Philadelphia Pa, all the people you see wandering around the backgrounds of your favorite movies and television shows are called “extras.”
Extras are actors who serve as “dressed background.” They help to sell the idea that a scene is filled with real people just going about their daily business.
Extra work is an often overlooked way to break into the acting business . For a new and inexperienced talent, extra work lets you see how the big time TV and movies productions are done .
Depending on the type, size and budget of the production, the extras may or may not take part in makeup, wardrobe, hair, etc. Often many period pieces will entail that the extras are “fully dressed and fitted” which means that they are provided with costuming by the wardrobe department. More often than not, extras are simply informed beforehand of the type of clothing they will need to bring and asked to furnish it themselves.
You see how the pros do it and get paid to learn how to act like a real professional in the industry .When you are new to the industry, no matter how many books you read or classes you take, you can never fully understand the inner workings of a film or television set unless you spend a great deal of time on one.
The best reason to take a job working as an extra is it gives you the ability to network with dozens of fellow people who are all trying to break into the industry in one capacity or another. The contacts you make here might lead to a number of other opportunities down the line as many of the people you come across could perhaps find success in their niche and thus be able to help you in your own career endeavors.