My Answer to "How Do You Get to be an Extra in so Many Movies?"
I get asked a lot by people how to get into the movies here in South Louisiana. I've only been doing this since January so I am no expert but here are some links and tips I've learned in my short 5 months as a background SUPER STAR! (jk)
No, I don't have a manager or an agent. I just signed up at all these local casting companies,
I also check these pages for listings of casting calls daily..
(this is the best and most current listing)
I have a film resume that I send in also.
Before you say yes to a shoot:
Ask questions when you get a call about a shoot. Find out what the movie is about and as much as you can about the scene you will be shooting.
When your on the set:
Act professional. I don't ask the stars for pictures, I don't talk to them unless they talk to me, I don't act star struck. I am there to do a job and I do it. If the shoot says not to post pics from the set, then I don't. 21 Jump Street said to not even tweet or FB about it, but I did a little bit, kinda hoping to get fired, but usually, I try to obey the rules.
Each casting company has a list of set etiquette. The casting company will use you again and again if you are professional and follow their guidelines.
One time while watching the movie "Super Troopers" a cop in it said, "desperation is a stinky smelling cologne" and that is so true. It's true in every walk of life but if you want to be a steady working extra, keep that quote in mind. Looking desperate and acting desperate, is really not good on a set.
Don't just roll over and let them not pay you for something that was listed in the communications with you concerning the shoot. Stand up for yourself (desperation again- if you will take being mistreated then you are way to desperate to be there) I have had to say more then once "the email you sent me said..." and then they wrote it down on my time sheet.
Don't be the person who knows everything and feels the need to talk about it loudly..all the time.
Don't be a diva.
The hours are crazy, you have to be willing to get up real early and do all nighters. You really need a very flexible schedule if you want to do this a lot. The days and the nights are very long, usually 12-15 hours, so it's hard on your body if your old like me ;-) but you young-uns should be fine. I've met several young people (early 20's) who stay really busy doing this, they work 3-5 days a week.
I have found that they like to hire people who are not trying to be famous. Dean and I do it for fun and for the little bit of extra money. We know we are not going to be famous "one day". I also do it for the acting. I love acting. I've always wanted to do it. So, I really enjoy getting into a character, even when I'm just a lady in a TSA office taking Mark Walhberg's Visa pictures (you know I had to mention the best, most thrilling day ever on a movie set! I WAS star struck but I didn't act it :-) or when I'm a VIP spectator at a MMA fight, or a 1820's sawmill worker, I love the acting part. So I would say that it's best to go into this for fun, not for fame.
But I will admit, it will be super cool to be sitting in the movie theaters next Spring and Summer, watching to see if our faces to pop up on the screen.