How My Acting Career Started and Ended Within 6 Hours

This past month, Fox Network has been filming one of their new shows, Pitch, in San Diego. The TV series follows Ginny, who becomes the first woman to play in Major League Baseball. The team she plays for? San Diego’s very own Padres, which explains for why Fox brought their production here, rather than staying in Los Angeles.

 

Like any big production, Pitch needed background actors to be extras. So when I saw their casting call for extras in early March, I thought to myself, “It doesn’t hurt try. Plus, I get paid, so what the hell.” I grabbed some of my friends and headed over to fill out some paper work, and to get our headshots taken, and we thought that was the end of that. However, last week I got a call on Tuesday night asking if I could come in the next day to play the Oscar winning role of “a fan,” and of course, I accepted.

 

My day started with a bright and early call time of 7:30 at the set, near the Omni Hotel and Petco Park. When I got there, I sat around in a cold, damp tent (because of course it had to rain the night before) for about an hour filling out some paper work. But it was worth it because after turning in my paper work, I got to go crazy at the amazing craft service they provided for breakfast. So basically I sat there for about thirty minutes, gorging myself with food that was much better than I was accustomed to. After stuffing myself with fresh fruit, pastries, and eggs, I, along with the other extras, was asked to walk by the costuming station and get my costume approved. Adorning jeans, a white t-shirt, and a zip up grey hoodie, I walked by the costuming lady and got a thumbs up for my ensemble, and thought I was good for the day. (Turns out, I wasn’t! Remember this little fun fact because it’s important for later.)

 

Soon after, we were walked to the Omni Hotel, where we were filming our scene for the day. I stood outside the main doors of the hotel with a group of other extras, practicing how to “cheer with no sound” for about an hour. When we were finally ready to film the scene, a costuming lady (different from the one I encountered in the beginning) came around and told us that all jackets and heavy clothing had to be removed because it was supposed to be “eighty-three degree, San Diego weather in July.” I, being the rebel I am, kept on my thin grey hoodie, because I knew I wasn’t allowed to wear plain, solid white because “it didn’t look good on camera.” I also figured that since costuming approved my outfit, I would be okay. Of course, with my luck, the costuming lady marched straight up to me and told me I wasn’t allowed to keep on my hoodie, no matter how thin it was. Flustered and unsure how to respond, I started to take of my hoodie, and when she caught site of my t-shirt, she then started yelling (okay it was more of a loud, stern, talking to in front of all the extras) at me for wearing white when I wasn’t supposed to be. I tried to defend myself by saying the other costuming lady said my outfit was okay when I saw her in the beginning of the day, but she was quick to rebuff me. She stated that she was the main costuming lady, and I should have asked the other one for her name in order to report her to the main one. Her rant went on for about five minutes with her telling me how knowing names was very important in the professional industry, and that I should always ask everyone for their names. All the while, I was standing there awkwardly, not knowing what to do, because this was my first time doing, let alone being yelled at, a professional acting job.

 

After that fiasco ended, I was left outside of the hotel in my controversial white t-shirt, cheering with no sound for the main character Ginny, for about three hours. All in all, I spent basically four hours, filming a thirty second scene. I didn’t really mind though, since the cold, dreary day gave me and the other extras something to bond over, and when the camera was facing us rather than Kylie Bunbury (who plays Ginny) was being her cute adorable self, twerking or waving at us. That, or I was gawking at Ali Larter (my favorite exercise queen Brooke Wyndham from Legally Blonde), as she strut back and forth inside the hotel.

 

It ended up being an amazing and rewarding day. Even when I wasn’t filming a scene, I was sitting around having stimulating conversations with some of the most interesting people in a conference room during down time. They ranged from a man who majored in marine biology, but ended up doing voice acting, to a realtor, who was “an extra on the side every so often” to another man who was actually on the SAG board in San Diego.

 

If you ever have the chance to be an extra on a TV show or a movie, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to do so. Not only was it one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had, but I also learned a lot from it and the people I spent the day with (not to mention the getting paid part was a plus). Just don’t end up wearing solid black, red, or white on the day of filming, because you may get yelled at, and your acting career may come to an end like mine (though I’m probably just being highly dramatic). I’m not exactly sure when Pitch comes out, but when it does, catch me outside the Omni hotel as “a fan!” You know, if they didn’t end up cutting me out because of my fashion choices.