Life As A Casting Extra
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Grocery shoppers, hospital patients, nurses, and plain ol' people walking down the street.We are the movement that often goes unnoticed, but without us movies and your favorite T.V. shows wouldn't be the same.You see, I do background work for various T.V. and movies throughout New Mexico. It's not all glitz and glam though.

Most days are 12+ hours starting at the break of dawn and not ending until the late night but I wouldn't trade a minute of it. Days might include during a scene 8 different times in 4 different camera angles all while doing mundane acts like walking back and forth on set or eating a burger. Some days if you’re lucky you can be featured, meaning definite airtime, and that’s just doing the same mundane things all while trying not to look at the big black camera that’s about 5-10 feet away.

Now I am by no means downplaying ANY of this because this is my dream job. They aren't kidding when they say its "movie magic". To see how the whole crew works tirelessly to set up one scene and in a matter of minutes tear the whole thing down and set up for another or how the camera men work with the people in lighting to get the right lens flare or move around the cast to get the perfect shot. There's just so much that goes on behind the camera that brings the whole production together.

If I'm being honest, the hardest part about being an extra is keeping a straight face. If you're filming a scared or sad scene, the first few takes might be easy to keep the façade up but on take 12, there's only so much head shaking and pouting that you can do before you crack. But I don't even have to think about the best part of being on set, it’s definitely the food! I know what you're thinking, what about seeing yourself on screen or the finished product? That my friends, comes in a VERY close second. The food that they cater to the background is what dreams are made of. In all my experiences, I haven't come across a bad catering.


My advice to anyone wanting to go into background work is, GO FOR IT. It's the funnest job I've ever had, the days aren't easy, and the work isn't consistent, but the experiences on set are the best memories I could ask for. I've met some of my favorite actors and actresses while on set and have even been fortunate enough to have made a quick appearance on one of my favorite shows, so what more could I ask for?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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