Background acting

I haven’t written in a few days because the girl who lived in my room before me hadn’t paid the cable bill in several months and they finally cut the line. This action unfortunately coincided with the one unsecured wireless network in range disappearing.

But I’m back, and I’m glad, because I get to report this: David Boreanaz is just as dreamy in real life as he is on TV, if not dreamier.

I did my first background acting gig today, for the television series “Bones.” I was on the set for close to 12 hours. The upside of this is that they fed us three times and gave us a few hours of overtime pay on our minimum wage salary. The downside is everything else.

I was under the impression there was a lot of downtime at these things, so I was excited to get lots of reading and perhaps writing done. Unfortunately, I could only carry a book or notepad in the “holding area” where I spent maybe an hour, and, understandably, not on the actual set, where I spent far, far longer.

And yet this wasn’t the most annoying thing. Neither was the constant standing in uncomfortable shoes, nor the lack of anything happening for about 95% of the time. (In case you’ve never read about it, here’s the skinny on movie-making: it’s really fucking boring.) But no, the idle standing wasn’t the most annoying thing. The most annoying thing was the starry-eyed dreamers. The desperate-but-perky wannabe actors who constitute a large portion of the background actor industry. There might be something endearing about these types, the ones who are ever hopeful of catching their big break, who keep plugging away for months and years, who never let go of their dream and keep that sparkle in their eye and are maybe just a tad self-deluded. It might be endearing, but for one thing: they never shut up.

A background actor has two responsibilities. One, take an honest stab at acting for the one or two seconds that you appear on camera. And two, shut the hell up the rest of the time. The actors, the really persistent go-getters who can’t wait to be a part of Hollywood magic, don’t seem to understand this second part. They’ll talk during downtime, they’ll talk when the director’s giving instruction, they’ll talk, in some cases, when tape is rolling. I wanted to ask them if they thought perhaps the reason they haven’t found more success might have something to do with the fact that they can’t be bothered to bring the slightest semblance of professionalism to even the simplest of gigs. I wanted to ask them that, but I remembered my second responsibility, and anyway was distracted by David Boreanaz’s hotness.

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One Response to “Background acting”

  1. ranting2006 Says:

    I’ve always liked David Boreanaz because he seems like a regular guy. I’ve read his blog, and love the way he talks about his family and about normal stuff.

    I think he actually has a recent post on his blog about being on the set. I may have to go back and read it and see if he mentioned an exceptionally quiet background actor who spent a lot of time in the holding area holding a notebook while telling all the other actors to shut up. 🙂 LOL

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