Advantages Fantastic opportunities, Enjoyable.
Disadvantages Lots of waiting around!
Browsing through hobbies in the Ciao Cafe recently I realized there was no category for a favourite hobby of mine - Television Extra Work. I have been a Television Extra now for just over 4 years and though I would share my experience with you.The only reason I discovered my hobby was after a friend of mine (who was already an extra) asked me if I wanted to appear as a background artist as a one off. My friend was working for a casting agency that needed a huge crowd for a concert scene; the agency had asked the all extra's taking part if they could bring a friend along so along I went and really enjoyed it. As well as enjoying it I also got paid £50 for the privilege!
Television extra work is work for any Film or TV Production where background artists are required to fill out a set. This can most often include "hanging around" in the background of a scene. Extra work is normally paid work and is undertaken by supporting artists of all ages, shapes and sizes.
WHAT IS TV EXTRA WORK
After my initial taste of extra work I was really keen to work again. As my friend was already working for a casting agency I asked her about signing up. I was given the agencies telephone number and rang then to ask how I would go about applying to be on their books. From there I was invited to an interview and asked to bring with me some snapshots.
MY STORY AS AN EXTRA
The day of the interview arrived and I took with me my snapshots as promised. I filled in an application detailing my vital statistics and any hobbies I had. I was then given a rundown on the history of the business before being attending an informal chat with the companies chief booker who would assess my suitability and provide me with an in-depth low-down describing what would be expected of me before answering any questions I had.All most agencies will ask is that you can be available for weekday and evening work (with occasional weekends!)
After our chat the Chief Booker told me there and then that she would be happy to have me on the books.
There is no charge for appearing on the agencies books, However I was asked to have professional photographs done. An appointment was made for me through the agency for this to happen. The cost to myself for the Photographs was £30. I was given the option of paying this amount on the day or having the charge come out of my first paid job.
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