Let’s Get Things Straight: What’s Being an “Extra” All About?

What does being an “extra” really mean? This question was presented to me by ClaimFame member Dahlila Hampton during our coaching call over the weekend. I often encourage my clients to find extra work to build their resume and get experience. However, we never delve into what working as a background actor really entails. Let’s break it down today so you can be prepared to take the extra world by storm!

An extra is a performer with a non-speaking role that appears in the background of a production. Often they are members of an audience, walking on a street, or in a large dramatic scene in an epic blockbuster.

Being an extra can be extremely beneficial to building your career. If you make the right connections on set you could be called in for other productions that could lead to bigger roles. It can also lead to getting your SAG-AFTRA card if you complete three (3) days of work under the SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreement.

Working as an extra can also be a great side project. Though these gigs don’t pay a tremendous amount of money, some will provide you with some extra income which is always nice!

If you have any questions about working as an extra, email me at coaching@claimfame.com. Happy extra-ing!

Mason O’Brien is ClaimFame’s professional Casting Coach. Mason has worked in casting for years and is also the owner and operator of Bluprint Coaching, a life coaching service based out of Los Angeles. Mason, “The Practical Coach”, works one-on-one with clients during periods of transition to design the next and best phase of their life!

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