Another Mixtape Booking

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 James and I waiting
Waiting our turn on camera with James.

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.

Another Mixtape Booking the guys
The other James and Brian – Don’t we look like social workers?

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.

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.

More CONRAD Fun

More CONRAD Fun gum scene
The famous chewing gum scene!

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

More CONRAD Fun Consuella

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.

More CONRAD Fun with my "husband."
Bob and I ready for our closeup!

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

More CONRAD Fun with Ashley and Deb
Ashley and Deb

 

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!

More CONRAD Fun
Kristi Hum-Dell AD extraordinaire

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!

 

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!

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 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!