Dream Big 131
Dear Dream Big, It is Friday February 23: For the first time in a long time as an actress; I was a busy girl this week. Which is why there wasn’t a Dream Big column on Monday. I am very fortunate to feel so tired; even though there were parts of this weeks experiences that weren’t the greatest, there were other things that made it all worth while... Anyone who is just beginning their acting career starts out as an extra, or background as affectionately they refer to you as; it is simply the way of the entertainment world. It is most definitely not the most glamorous of all, where you are sometimes treated more like chattel, grazing upon junk food, and using the bathroom outside is life. Although, the experience of being an extra outweighs the low pay, and long hours. I look at it almost as being paid for acting class basics 101, it’s the kind of hands on practice you may not get in a studio. On a set you learn more than you can ever imagine, and if you pay close attention to the crew, the stand-ins, the director, and the 1st, or 2nd AD (assistant directors), you can learn the lingo, and what other roles are played out behind the scenes. As a background actor you learn to take direction, play off others, pantomime when you need to be silent, and still appear to be engaging with whomever you may be partnered with. This is also a good time to find out whether or not acting is your calling; if you cant stick it out through the hardship of being an extra you shouldn’t go into acting. The exception being you simply just enjoy being an extra because you may have a chance to meet your favorite celebrity, or you just like having the extra cash. Whatever the case may be; I think the most rewarding of the job is when you get to meet like minded individuals who are equally as passionate about acting as you are. Personally, I think it is the best support system you can get for your craft, even more so than your friends or family. Why you ask? It is because those who are trying to do the same thing as you understand all the pains, and joys of the business. Without a good support system you can sometimes lose your focus, and then possibly want to give up. If you think like a duck, and walk like a duck...well you get the picture. The point is that background acting does have its perks, but it also has its pitfalls too, and that’s just all part of the experience. I hope the next time I am playing as the busy actress that I have achieved more, and begin the second phase of a blossoming acting career. Fingers crossed... There comes a moment in every actors life to step into the spotlight, walk down that red carpet, and see their name across the big screen. The visionary will see all this come to pass as if it has already happened; while gazing from across the room upon others trying to do the same thing to make it their reality. Don’t just do it, believe it, and always dream big.