Um, so last night, I was on TV… And it was amazing.
Here is a screenshot from the promo (yes, they even teased my appearance!)
I’ll let you watch the episode to see my 15 (milliseconds) of fame, but I thought some of you might be interested in knowing the behind the scenes story. We’re not really supposed to talk about it, but since the episode has aired, I suppose there’s no harm now…
Anyway, first up and most critical – wardrobe. When I was selected as a “detective”, I said I had the requisite clothing. And I did – if I were an actual detective. I mean, if that were my everyday job, I’d obviously wear my bright colors and ruffled suit, regardless. But, for a TV detective, I realized I needed to be a little more conservative (the list they sent me of appropriate clothing helped me realize this). So, I had to go shopping and even still, I don’t think the wardrobe guy was totally happy with me, but whatever. Other than my mom (who had been counting down the days to my appearance) and a few friends, no one will even see me. Probably… (I’m still waiting for the call from the talent agent.)
Most of being an extra is waiting around. Everything is very last minute and contingent on how the scenes shot before yours go, etc. So, they put us in a holding area with snacks (animal crackers and cheese puffs, so I was pretty happy) until they were ready to shoot our scene.
Normally, this holding area is on the studio lot. When scenes are filmed off-site, the holding area naturally moves. Since my scene was taking place outside a seedy motel (which, actually, I thought was the least seedy of the nearby choices), the holding area was in an establishment right next door…the kind of establishment you’d think would be right next door to a seedy hotel. Yes, we hung out in “Jazzy Sensations: Nashville’s Urban Adult Entertainment Club”.
I actually didn’t think it was still in business, but one of my fellow extras assured me that his buddy owned the place – and had great pride in his voice, which was matched equally by the disdain on my face, I think.
Most of the other extras were veterans, and as we were talking, people started sharing about their first times on the Nashville set – at the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman, the Country Club… I couldn’t help be a little jealous, but at least my story about Jazzy Sensations is the most unique.
When it finally came time to shoot the scene, I was placed right by the focal point of the scene, so I knew unless they cut it completely, I’d be on camera. There was a bit of a mix-up when the assistant director yelled back some instructions at me as he was running back behind the camera – I thought he said to do my part sexier. Honestly, I didn’t know how to examine evidence sexy, but I gave it my best effort. Turns out, that wasn’t at all what he’d said, but maybe I spiced up the scene, anyway.
The only star in my scene was Connie Britton, and she wasn’t near enough to me to interact in any way. But, she looked beautiful, of course.
Oh, and they pay you to do this, which is amazing – I’d have totally done it for free.
So, that’s my extra experience. It really was fun, and if I can ever find a day I’m not crazy busy at work, I may take a personal day and do it again. Worth it for the fame, fortune, and cheese puffs.
Have you ever been an extra or on a TV/movie set? Was your experience similar?