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Working as an extra can help your career if you want to work in TV!

Working as an extra can help your career if you want to work in TV!

Working as an extra can help your career if you want to work in TV!

Working as an extra might not get you noticed by directors – but it will certainly provide extremely valuable experience for anyone planning on developing a career in drama, TV or films.

As an extra you are part of the background crowd, and are not expected to stand out. Extras may sometimes be asked to speak a few words, or undertake a specific role if they have a relevant skill such as horse riding or ice skating.

Industry experts believe working as an extra is a great way to gain set experience, discover how directors and lighting specialists work on the set, to learn how to work under the lights, and to learn from watching principal actors at work. The general recommendation is simple – do the work you are requested to do, show up on time no matter what the weather or traffic problems may be, and be prepared to learn.

Don’t forget, it is also a useful way of gaining some extra income while auditioning and searching for long term roles that will develop your acting career.

Remember too, it is not just actors fresh from drama school who work as extras. There are opportunities for many other people, especially if they have specific skills or props available to register for work as an extra and earn some cash. It can be an interesting, challenging day’s work watching a film, TV programme or promotional activity develop.

It can sometimes provide several days or weeks of work especially if a TV series is being filmed with regular scenes such as a student walking through a school corridor.

Have patience since it can be repetitive, and there is usually lots of waiting around – which gives time for you to watch and learn, or even catch up on books that you want to read, or even online course material.

Above all, bear in mind, that you what you get out of any job is exactly what you put into it. If you look at every job as an opportunity to learn, to discover something new then you will benefit both in the short term and the long term.

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