Filtering by Category: Acting

Went to my First Thrift Store Today

As an adult, anyway. No, this trip was not influenced by Macklemore. I think. 

I do a lot of background acting in North Carolina (you can see me in We're the Millers, Revolution, Under the Dome, etc.), and, as a background actor, you're often expected to bring your own wardrobe. The more options you have, the better. You generally can't have anything too bright or with logos/images, and, in my case, that greatly limits what I can bring. I often have to take my brother's clothes, so I've been slowly building up a new wardrobe for myself, primarily for background work, but also because I've been wanting to change up my style anyway.


Sorry, Giant Bomb Emporium, but your shirts are too flashy.

Sorry, Giant Bomb Emporium, but your shirts are too flashy.

I read a post on Facebook about one background actor who makes a trip to a thrift store every week or so, limiting themselves to spending $1. That sounded like a great way to quickly build up my new clothing collection, so, for the first time, I dropped by my local shop that I've passed numerous times over the past couple of years. I donated four pairs of pants my brother gave me as the logos were too big for me to wear on set and then went to the back to browse. I came away with two pairs of pants for $1 and a like-new garment bag (along with the two hangers and U.S. Army garrison cap inside) for $3, making for $4 total. Not bad! I've been badly needing a proper garment bag as my clothes would often wrinkle on the two to three-hour drives I often have to take to set, and carrying them around was always a hassle. I suspect I got a better deal because of the pants I donated as she originally wasn't going to charge me for the clothing. I didn't feel right about that and told her to charge me what she thought was fair.

The store also had a PlayStation and PlayStation 2 I briefly considered picking up, but they didn't have any cables or controllers. There were also some older games, like SSX Tricky for the Xbox. As I drove away, I fantasized about what it would have been like to find a fully working Dreamcast and a copy of Shenmue. I wouldn't be writing this right now, that's for sure! 


Now that I have my garrison cap, it's time to hit up the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist and pick up women looking for military guys. I should probably shave first, right?

My default Casual Encounters face. Works every time.

My default Casual Encounters face. Works every time.


On August 8th I made the following tweet:

The post I made on Twitter on August 8th, 2012.

There wasn't any particular reason for me to feel that way; it was just a feeling.

Three days later, on the 11th, I was looking up behind-the-scenes videos of The Dark Knight Rises. The first one I came across took place during the football scene as someone in the crowd was filming the explosions set off by Bane. Through that, I found a YouTube channel where a guy in Pittsburgh had recorded over 50 videos of various TDKR sets along with a few scenes being filmed there. What stood out to me the most was just how close people that weren't working on the film were able to get to the cast and crew during production, or even to vehicles and props used. It seemed odd, so I looked into it, and came across a site called Before the Trailer. It was there that I saw We're the Millers, a comedy starring Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston, was filming in Wilmington, North Carolina, which is only a couple of hours away from me. The website is always looking for photos of sets and actors, and I toyed with the idea of driving to Wilmington to watch them film. I decided not to as I would feel weird standing off set like that staring at people as they're trying to work. Afterward, I saw that Before the Trailer also posts casting information, including that for background actors (extras). I soon learned that Wilmington is, apparently, a popular place for filming movies and television shows, a fact my brother has known for a year now but never told me. If only I knew sooner, I could have been in Iron Man 3! Perhaps I'll be able to do Captain America 2...

After a little more research, I found Facebook pages for various casting agencies in the North Carolina area, which seems to be their main way of posting job info. I created a Facebook account - after a year of not having one - to follow the pages more closely and researched how to apply for roles properly. Four days later, on the 15th, I had gotten a role as an extra on Revolution, and then, on the 20th, I got a role on We're the Millers. I'll be writing and releasing separate posts for these and any more of my acting experiences as the movies/shows come out.

My only prior experience with acting is doing three musicals during my time in middle school and taking a drama class in high school. The first two musicals were at the Junction City Little Theater in Kansas, while the final (and worst) one was at Fort Riley Middle School. Only the first play I did, Kilroy Was Here, was any good. I'll write more about these sometime in the future. Of course, acting in a musical and doing background acting are completely different things, and I'll soon be going into more detail on just what a day as an extra can be like.

While this isn't something I'm currently interested in making a career out of (not that I could in North Carolina), I will be taking as many opportunities for background acting as I can. It's a fun diversion that pays well and gives a cool story to tell. Plus, the food is always free and delicious!


A couple of the Google+ posts I made that day.

A couple of the Google+ posts I made that day.