Back in August, I worked one evening as an extra on a new TV series called Scandal Made Me Famous. The first episode, Amy Fisher, will air on Nov. 19 on the Reelz Channel.
Working as an extra is fun, and it’s a good way to make a little money. Extras are hired off casting calls posted by the production company on a site like the Dallas Film Commission website, MyCastingFile.com, or the casting director’s own page. The main (speaking) parts in the series are cast through notices sent to agents, through an audition process. But you usually don’t have to audition to be an extra. For more on what it’s like to work as a film or TV extra, click here.
The only problem with being an extra is that you never know whether you’ll actually show up on screen or not — and if you do, whether or not anybody will notice you. Well, I show up on screen in this one — or at least my back does — and since I’m wearing a bright red velvet costume, I feel pretty sure people will notice me. No, I haven’t seen the episode yet — I have to wait until Nov. 19 just like everybody else does.
But I show up in the trailer posted on Facebook. (Don’t blink or you’ll miss me!) Amy Fisher, for those who don’t know, was called the “Long Island Lolita” — she was a teenage girl who shot her married older boyfriend’s wife. Scandal Made Me Famous is a “docudrama” — a story based on real events — that’s a spin-off from a popular series that’s also filmed here called Murder Made Me Famous.
Working as an extra — even on a show about becoming famous for the wrong reasons — won’t make anybody famous. But it’s a lot of fun. And the pay is usually pretty good for a few hours work — this one was filmed and finished in less than four hours, and all we had to do was pretend to have fun at a Halloween party. I’m 15 years old, and the only jobs I could get other than acting pay minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) — trust me, you’d have to work several days at a minimum wage job to earn what I make as an extra in half a day, and I feel sure that mopping floors at a fast food joint isn’t nearly as much fun as hanging out on a film set. I don’t much want to find out, to be honest.
The director for this episode, Katie Dunn, hired me for my very first paying TV gig as an actor, back when I was just 10. I’ve been lucky enough to work for AMS Pictures, the production company behind this series, several times, and it’s always a good experience.
Hope I get to work on another episode of the series — and I hope I find a watch party to go to so I can see the episode on Nov. 19, since we don’t have cable at our house.