I was in a bar with Patrick Swayze last night until 12:30AM.
And, if you know who he is, Travis Fimmel, too.
This is because I was an extra in their new pilot for A&E, The Beast. Not for any other reason.
I’ve been an extra on more than 55 productions, and have often been in close proximity to the principals (aka stars). But as a Dirty Dancing fan, seeing PS in person and watching him act in take after take was particularly cool.
Being an extra is rarely glamorous. We waited in a cold, spartan holding area for more than six hours on hard plastic chairs, then were on set–the smoky and cold bar–on and off for several hours. A few people smoked cigarettes (including PS) and they also blew in some fake smoke.
My call time was 12:00PM; we didn’t wrap until 12:30AM. For not a lot of money. But, I enjoyed delicious food (including very tasty salmon and turtle cheesecake), and fun and interesting conversations.
One of the reasons I continue to work as an extra is to observe and be a part of the creative filming process. I got to sit mere feet away from PS and the director. I heard them discuss the various shots and takes and what they needed to do on the next take…it’s interesting to see the personnel interact and make changes. It’s also fun to see the movie or TV show and know what went into producing it.