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Posts Tagged ‘Extra’

I have been watching a television show called Person of Interest.  The premise of this show is there is a Machine that tracks everyone and everything they do.  It then protects the potential victim, or punishes a potential perpetrator.  Yes, this is Orwellian.  And the executive producer is J.J. Abrams of Bad Robot Productions (Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

Brilliant software engineer Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) originally crated the Machine to track foreign and domestic threats, however, because of a personal tragedy he tracks every day, or the non-relevant people of New York.  Finch  gets Social Security numbers from the Machine for the present Person(s) of Interest.  A former Marine, now “man in the suit”, John Reese (Jim Caviezel) helps him with his martial arts, ability to blow things up, and shoot people in the knees. Later in the series a psychopath Root, who can talk directly to the Machine, helps Reese and Finch.  There are also New Yorks’ finest helping to put away the bad guys, Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson) 0n the straight and narrow, and Detective Fusco (Kevin Chapman), a formerly corrupt cop.

Root and Finch

Reese

There are many layers to this show, as well as twists and turns, however, sometimes, like the older episode I watched today, it was totally predictable (I was rather disappointed).  The main plot was boring.  I imagine though, this was a information giving episode.  We have to mesh together what has happened, with what may happen.

Fusco

Carter

It is at once a spy vs. spy show, as well as an action adventure, martial arts (kick that bad guys back side to a pulp – James Bond), science fiction, and a drama with dry humour.  It is about personal development in the face of danger.  I know I would develop really fast if I was in some of those situations they present.

Just a side note, I am not sure how many times the hero Reese has been shot, but it seems like he has taken many a bullet.

I have to add, silly me, the specially trained Marine dog is adorable.  I would gladly take him, only I understand he only knows Swedish.  I can only speak the Sesame Street, Swedish Chef, Swedish, but I am fluent in that.

Episodes

Take a look (no cheating, from the beginning episode) and let me know what you think.  If you’ve been watching it, I’d also like to know what you think, only I am about two episodes behind, so no spoil alerts!

 

 

 

 

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As an extra on the three sets of Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot I had interesting experiences.  First I will tell you that being an extra pays minimum wage with no benefits.  The hours are long, and if you are really lucky you get to eat when you are hungry, and get to go to the washroom as needed.  Some movie sets are great, some are boring and painstakingly long days.  There are also sets where you have cattle calls; these sets I like the least.  Basically it is hordes of people gathered together and told every so often where to move.  The days last forever.  If you are a Union person, this is most excellent.  You get at least $40/hour.  Getting to be part of the Union takes forever if you are an extra.

Before I went to one of The Royal York Hotel ballrooms for one shooting, I went to a place in Toronto for my wardrobe.  I was super lucky and found a flattering red gown for the ballroom scene.  It was V-necked, with a bodice and from there it flowed gracefully to my feet in three layers.  It reminded me of Marylin Monroe’s white dress she wore over the subway grate, which got blown up by the passing of a train.  Only of course mine was red and I wasn’t Ms. Monroe.

On the set I was fitted with a wig that was the colour of my hair.   It was all done up in a very high-styled do.  I was given costume jewelry that if it were real would be worth a fortune.  It also would have been really heavy.  I got full-length white gloves that went past my elbows.   Of course I then went to makeup and got all made up.  I felt like a little girl playing dress-up.  It was a thrill.  I wish I had taken pictures of the whole thing.

After I was all finished being made up, we sat at big round tables  and waited to be called to set; we were in Holding.  I sat with the “dignitaries” of South America.  The scene we were to be a part of was a ballroom scene with President John Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and others.

Right before we were called to set we were told that one of the ballrooms they were going to used had a fire in it.  It turned out that the lights they were using to film made the place so hot, the alarm went off.  We went no where but if you were out in the hall you could hear the elevators say in several languages that there was a fire, to take the stairs.  Since we knew the fire was under control, no one moved.  In fact, we carried on as usual.

When we were called to set, we were given champagne glasses with ginger ale in it.  We were told to talk without speaking a word.  In other words we were supposed to move our mouths, but not say a peep.  This was hard because even if you didn’t know the person you were talking to you had to make conversation without words.  It was also hard because many of us had to prevent ourselves from laughing aloud at this Tom Foolery.

In this scene we had to maneuver around John and Jackie, and a man with a huge camera on his back.  You knew it was heavy because of how built this cameraman was.  He was short and stocky.   He had a huge set of straps around him that supported the weight of his camera.  He also sweated bullets due to the strain of all that weight.  As he and the actors moved toward us we were to move aside gracefully and make up the space they left behind them.  We did this shot several times.  After the third or forth time we were pros and moved exactly where we were meant to go.  It was one fluid motion.

Then we had a dancing scene and this is even funnier than trying to speak with no words.  We had to dance without any music, except some was played in the very beginning to get the beat.  It was hysterical.   Some people who know how to dance did not have any problem with it, but others were way off beat and looked silly.  When you watch a film where the characters are talking in a dance scene, watch the people who are dancing and see if the same thing is true.

Then I got to be in a huge scene.  No, you will not see it except on the cutting room floor I imagine.  In fact extras are rarely seen or heard from.   I was basically the decoy or interest that JFK was looking at as he held Jackie’s arm and paraded down a recession line of dignitaries on both sides (the guys I sat with in holding).   Of course I did have the main actor looking at me for some time as we did this scene.

It was hot from the lights and all the people.  It was jammed packed full of people in costumes.  However, I did consider this a lot of fun.

Tune in for the next blog post and I will tell you a story about the Woman in the Red Dress.

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I have been an extra on a a few sets and have taken acting classes.  This has helped me to know how scripts are brought to life.   If you are going to do acting you will need two things, an agent, and “Headshots”.   One of the best photographers to go to is Richard Sibbald in Toronto.   I went to another photographer that was quite good, but I’m afraid I cannot recall their name. I am posting two of my pictures I used for acting over five years ago. Richard Sibbald did the black and white photo.

My acting days

My acting days

My acting days

My acting days

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