Monday, November 16, 2009

Kid Extras

I'll admit I have a wicked double standard about background work. I have my justification for doing it, but I'm pretty judgemental about people outside of my age range. That's hugely hypocritical because I cognitively understand the need for all types and ages of people to create the setting.

Nonetheless, I feel sorry for older people who do this and "professional extras." I can't imagine working background for more than a few years, let alone ten or twenty! I would not ALLOW my parents to do it based on the possibility of being treated poorly. And nothing is worse than seeing a 70 or 80 year old person standing in wardrobe and check out lines and spending the day on a folding chair, under a pop up tent in a parking lot.

Then there are the kids...

I began this post last week when there were child extras for the carnival scene of "Heroes." Today the situation is on steroids!

I'm in a lovely auditorium at Collge of the Canyons in Santa Clarita for a brand new FOX comedy, "Sons of Tucson." The episode is about a kiddie dance pagent and I am unhappily a background stage mom.

There are several background kids as well as some featured dancer kids who were booked from auditions. As I've alluded, background is a lot of sitting around in a holding area then when you are on set it's usually walking back and forth over and over and over... It's not fun. You have to be quiet on set and can't excuse yourself to the restroom when you need to. I can't imagine a child enjoying the experience.

The likelihood of being discovered on set is not as high as we'd all like it to be. Why then would a kid want to do it? Moreover, what kind of horrible parent decides that being a pathetic extra is more important than having their child in school?! There is a "school" on set and the children are required to spend at least three hours there.

Some of my fellow adult background and I wonder how they can possibly cater to the various academic levels of these students who they know for only a day.

A parent must be on set at all times; I overheard a mom mention her husband was elsewhere on set. Who the hell are these people that they can both be here with a child who's only making $134 for up to 8 hours of extra work? I just don't get it... I do this consistantly to pay my bills; a kid should be in real school. I do this to earn my way into the union to get an agent; cute kids can get an agent with ease.

Thankfully no one is glitzed up for a kiddie beauty pageant, as that would make me vomit. (Yea, I did pageants, but not until I was 17 and it wad completely my idea.) However there are little boys and girls in sparkly dance costumes. I am not a dancer, and while I know it's normal for that world, I find mascara and rouge and curly updos on seven year olds very unsettling!

When I started this post last week on "Heroes" I was bitching about kid extras. Today as I see both the featured talent and child background all dolled up, I just don't like or understand children in entertainment in any capacity! I feel like all they're learning is hair and makeup, competition and the idea that the world revolves around them.

And now a few of the real stage moms have sat down behind me... I could listen in to develope my character, but I think I'd rather go visit the craft service table. (Thats Hollywood speak for food!)

*Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone*

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