After working as an extra on two episodes of the TV show Detroit 197 last summer I was looking forward to my network TV debut. But I was disappointed.
Even though we extras spent a 12-hour work day playing the parts of guests at a wedding in the episode that aired last night, only a very few of us ended up on TV for a very, very short time.
We worked that day in a ballroom completely decked out for a wedding with a huge cake, wrapped gifts, tables with centerpieces, etc... They had employed a band, brought in a troupe of polka dancers, and we extras were all dressed in our best "wedding guest" attire. I was really looking forward to seeing it all on TV, but there was only the briefest shot of the ballroom with hardly any of the guests or the tables in view.
And this seems crazy to me when I think of all the time and effort that went into that faux wedding. There was a woman on the crew whose job it was that day to make the plates look like they'd been eaten on. She came around to the tables distributing plates with what looked like the remains of a dinner - little dabs of potato, some gravy, half a broccoli spear, etc... Another guy came around and half-filled our wine and drink glasses just so.
We'd all spent time standing in line that day waiting our turn with the wardrobe department to make sure we looked our best. I was instructed to wear more jewelry and so picked out some dangly earrings and a bracelet. This required filling out a special form to make sure the jewelry was returned, and standing in line again at the end of the shoot to do so.
So much attention to detail - for nothing! Now I feel silly for telling all my friends and family to watch the show. I was paid for my time as an extra that day, but the money is hardly the point. The point is the fun of seeing yourself on TV. What a disappointment; there wasn't even a glimpse of me.