19. To do or not to do background work

One of the ways you can learn about how a film set actually works is by doing background work, or in other words, becoming an EXTRA.  By being present on set (and paying attention!!!), you can learn terminologies, protocols, and about the level of professionalism that is required from cast and crew.  But there is a limit to what you can learn in that environment.  At what rate do you get paid? How long should you do background work?  When should you move on?

And also, if your acting career progresses, and good agents are interested in representing you, then you will be presented with the dilemma of SAG eligibility.  Your agent is going to want you to be a SAG member.  One of the ways to become eligible to join SAG is to receive a certain type of pay voucher from the producers of the film.  What is a Taft-Hartley?  How many do you need to become eligible for SAG?  How do you best avail yourself to receive a SAG voucher?



"Chris’s spectrum of expertise spans from health to performance and all the way to the nitty gritty of survival here. No doubt, his students will leave this class with an edge.”

Lindsay C. Hofmann – TV and Commercial Producer