Is An Extra?
(by AM Staff)
An extra is an actor who
acts in a film/movie,
television or theatre
production, and usually
doesn't have a speaking
role. Extras perform in
the background of a scene
to give the illusion that
a scene is real life. For
example, the lead actor
in a movie might go into
He may greet the bank guard as he
enters the bank. He may stand in line with other bank
customers. And, he may have his bank transaction performed
by the bank teller. In this example, the bank guard,
customers and bank teller would be considered extras,
particularly if they don't have significant speaking
Some extras do have very small speaking roles. For example,
in the previous example, the bank teller might briefly
speak to the lead character about the weather. In this
example, the bank teller would be considered a featured
extra, because the teller is still a nameless character in
the movie, which means the teller is still considered an
extra, but they are "featured" extras because they had a
brief speaking role.
Working As An Extra
If you are new to acting
or looking to break into movies as an actor, you should
consider working as an extra. Working as an extra is a
great way for actors to begin their careers. For
starters, you could gain valuable experience. Secondly,
actors are able to gain credits that can go on their
résumés. Third, actors get to network with other actors.
Lastly, actors get to earn a little extra money.
Working on a film set as an extra can help an actor
gain valuable experience. Actors get to see how movies
are made, including all the lighting, camera and
technical work involved.
Extra work is a great early
résumé-builder. Working as an extra allows actors to
gain credits they can use on their résumés. Extras are
able to build their acting résumés by detailing which
movies they have been a part of and which part they
Working as an extra allows actors
to meet and network with other actors. There is a lot of
downtime for extras, which could mean lots of time to
meet and compare notes with peers.
Most beginning actors are starving
artists. That is, most actors don’t make much money
right away. While it doesn’t pay much, working as an
extra is an easy way for actors to earn some money.