Friday, October 18, 2013

Charlie Ballard & being an extra.

I often think about my place in show business and if I'm meant to be a big star or just be another face in the crowd.

This past year I got to be the star in my first feature film so before my movie comes out later this Spring, I signed up to be an extra with the new gay HBO series called, "Looking", which is currently being filmed in San Francisco.

While on set with the other extras, I never met so many unmotivated people who were there just for the paycheck, nobody was trying to jock each other for a spot near the actors so they could be on camera which in fact, made it pretty easy for me and my extra buddies to get on camera in the background.

Here is Bianka and Jason, who ended up being my extra buddies for the day!

For those of you not familiar with Dolores Park in San Francisco, you can tell from this picture below that we're pretty far back and way on the top of the hill near the MUNI rail.  We were pretty far from the main actors. The main shooting in this picture is to the left way, way up in the front.

That all changed when a production assistant come over and called some other extras to do a walking loop and then I was like, "hey, what about us" ?  A walking loop is when they ask you to walk in the background repeatedly so it makes the scene look busy.

After doing the walking loop, we ended up right next to the picnic blankets where the principal actors were situated and then I slowly turned to my extra buddies and said, "okay, now very carefully help me roll out my blanket and we'll park it next to them"  .  I was waiting for someone to come over and ask us to leave but no one did.

And heres us sneaking up next to the cast!

It felt nice being in the mix of things, it made me feel like I was actually contributing in some way.  While they filmed right next to us, I completely understood what it must've felt like to be the main leads because I was there myself 6 months earlier.

 I really want to say I went in thinking my faux hawk perm was going to help make me stand apart from the other extras but I'm sure my yellow ass shirt did the trick.

For this production, I noticed a common denominator among all the, "Looking" , gay actors, they were all skinny and really pretty.  I would never befriend anyone just because they're pretty but if this show needed the fat gay best friend character I would totally do it, I mean fuck it, its make believe right?

This was my first experience on a major live set and the behavior of the lead actors was pretty expected, they stuck to each other like glue.  They only socialized and ate with each other during the meal breaks.

Even the kraft services lady who was passing out cookies to the production crew didn't want to give me a cookie and said, "only because you're sitting next to the inner circle, I'll give you one" .  And do you guys know what I thought when she said that, "fuck you bitch, fuck you and your almond nut cookies" .

But I still took one because I love cookies.  And you guys can believe I kept calling that bitch back over whenever she passed by with snacks.

I'm so glad I waited to be an extra. I could have been doing extra work from day one but for what, so I could listen to some kraft services bitch make snide comments about who she gave her cookies to?  I think not.

With this whole experience of being a movie extra, I'm going to pass.  For me, I'm either going to be the star or nothing.


1 comment:

  1. Yeah, who does "she" think she is? Just a cookie one important...