.  I’m not sure why they still needed more jurors as some people were originally booked as one, but they did and I was in the right place at the right time.  The Production Assistant (PA) was looking for another juror and I just happened to be right in front of her.  So I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of myself as a jury member when the episode airs.  This was for the season finale so I have a little time to wait but the show will air starting on February 15, 2019 so be sure to check it out.  It’s going to be a good one!

Friendly Faces

Two Days on Proven Innocent Heather and me
Heather and I on Red Line

I am starting to come across some of the same people when I work as an extra and am not only recognizing faces, but knowing names as well.  What I’ve really noticed is how friendly everyone is.  I have found that the other extras are usually quite nice and helpful too.  One of my friends, Anna, started doing background work recently and we were lucky enough to work together this time.  I know Anna because she ran the parent group for the university my daughter goes to–The University of Alabama–Roll Tide!  So it was great to be able to hang out with Anna for two days and we had a blast.

The last, and only, time I had a two day booking I met Heather.  And she was there for this one too!  She is so nice and I love working with her.  The first time we worked together was in September on Red Line.  That show will air in April.  We were dressed to the nines for a fancy gala

Two Days on Proven Innocent Heather and I on PI
Heather and I on Proven Innocent

and while the conditions of the job were a bit difficult, we made it fun and had some great laughs.  You might be wondering what was bad about it.  Well, it was quite hot the first day and very muggy as well.  We began the day at Studio City in Chicago for check in, wardrobe, and makeup.  We then boarded nice coach buses to the sight of the shoot but our holding there was a large tent outside.  There was no floor and our heels kept sinking in the grass.  The tent was unbearably hot and the bees in September just won’t leave you alone.  The lesson here is be prepared for anything and try to make the best of the situation.  The other extras really don’t want to hear your complaints.  Be the positive one!

Two Days on Proven Innocent Sam
Sam in the holding area for Proven Innocent

Check out the pictures with people I spent time with during my two days on Proven Innocent.  It was the second time working with Marla and Sam and my first time working with Kathy.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to see everyone again soon.  That’s all for this week.  See you next time in the background!

Being Released

Remember my last post when I said I was so excited about working on Empire.  Well, sad news; I received an email stating that I have been released.  Being released means that they no longer need you.  So even though you have been booked, sometimes plans change and you’re out of a booking for that day.  Not to worry, though!  While I lost the one day booking for Empire, I gained a two day booking for Proven Innocent.  And that has been my favorite show to work on so far.  I have also greatly enjoyed Red Line which doesn’t air until April I believe.  Great crew and the assistant directors are very nice.

Being Released

Don’t be upset if this happens to you.  It doesn’t happen often.  In fact, I have been doing background work for about 8 months now and this is the first time it has happened to me.  You can’t take stuff like this personally–you would go crazy if you did.  Maybe the production schedule changed.  Maybe they booked too many.  Whatever the reason, it isn’t you.  And just like this time, perhaps something even better will come along.  I believe Proven Innocent is filming their finale and I’m super happy about being a part of that.

Being Released - weather in ChicagoStay Safe Background Friends

It’s cold here in Chicago.  It is cold even for a city that is used to cold.  Check out the picture of what we’re expecting for tomorrow.  I know Chicago PD canceled their outdoor shoot and the shoot I am doing will be indoors, but just getting from one spot to another can be dangerous in the super sub zero temps we will have here tomorrow.  Dress properly!  Hats, gloves, scarves are not only useful, but necessary.  Frostbite can happen within minutes.  Your body will react as it’s supposed to.  It will concentrate blood flow to your vital organs which takes it away from your extremities.  This could cause a change in blood pressure so if you have issues with that, be aware.  Also, if you’re driving, have emergency supplies in your car.  You should have a warm blanket, water, a snack, and cables to jump your battery.  With my car sitting in the extras parking lot all day, I don’t want to go to start it and then be stranded.  So stay safe background friends!

Back In The Background

Back in the Background audition

Well here it as almost the end of January and I haven’t written any posts since well before Christmas.  Mostly that is because I haven’t worked since then but now, I’m getting ready to get back in the background.

Back In The Background

To start off the year, I had a job working on Chicago Med.  I really like that show and have worked for that one a few times now.  This time, however, was the first time I had been on their set at Cinespace Studios.  All the other times I have filmed for this show have been out on location somewhere.  I’ve filmed at Rush Hospital, McCormick Place, and even Bloomingdale’s Home store.  I have been dying to see the set and was not disappointed.  So cool!  I still haven’t been on the set for the emergency room.  That is my next goal.    Had a sight of myself on camera last week when there was a big car crash scene; which I can talk about now because the episode has aired.  No one would have been able to recognize me as I was kind a dot in the background.  But hey, they pay me to be that dot.

Back In The Background Mom on Med

Check out this picture though.  This is my mom working on Chicago Med.  I just paused the TV to get this photo so quality isn’t great.  She is the one in the tan colored coat and hat.  Doesn’t she look just perfect?!

I am so excited to get back at it and have a job next week working on Empire.  It will be my first time working on this show.  I can’t tell you what I’m going to be doing until after the episode airs but it sounds like it is going to be super fun.

Also, Proven Innocent will begin next month and I can’t wait.  I think this is going to be a great show and have worked on it a few times.  One episode in particular will most likely have a great view of me.  If the scene makes the final cut that is.  Who knows?  Click here to see a trailer of this upcoming hit from Fox.

My First Audition

So I had an audition for a commercial!  I probably didn’t get it because call backs are next Monday and it’s Thursday already.  But hey, it was my first one.  Another guy and I had to pretend that we were the store clerk and the shopper.  It was fun, it really was.  Maybe I’ll have the chance to do it again and one day actually get the job.

Till next time, friends.  See you soon as I am now back in the background!

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!!!