"Don't be like that!"
I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, all of the working actors across the world have, and it’s still happening. There are people out there who like to make a big deal out of nothing and take credit for something they didn’t do. I’m talking about these “extra” people.
Let’s go back to basics and define the terms “extra” and “background”. An extra is a person who has no lines and appears in the background of a scene, whether it’s a stage play, television show or a movie. Extras are there to make the scene more believable and the 2nd assistant director guides them on what to do and how to behave during specific scenes. There are times when extras throw one line and it happens at random.
With that being said, I am on many different Facebook acting groups and there is always that one person who CALLS himself an actor when in reality- they’re JUST an extra. Now don’t get me wrong- I used to be an extra before deciding that it wasn’t for me. I know what it’s like to be in the “cattle call” and wait with 50+ other people in the holding area. I know that it’s a nice money gig and you don’t have to do much during the 12+ hours that you’re on set. I’ve been there, trust me.
My problem with those people is this- how dare they call themselves something that real actors have been working toward for YEARS?
Did they audition for this show?
Do they have an agent that submitted them for a specific role?
Did they get a contract while on set?
Did they wait in the trailer or honeywagon until their scene is on?
Are they on all of the acting websites- Actor’s Access, IMDb, 800 casting, etc?
Have they done indie films, short films and have legit credits on their resume?
Are they taking acting lessons from working actors?
I guarantee you 110% that those extras will say “NO” to all of these statements. Therefore, if you are an extra and want to become a legit, working actor- get an agent, register on IMDb, get headshots, audition for every role that matches your brand… dedicate your life to acting.
It took me three years to book my first co-star role on a network show, and it will take me years to be where I want to be. I want to become a regular on a television show, where I portray my brand, and that gig will pay me thousands of dollars every month.
There is so much financial struggle, anxiety and depression that comes with being an actor. If you’re a strong person- you will overcome those things. If you think that acting isn’t your thing- there’s always something else. Just please, don’t call yourself something you’re not. Cool?