06 February, 2013

Diary of a Schizo - Lucky Me


While waiting for my resumes to circulate, I received an email that a new Hollywood movie filming in Seattle was looking for extras. Interested in the easy money, I replied to the email with my photos and information and the casting director gave me days to be on set. Easy enough! I sent her the pictures and she said I look like a Seattlite(whatever that means) and I should show up on set at six in the morning. I guess since I'm an extra I didn't have to audition! Sweet!

This will be the second movie I've extraed in and will constitute the fourth and fifth day I've done this. It turned out quite similarly to the first movie. The days were long as usual - 12 hours is the average it seems and mostly we just sat around until the Assistant Director or Casting Director called us. I'd say we were paid for actually doing about ten minutes of work each while sitting around for 11 hours and fifty minutes each day. If I look at it this way, I made $1,000 an hour or so (working only a tenth of that). The hard work of being an extra consisted of pretending to have conversations and walking up and down the street multiple times. I also did some stand in work which consists of standing under a light while the actors prepare. I know acting can be stressful and emotional but being an extra mostly just consists of not messing things up for the real actors.

As easy as the work is and as professional as the cast and crew all were- even checking up on us as we waited in the basement of a bar many many times to make sure we weren't dead(we were mostly napping), I can't imagine doing this work full-time as it is incredibly boring. I used the extra time just sitting around to finish reading RD Laings Divided Self and to study some Spanish. But after five or six hours of this each day, that became difficult as we couldn't leave the basement bar for we could be called on set at any moment.

It was neat seeing the workings of a studio/Hollywood film. I can now say I've met Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church if I want to brag to people (I don't). They seemed nice enough. Some Hollywood actors I've met did not seem very nice, but some people in real-life are not that nice either so I guess that's just life.

It did surprise me that Toni had such a strong Australian accent, which I later realised is because she is Australian. I guess that makes her a good actor!


Andrea Rouda said...

I think this is so cool! I hope you keep doing it, you never know...you have a unique face and maybe you will be singled for more of a role...since you don't say what the pay is it's hard to tell if it is really worth it, but it sounds like an interesting look into another world, which can only be good for your divided self! At the very least, it makes for a complelling blog post.....:)

ozjthomas said...

Thanks for the comment. It is interesting and probably better than staples but too boring to want to do all the time. If you extrapolate $1000 an hour(working a tenth of that)=$100 or so for 12 hours a day it comes out to about $9 an hour. It's just you are paid when you are doing nothing, not just when you are actually doing something.