Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ridiculous Things Overheard While Being an Extra

You meet many...interesting people doing extra work in TV and film. I just did two long days, so I had a lot of time to eavesdrop. Choice gems:

1. We are currently at war both underground and in outer space with alien beings. This was said with no hint of irony or self-consciousness by a man playing a court officer. He said he has video of UFOs in Brooklyn.

2. "They say you use 10% of your brain but I think I use more because I'm a Christian and I have less to worry about."

3. One woman literally spent the entire two days complaining about our union and our treatment on set. I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but the absolute most important thing on any production is whether the extras get 15 minutes to eat free breakfast, and whether anyone cuts in front of you to eat the free dinner of which there is plenty, and which we will all have ample time to eat. But her most impressive maneuver came at the end of the second day, as we were being driven to Manhattan by a Teamster. She praised his union for sticking together like glue. "That's a union. I wish ours was like that, but it's all backstabbing and climbing over each other." Then, in a move that would give fatal whiplash to any sense of logic, she bragged about the time she and three other extras got golden time after calling to complain, and the rest of the suckers missed out because they didn't look out for themselves. Golden time is when you hit 16 hours and get your day's rate every hour after. I bit my tongue so hard it still hurts.