This week was a bit trying. I fell sick after just recovering from sickness and it’s been the mutated virus from hell. But it hasn’t been all bad. I did my first “real” film shoot this Thursday. I’ve done other films/movies before but this one was different and opened my eyes once again to what it means to be an actor.
I’ve worked background before for a couple different movies/shows. One thing most people think of when I tell them that is that I’m rubbing elbows with huge stars and I’ll be cashing my big check soon after. Well that is not quite the case. See the first thing I learned about being on set, my first time years ago, was that there is a lot of sitting or standing. You don’t approach the famous actors and you don’t yap unless instructed. I’m sure that doesn’t sound fun to the average person but it’s just exciting knowing that you’re living in a moment that can someday evolve into a rich reality. The best part of being on set as a background actor has to be craft services. Any actor that has been on set is saying “yaaassss” right now. Craft services provide the food you eat and snack on. It’s a great perk for all the standing and sitting and repeating. Of course being paid is great too but that’s a given with a job. For anyone wondering being on set as an extra can be really cool but it doesn’t make you a movie star or any of the other things people say.
But let’s talk about my shoot this week. In this shoot I had lines. Whoo! I’m sure that leaves people thinking, ‘well did you have a trailer? Did you talk to famous people?’. Not every shoot is created equal. There are different types of film shoots. I did what’s called Sag/Low budget. Which basically means Leonardo DiCaprio won’t be in it and it is most likely a documentary or something of the sort. Being on set for this shoot was so different. I had lines and the full attention of the crew for a couple hours. The individualized attention definitely fueled my actor ego. Before I got to set though there was one challenge. After memorizing my script, a new one was sent the morning of the shoot. This meant erasing everything from my brain and starting over with hours to get the job done. Now I come from a place of memorizing scripts word for word but one of the great things about film is the ability to edit. As long as you have a couple good takes you can produce a perfect end product. This was something I was thankful for yesterday.
So the real about being on set is yes it is possible to meet stars and maybe have a scene with them but more than likely there’s a lot of sitting, posing, and repeating whether you have lines or not. I didn’t get my green m&ms or Evian water but I got to do something I love to do. Sometimes you get days to work on lines and other times you have a few hours. Sometimes your shoot gets moved up a day early. It’s unpredictable but that’s apart of the joy of artists doing what they do. Hopefully more people can realize what it’s like. It’s not glamorous and probably won’t be for awhile, but for me it’s worth finding out.
Dreamers and Believers,