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Casting 101: How to become an extra in a movie or show

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TWC News: Casting 101: How to become an extra in a movie or show
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WILMINGTON--This summer marks the busiest Wilmington has been with film work in years, and that means there are plenty of opportunities for people to work as extras on the sets of movies and shows.

Jennifer Anderson is a school teacher, but decided to use her summers off to follow her dream of acting."I've been on One Tree Hill for about three episodes, East Bound and Down for three episodes, an anti-smoking commercial, an independent film and recently, a big major motion picture that's filming here in Wilmington," she said.

So what does it take to stand out when thousands apply? Director of Casting for Hollywood East Casting David Schifter says it's not about looking like any certain type. "Forget about the Hollywood look. It doesn't exist anymore. It doesn't matter if you're tall, short, skinny, fat, it doesn't matter."

All you need to do is send two photos of yourself, one of your face and one full body shot. Schifter said if you are just trying to be an extra, you don't need a professional head shot. He recommends even using your phone to snap a photo.

Once you've landed a job, act professionally. Anderson explained, "During a production you are not allowed to take pictures. That's a huge no no. You're not allowed to post anything on Facebook."

Expect to work long hours, and the pay is nothing you should expect to live off of. You would probably only make between $50 and $75 for one day of work. "Nobody retires being an extra," Schifter laughed. "It's extra money. It's that experience on a set."

So, if you are thinking about applying to be an extra, Anderson said your main goal should just be to have an enjoyable experience. "It is fun to see how movies are made and to get to see some of the stars that are there, but no, it's not a very glamorous job," she said.

Applications for extras are still being accepted for the filming of Iron Man 3 in Wilmington. To submit an application, send two photos of yourself, one head shot and one full body shot, your height and weight, hair and eye color and clothing sizes to Caged Heat Extras

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