Archives for posts with tag: Smash

For a third time, I will be playing a "Smash"‘costumer’ on the NBC show “Smash”.   This time I received a call from casting without even submitting for the role!  One can join casting websites, whether you belong to the Union or not, where casting directors post roles with type descriptions for current/upcoming projects. The first time I was contacted by this casting agency, I had been submitting for over a month on numerous parts.  Thankfully, the background casting company (Grant Wilfley) finally called to confirm my availability for the shoot date and tell me the necessary wardrobe to bring to set.  The soundstage was in Brooklyn, they were filming a baseball dance routine rehearsal; there was great catering, and it made me giggle to hear Anjelica Huston’s laugh at lunch.  

About five weeks ago, after submitting to another post for a ‘costumer’, casting called me again!  I was told wardrobe was “wear one/bring one”.  Simply put, they were getting more bang for their buck by using me twice (they do pay a little extra for a wardrobe change).  First up, I sat as an audience member in one outfit- had I truly been out for a night at the theater in late Fall (season specific, though it filmed in Winter).  This time filming was on-location at a gorgeous theater in Manhattan.  What a glorious day at work, being entertained by guest star Bernadette Peters singing and dancing in the episode’s on-stage routine at a historic vaudeville theater.

Picking me out in an audience wide-shot, or the back of my head as the camera flies toward the stage would be a challenge.  However, changing into my own all black wardrobe of a ‘costumer’, and an apron with some fabric swatches provided by the Props department, I stand on-stage with both Anjelica Huston and Bernadette Peters!  Despite not having any lines, it remains an immense thrill to be a part of a live set.  A phone call from casting today, to portray a costumer tomorrow, pleased me beyond words.  No post was there for which I submitted- I have made it to a short list- in a very good way.

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I have been exposed to a new term- “Background Whore”.  On-set consorting with fellow extras one man told me how he worked four, sometimes five, days a week using this term, though now his focus is honing his basketball skills so he can take advantage of the next commercial opportunity to be one of the tall players chosen.  A commercial pays more than double what one day as a television or movie background actor garners, plus possible residuals.  This young man revealed he had been working this way, ‘whoring’, for a year and a half.

Another actress posed the question of whether this (working as an extra) was my ultimate aim.  She did not mean to offend, however I was aghast, later realizing- it was a good question I needed to hear. Knowing the answer and taking action toward a truer goal- while I am full of gratitude to be making money to cover bills through this endeavor rather than relying solely on savings- I WANT A PRINCIPAL ROLE! and desire to focus efforts on achievement!!  This same day, still on the set of ‘Smash’, I was called to play a stewardess on Martin Scorsese’s current film project ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.  Though far from the mark, still a step closer, an opportunity to share space and be seen- perhaps even bumped up to having a line by a well respected director.

From what I heard, redheads are favorably singled out by Mr. Scorsese. We shall see, indeed my hopes are this hearsay carries validity.  In any case, I will be on-set with one of the great film makers of our time and there most certainly will be something valuable to be learned.  Since becoming more re-familiarized working as an extra, I feel I have lost some of the curiosity and irreverence from my first day on ‘Made In Jersey’.  Then I barely stayed in ‘Holding’, rather enjoying the outside and watching the movement of the crew and directors- staying out of the way- but also staying in eyesight: ever smiling.  Be interested, and you shall be interesting- I heard that cleverness somewhere smart.

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