To Do or Not to Do: The Joys of Background Work
January 20, 2013
Your friends tell you 'no way!', your agent says it's a career killer, yet you hear little stories about someone meeting someone on a set, then bingo, magic happens and now they're starring in a new series--so you torture yourself: "Should I do it? Should I spend my days doing background work?"
And the answer? Absolutely yes.
Everyone has a different opinion on it, but any day that you can spend on a professional movie set, is a good day. You just never know who you may meet, or what you may learn by spending time on a professional set.
Yes, it's very unrewarding work. On a good day, you're being treated as movable furniture.
But the heart of the magic of the movie business lies in the relationships you make a long the way. At the very minimum, you know signing up for background work that everyone else doing background work along with you shares a love of the entertainment business. Most of the production assistants that you come into direct contact with have hopes and dreams, just like you do, of 'bigger and better things'.
It's true that you may end up being booked on something when a big audition comes through at the last moment. That's always frustrating. It's also true that you shouldn't be advertising your love of background work with your agent (and especially not casting directors),
but any day that you can wake up and be on a professional movie set, it's a good day.
Everyone's journey to 'making it' in this business is as unique as each star in the sky, and so at the end of the day you have to make decisions that make you feel comfortable.
Just never forget Hollywood is a business of relationships--it's a business where friends and colleagues get you your next job, so the more of those who know and like you, the higher your chances are of long term success.
So toss that unneeded social snobbery aside, and go sign up with Central Casting today! The unlikely path in front of you very well may end up leading to a pot of gold! :)
The Actors Only Team.
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