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You have to start at the bottom. Or do you?

Updated: Jan 3

It amazes me how many talented performers undervalue themselves.


"I'll start as an extra and work my way up".


Please don't.


If you think of yourself as an extra then you will always be that extra.


Extra work is not a vehicle by which to build an acting career. Extras are extras because they enjoy being extras. Nothing more.


Everyone has heard how someone was "discovered" on set. Really? You actually have more chance being "discovered" in an audition room where your hardworking agent has introduced you to a casting director. Or on set in a small (not extra) but noticeable role. No-one notices extras. They are "white noise". Essential and hard working but not noticeable or noticed.


A "starting at the bottom" attitude tells me and anyone else in the industry that you don't have faith in yourself. You don't think you are "good" enough to compete for the bigger roles. Or maybe that you are lacking in confidence. Neither of those are going to make me what to represent you.


If you don't believe in yourself, why should |?


If you have talent and have done some training - even a relatively small amount, there is a good chance you can start out as a commercial actor at the very least.


Believe me the pay is better and you have a 100% better chance of being "discovered". At worst you are building a relationship with industry players - the casting team, the director, the producer, the makeup and wardrobe team, the AD's etc etc. All of these people remember great "talent". They remember people they enjoyed working with. They remember a good performance even if there is no dialogue. So when they are next talking about their next project, they might remember you and mention you. It happens more often than you might think.


If you are an extra on set you are essentially invisible. That's often why some like being extras. They enjoy the onset experience and


they don't want to be noticed.


If you are an aspiring actor then that is the exact opposite of what you want.


As an agent, if someone applies to become a client and they have only extra work on their resume I regard them as inexperienced. Sure you have some onset experience but being onset as an extra is a whole different experience. I would rather a resume with some credible training and no actual work than a resume with a load of extra roles.


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These posts will be short reflections on my opinions. Some will be advisory, some just opinion. Sometimes it will be just a comment on something that has happened in the industry or within my agency.