Friday, March 1, 2024

How A lot Do Extras Get Paid? Questions About Extras Answered

Most critical actors who’ve performed extras work don’t like to attract consideration to that reality. After the joy and thrill of the extras work is gone—being on set, working round well-known actors— actuality units in. They understand there’s nothing glamorous about being an additional. 

But below the precise circumstances, being an additional generally is a good strategy to make cash. In immediately’s publish, I’ll reply the commonest questions I hear from actors about extras work. 

 Film grew working on a western-themed film set



How A lot Do Extras Get Paid?


Extras work pay varies with the kind of manufacturing you might be part of. Most firms pay a every day charge as an alternative of an hourly charge. Extras on TV and movie units pay $174/ day, whereas business extras receives a commission $338.40/ day.

Extras with particular talents, or those that will be choreographed doing sure actions like swimming or skating, receives a commission a bit extra. Extras who convey their very own wardrobe or props, do their very own make-up, or are driving of their half additionally get pay bumps. These charges, although removed from what a talking function pays, aren’t dangerous both.


Can I Be a part of The Union With Extras Work?


Regardless of the pay, the one cause it is best to wish to do extras work is to acquire the SAG vouchers it’s worthwhile to turn into SAG eligible. Aside from that, there is not any different cause it is best to concern your self with background work if you wish to be an actor. You might assume the pay is value it or you can study sufficient on set earlier than touchdown “critical” roles, however that’s not the truth.

When you get your union vouchers, end the job and do not look again. Alternatively, If you happen to’re not a critical actor, otherwise you’re retired and simply wish to have enjoyable with the expertise, it’s undoubtedly not the worst gig. There’s loads of meals to eat (and it is normally not that dangerous), the pay will be respectable and, since you are not critical about performing, it may be one thing to brag about. 


“You might assume that the pay is value it or you can study sufficient on set earlier than attending to the intense stuff, however that’s not the truth.”


Can Doing Extras Work Damage My Profession?


In brief: sure, it might.

Right here’s the reality: when a director sees somebody as an additional, they’re already trying down on them and don’t take them severely as an actor. If you happen to act such as you’ve obtained one thing to show and put your self on the market throughout work hours, individuals could gravitate in the direction of you. However there’s all the time a standing recreation that folks play when coping with extras.

The world has, fortunately, modified for the reason that Me Too Motion. Studios have been adamant about distributing and following pointers on sexual harassment— it’s a really delicate difficulty on movie units in comparison with even simply 10 years in the past. The times of going to any individual’s trailer are over and individuals are extra assured in reporting shady conduct.

As a supervisor who has actors taking part in collection common roles, I’ve been sending out quite a lot of paperwork containing pointers about this matter. I’d advise you to not use background work to fulfill individuals considering the networking will jumpstart your profession. None of that’s real looking. The expertise is best than nothing, but it surely shouldn’t be an finish aim. 

There are different avenues you should utilize after you get your SAG card to interrupt into the enterprise. My Mastering the Enterprise of Performing collection goes in-depth about these avenues and how you can take full benefit of every potential path you select to go down.  


Cameraman filming a two men sitting at a bar.



Let me put this one other method: on set, extras are on the backside of the totem pole. A lot so, that folks just like the assistant administrators who deal with extras will take out their dangerous days on them. There’s an previous joke that exhibits how a lot extras are valued that goes, “What’s the distinction between a prop and an additional? You don’t need to feed an additional.”

Don’t get me flawed, there are good background jobs on the market. For instance, if you may get on a gentle present and also you’re one of many clients that go right into a retailer usually, that might be a extremely good job. Typically you possibly can shine by way of together with your function and presumably seize the eye of these in cost, which may result in one thing larger down the highway. It has occurred.

But being an additional is a job that I can solely suggest for retirees. Though, I might by no means see why anybody who has retired would wish to put up with the BS that may occur on set. I undoubtedly can’t suggest kids do extras work, though there’ll all the time be a requirement for the demographic on particular initiatives.



As a working actor, who has performed many productions in lead and supporting roles in main TV, I’ve by no means discovered happening set, if I am not in it, to be a nice expertise. I can solely keep in it for therefore lengthy. After that, like many different actors, we really feel prefer it’s boring and query our presence there. I do know that many different managers and brokers prefer to go on set, however I do not take care of it. I believe if it’s not your set, it’s not enjoyable regardless of how large the manufacturing is. The great expertise solely lasts about an hour and might get previous rapidly.

I’ve very seldom ever heard an additional say that they get a pure excessive on set like how actors get. The job function loses the luster and one realizes that there isn’t as a lot glamour as one anticipated at first. So do background work in case you should, however provided that it’s essential to. 

There’s Extra to Performing Than “Performing”

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