There’s often a taboo surrounding extras work. But today, I aim to break it. Extra work is a fantastic way for newbies, or anyone looking to break into the industry to get experience and get a feel for what it’s like to be on a major network TV or major motion picture set. Here are the 5 benefits to being an extra that can actually help advance your career:
1. You get PAID! Yes, you heard it right. Paid! As an extra you often get a set day-player right — usually around $100 for 8 hours. Plus, you get paid overtime. In-between jobs, or just need some extra cash? Extra work is the way to go!
2. You get to network for free. Mingle with everyone on-set. The gaffer, the director, the other actors…you get the point. You never know who you’re going to meet: they may just give you your next job, or promote you to a featured role. What’s more is you don’t have to pay a fee to go to some hoity toity workshop and get face time with these people. You’re right there. Take advantage!
3. You get on-set experience & resume credits. You get to feel what it’s like to be on a big time set. This experience is priceless. Plus, you get to add great credits to your resume. When Casting Directors see extra work on your resume they see that you’re committed and hard working. And that you’re familiar with how a TV show or film is produced and shot.
4. You get to experiment. Network TV, feature film — you name it. You get to try out different on-set experiences on major cable TV shows and big name feature films to see what suits you best. Have fun with this! It is showbiz after all…
5. It’s low commitment. Unless you’re committing to a full season of extra work, most extra roles are 1-3 days long. So, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to stick around! But at least you now have the experience — and the cash — in your back pocket.