I recently responded to one of SHARON’S comments with the notion that blogging allows us to see things as others see them and as a result, sometimes, our views are changed. Keeping with that flow, I’ll add that by visiting other blogs consistently, we are allowed into each others’ worlds and get an understanding as to who they are. So, let me tell you a well-kept secret about Freedom: over and above being a writer, he’s also an actor. That’s right – I was in the movie “INVINCIBLE”, about Vince Papaldi, a bartender from Philly, who wanted to be on the EAGLES’ football team, tried out, and reached his goal. By some odd quirk of fate, I’ve never seen that movie to date.
I was on the set again this past Sunday in an action-adventure film, and it was an experience, to say the least. The temp here was about 20 degrees, and we were filming outside. Oh, btw, I’ve actually only played extras in movies, so, I’m not really an actor, I was just frontin’. However, by being on he set, it allows me to get the inside scoop on making films, as that is my true desire – to one day make a movie or two, or three.
The reason that I mentioned the extra work in movies is that in this failing economy, with so many folks out of work or in between jobs, it can become a lucrative venture, with a minimum of work. Yes – Freedom got paid for being a nameless, nearly faceless body in a movie. So can you. There is no experience necessary, and there is little to no upfront money to put out. Now, when I say “upfront money”, I simply mean the expense of obtaining an 8×10 glossy of oneself and getting it to the right people. Two things that are definitely required are a driver’s license (or state photo ID), and a Social Security card (not a copy, nor just the number – but the card itself). Where does one start? First, you GOOGLE “casting directors” for your city. Beware: casting directors are in for the money and are always offering classes, seminars, and the like at a fee. Unless you plan to make acting a career, don’t waste your money – non-participation does not disqualify you for work. Secondly, you visit their webpage and sign-up (it’s free). At that point, you can sit back and wait for a call or you can check back now and then to see what’s happening. Oftentimes, they have a “cattle call” in which they put an ad in the paper asking for extras to show up. Therefore, it pays to check.
Here’s a little tidbit to remember: just because you qualify, don’t be too quick to join the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG). I currently have three (3) film credits, which qualifies me to become a member. First and foremost, the entry fee is $2277, plus a yearly fee of $58!! Secondly, after becoming a member, you are only allowed to do “extra work” a few times during the year. That means that if you intend to make “extra work” a lucrative venture, joining will not be of much benefit to you. There are, however, advantages to being a member of SAG, such as preferential treatment, no long lines to stand in, and prominent parts in movies. I have no interest in obtaining a “featured” role, therefore, I never joined. To be forthright about it, unless you intend to get into the field of acting, I’d say don’t bother.
A typical day on the set as an extra involves hours of reading your favorite book, catching up on homework or that office work that you brought home, or finishing a ton of cryptograms puzzles. Yes – there is an awful lot of “downtime” and waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Needless to say, one has to have a bit of patience. This past weekend, as I stated, it was 20 degrees outside. The building in which we waited (appropriately named “holding”) was cold. We filmed on the subway and IT was cold. On the set of “INVINCIBLE”, we filmed during the summer. We sat in a non-covered football stadium with temperatures soaring to 104 degrees!!! Believe it or not, I enjoyed the heat. I hated the cold of this past weekend with a passion. Why did I endure it all? Did I mention that Freedom got paid? For doing nothing?
There is another very valuable perk to being on the set – the food!! Breakfast is usually very boring. Lunch mostly turns out much better, but the dinners!!! Oh, the dinners!!! If you are lucky enough to get called to a major motion picture set, bring your appetite and hope that filming runs through dinner time. You won’t regret it in the least.
Well, there you have it. Are you out of work or in between jobs? Do you find yourself with a bit of time on your hands? Most work is done on the weekends, so if you work but have weekends off, it can still be of benefit to you. So, what in the world are you waiting for? Get out there and get your 15 minutes of fame! GOOGLE!!!!
Like COUNTING CROWS say in “MR. JONES”: “We all wanna be big, big stars”. Peace.
copyright © 2008 freedom
Drama masks from Kempners.
Oscar photo from ptd.net