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September 22nd, 2011

being background

While I was still at Dell, I would cruise the "gigs" section of Craigslist and had vision of myself doing a whole bunch of random gigs so that I could earn money to help support my photography career. However, I've been blessed that I have been able to live from paycheck to paycheck and have not dipped into my savings. So far, my networth has held steady. I'm not saving money, but I'm not spending savings. And that's a freaking good place to be when you just quit your day job during a recession to be in a creative field.

So all my life, my jobs have been computer related. And it would be nice to have some life experience doing other things, so I cruised craigslist anyhow, and saw an ad for extras for the ABC show, the lying game. I sent them a photo, and then forgot about it.

I got a phone call soon after, saying they want me there. The pay was pretty sad, but money was money. And I've been lusting over new camera gear and traveling more, so I took the job, despite the endless wedding editing that is always waiting for me.

So I was literally called "background". And we were very very low on the totem pole. The star of the show had a high chair with her name, and the director had a director chair. We background just sat around, waiting until they were ready to use us. So literally, I sat around for most of the 7 hours, and actual shooting/rehearsal time was maybe 15 minutes.

But it was FUN! I've never been in a TV set before. I've been in TV on the news before (like when I danced backup for the Austin mayor doing Thriller), but not in an actual TV show. I still don't think I will be in the show since I was the background of the background. It was so fun though... they would yell "ACTION!" and then "ROLLING!!!!!" and... "BACKGROUND!" and all of us extras would do whatever we had to do to be a good background. It was the background of a bus station, and I was just fake conversing.

They fed us lunch, which was delicious! But the crew and union folks ate first, and we were last.It was really a giant production, and gave me more respect for all the crews and work that go into make a 5 minute scene. There was even a giant forklift that held a white reflector or something.

Anyways, yay, random life experience! I made friends with another extra who was really, really good looking. He was actually in friday nights lights, as one of the regular football players. And he was talking about how he actually got one line or two. And a lot of the extras would tell random stories... like that one scene, in Fight Club, I was there! It's really funny. Everyone had all these stories about how they were in this one scene, somewhere. What a strange life.

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