Acting for a living

Yesterday. Gig as a SAG extra for a commercial shoot in Rosemont, Illinois. One of the first things you learn about being on a set is: BRING A BOOK.

Some actors refuse to be extras (even with SAG wages and conditions). They don't want to be perceived as anything BUT a principal, or a lead.

I don't get it.
The current Screen Actors Guild day rate as an extra is $309, which is way more than any day job could net me.

It's not the most exciting way to spend a day, but I can certainly think of worse. For lunch we chose from:
  • salmon cakes
  • prime rib
  • fettucine with a basil-alfredo sauce
  • a bunch of other stuff I tried to cram onto my plate without making it obvious that I WAS CREATING TWO DISTINCT STRATA of amazing gourmet food.
I mean, the biggest annoyance of being an extra -besides the boredom- is the stigma that you weren't good enough to be cast as the principal in the spot.

So I worked yesterday AND booked another extra job for Friday.
It's humble and unassuming work that some people turn down, but I made my living this week as an actor.

That feels like success to me.


Ryan said...

There's lots of reasons to turn down extra work just as there are lots of reason not to.

If you're not union, and you're gonna make less than you do at your day job then it's not worth it usually.

I've also seen an extra changed into a principal during the shoot and get paid bank. So you never know.

For me, a non-union extra gig ain't worth it most of the time.

Lacy said...

yeah, the union/nonunion distinction with extras is sort of unreal and terrible. I get not taking nonunion extra work, without a doubt.

In the meantime, I take it I won't see you on Friday for the Unicef PSA shoot? Measly, measly $70, but I need it.

Ryan said...

No, sadly, you won't. My day job pays more, and it also allows me to take two day time college classes during the week, so I don't press my luck unless it's worth it.

Also, you're much taller than your blog lets on. (We just met for the first time this week at an audition, people. She's not a shorty.)