The Day in the Life of an Extra
For the past 2 days I have been an Extra. It has been a unique, exciting, eyeopening experience.
I sent in to be an extra in the role of a University Student for the Lifetime show Drop Dead Diva. I had only seen the show once and a friend convinced me to apply. I did it for kicks and giggles thinking nothing would really come of it, until the say before shooting I got a call. It turns out that they wanted me. Shell shocked and excited I called the hotline. My call time for the first day was 10:15am in Atlanta. So, me being me, I still went out with Boyfriend and didn’t go to bed until midnight. Not smart. The next morning went a little something like this:
7:00am – Wake up. Panic because I forgot to layout my 6 outfits for wardrobe. Rush in the shower. Forget breakfast.
8:15am – Realize in the middle of doing my eye make up that I have to have my clothes pressed. Greeeaaattt… Thankfully Mom helped pick up the slack. (Sometimes living at home during the summer isn’t so bad.)
9:15am – Need to be leaving the house, but I’m not completely ready. Panic.
9:40am – Actually leave the house. Mom drove. She had things to do in Atlanta anyways.
10:35am – Arrive in a whirlwind and have no idea where to go. Hop on an unknown shuttle and pray it takes me to the right place.
From there, the rest of the day had no time. Sometimes it felt as if time was stopped, while other times I couldn’t believe how fast everything went. Most of the day consisted of rushing to wait. There had to be at least 100 others with me and we were constantly being herded around, like sheep. Thankfully though, the Triple D crew was entertaining and kind.
There wasn’t a lot of instruction; mostly ‘come here’, ‘go there’, ‘walk this way’, ‘when I say go, walk to him’. So it wasn’t hard to catch on. In the beginning though, I was completely lost. Because I had been late, I had missed wardrobe and check in. Let me just say, if you ever want to be an extra, get there on time. Everything will make so much more sense. In the beginning, I know I looked like a deer in the head lights. One guy called me out on it too. As soon as we exchanged names, I stuck to him (and another girl) like glue. He had done this a few times, I seemed to know the ropes. I found that once you spoke with anyone, had a little banter, and seemed to find things in common, you would grow attached, almost as if you had known them before coming. This community feeling was such a relief and helped me feel more comfortable with the idea of being with complete strangers for 10 hours.
At the end of the day, I had at least 5 new friends and a request to come back for the second day of shooting.
The next day went much smoother; I semi understood the process, the lingo, and what not to do. My 5 friends were there again and that made sitting in the holding room for 4 1/2 hours of the 10 I was there a lot easier. This day there was much less walking and a lot more sitting. I wish I had been allowed to take pictures, but because everything was top secret, I was not. So I apologize for the large amount of text.
Overall, this experience is one I will keep with me. I think I might submit to a few other casting crews and see if I could do this again. I heard rumor that the episode I was in will air sometime in June or September. (A large gap, I know, but like it said…rumor has it.) I believe it will be season 4, episode 8. Look for a bright orange purse around campus, a sea-foam green top in the classroom, and a one shouldered kelly green dress in the hallways! – Ciao