Summertime as an Extra

Hey there everyone! I have been so busy with my new freelance writing career that I haven’t had a ton of time to write about my life in the background. So I am taking a few minutes to tell you about a couple of recent experiences this summertime as an extra. If you happen to know anyone looking for a content and copy writer, check out my profile on Upwork.  If you want to work as an extra, you are going to need an additional source of income and this is mine.

Summertime as an Extra

To be honest, things are kind of slow right now. Many shows are on summer hiatus. This means there are a lot of extras competing for a limited number of jobs. Luckily, I have worked a couple of times in the past two weeks and have had some great experiences.

The first one was working on an overnight shoot for Utopia, the upcoming Amazon series I talked about before in this post. I was wary about working all night for sure. But you know what? It ended up being a really good experience. The director and assistant

Summertime as an extra coworker Kizzy
With my new friend Kizzy on the overnight set of Utiopia

director were awesome to work with. They consistently told us not only what to do, but why we were doing it. For example, they were very clear on what our motivation was supposed to be during the scene. Not only that, but they were super complimentary and kept telling us how important we were for the scene. It’s great receiving that recognition because it doesn’t always happen. Thanks 4 Star Casting for scheduling me for this valuable experience. I am a night owl and hence, am never up to see the sun rise. But as I was driving home watching the beautiful colors of the sun coming up, I had a smile on my face as I thought about my excellent night.

In The Movies

Summertime as an Extra bus ride
Our home for the night!

I was lucky that Extraordinary Casting cast me for a movie scene. There were only nine extras this evening and I love it when the background group is so small. It was a fun night talking with some friends I had previously worked with. The night itself was super easy. All I did was sit on a bus the whole time from 4:00 pm until 10:00 pm. Even our holding was on this nice comfy coach bus since there were only nine of us. We had plenty of room to spread out. The scene with a famous actor, don’t think I can say yet who, was also on the bus. All we did was ride around while they were filming. It was pretty easy money, that’s for sure. Finished a lot of my current novel too as we could read while filming.

Summertime as an Extra friends
With Larry H., playing a bus passenger, and Justin K., playing a man who is homeless. I was also a bus passenger.

So that’s about it lately. Hopefully, I’ll become a bit busier in the summertime as an extra. Shows will begin filming again next month and there are some new projects coming to Chicago so stay tuned. Hope to see you soon 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

Getting Busy in the Background

Thinks are starting to heat up and I’m getting busy in the background! This week I am working on three shows; CONRAD, Empire, and Mix Tape.

Getting Busy in the Background

My week started off with a booking for Chicago Med. With a 5:30 pm call time, I thought, “Oh no, it is going to be a late one!” But I was wrong. Just as I’ve said before, you never know what to expect. In fact, they didn’t even use me at all. I sat there for 3 Getting Busy in the Background holding

On set for CONRAD–holding area

1/2 hours and then we wrapped. Don’t worry, however, as we’re still paid the whole 8 hours whether we work that long or not.

So I was okay with not being used. It happens. This was the first time it had happened to me so that’s not too bad since I’ve been doing this a little while now. Although, when I started, my goal was to be in the ER set on Chicago Med. Still no go. I was so close! Literally, right on the other side of the fake wall of the set. Oh well, just gives me something to look forward to. I’ll get there someday.

CONRAD, Empire, and Mix Tape

These are the shows on which I am working this week. Click here for a link to CONRAD. This is a brand new show that hasn’t even been picked up yet. In fact, that’s where I am right now–sitting in holding updating my blog. And I’ve been in holding all day! My call time was 7:00 am. Here it is 1:30 pm and I have not been placed in a scene yet. There are only about ten of us Background actors here so I know I will be used, just not when. And I’ll be back tomorrow too. Hopefully I’ll be a bit busier.

Getting Busy in the Background friends
Janaan being patient while we wait for our scene.

At least I have other extras to keep me company! Here is my new friend, Janaan. Talking makes the time in holding go faster so I always appreciate having the other extras around.

On Tuesday I will be working on the season finale of Empire. Still haven’t worked that one so pretty excited about it. And on Friday, I’m working on another new show. It’s called Mix Tape and it will be on Netflix. You can click here to find out more on that one. Looks like it’s going to be so fun. That’s all for today. Stay tuned for how things went on my three shows this week! Hope to see you in the background!

Hang in There

It’s time to be honest background friends.  Life is hard.  If you’ve read my “about” tab, you know that the whole reason I became interested in being an extra is due to the fact that I left my teaching career over a very upsetting incident.  I don’t want to dwell on that incident, because it has totally taken over my life for the past year, but I will just say that I was accused of throwing something at a student.  She, with her parent, pressed charges and I spent a long ten months going through the court process.  And I was found not guilty.  Want to know why?  Because I didn’t do it, that’s why.

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My whole point in bringing this up today is that life can sometimes seem to present insurmountable odds.  Over the past year I have lost my job and had my name ruined with the accusation, my husband had been out of work, and our most valued asset, our home, is not selling.  We’ve had it on the market for slightly over a year and we’re still here.  We really want to take the proceeds from the sale of our home and start again somewhere new.  But we can’t do that until we sell.  And not only that, our home has dropped so much in value that we will lose a ton of money.  These are all first world problems, I know.  Not the worst I’ve had in life but definitely not the best.

So why am I writing about this and what does it have to do with my life in the background?  In truth, being an extra has been my saving grace this past year.  It has given me something to look forward to and get excited about; because there is not a lot of excitement for me lately.  And I was starting to be pretty down about everything.  I’ve started looking for a teaching job and I’m finding it difficult.  Even though I was found not guilty, the accusation is out there and I think employers are leery.  I am at a point

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where I think my teaching career might be over for good.  If you know me, you know that teaching is my calling.  I am really, really good at it.  I love what I do (or did) and love my students.  So, all in all, I was feeling pretty down.

Then, I prayed and asked God to give me something to hang on to.  I told Him that I will continue to do my best and trust that He has a plan, but that I could really use something to help out while I wait to discover what that plan might be.  With no extra jobs lined up, I was beginning to feel a little dejected.  I didn’t have any bookings. My house won’t sell.  I am finding that securing a teaching job is going to be much more difficult than I had thought.  So I just prayed.

And guess what, within one minute of that prayer I received a call from Joan Philo Casting with a booking for Chicago Med.  I thought, “Wow! That was awful quick.  Thank you Lord.”  I even told my husband that the timing was just perfect because I wanted something and I got something.  Maybe it wasn’t a teaching job, a buyer for my home, or a literary agent to represent my novel, but it was something.

Following that, about two hours later, I received an email from Extraordinary Casting that stated, “Congrats! You were selected by Production and Director for one of just a few Civilian extras on…”  I don’t know if I’m at liberty to say what the production is so I won’t but it’s not anything I have heard of.  It is either a new show or a movie but they did say a lot of big names have signed on to this one.  And it is a two day job!  And I have never worked with Extraordinary Casting before.  My mom has and I have met a lot of other extras that have, but not me.  So then I was thinking how cool it was that I received one thing but now two.  How lucky am I?

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But that’s not the end!  I woke up this morning and looked at my Twitter feed and saw this man’s prayer.  Click here to see it.  Uhmm, could that have been more perfect for where I am right now?  Wow!  Someone is talking to me and telling me to hang in there.  It’s not quite time but it will be.  You can do this and God is with you every step of the way.

Keeping the faith that God has a plan for you can be difficult sometimes.  But hang in there friends because if you do your part, that plan is already written for you.  For now, I will keep doing my part.  I will continue to query ten literary agents a day for my book, I Gave You a Boy.  I will keep up with my little free lance writing gig for Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos.  I will try my hardest to find the school that needs me most.  And I’ll be out there looking for background work.

Sorry for the long post.  It was just one of those things I needed to put out there in the world.  I hope you’re hanging in there with whatever issues you might be having.  Me, I’ll be hanging out in the background.