If you look behind actor David Keith’s right shoulder, you’ll see me sitting at the bar!
As many of my family and friends know, I have worked as a background actor in several television shows, a couple of movies and a music video over the past few years. In other words, I’m an extra. It’s not something I planned on doing, but once I had the opportunity later in life, I took it.
Even as a young child, I have always loved reading, writing and watching television shows and movies. I was also interested in celebrities, news and current events. So I took Journalism classes in high school, served as Co-Editor of my high school’s newspaper staff and became interested in Broadcast Journalism.
In college, I majored in Radio/Television at Arkansas State University with the intent of working in the communications field. After receiving a MA Degree in Technical and Expository Writing at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, I worked as a Technical Writer for over 20 years.
After taking early retirement from my job in 2015, my youngest daughter graduated from high school and went to college out of state and my oldest daughter graduated from college and moved to Boston for work, I began focusing on my writing and blogging. One day in October 2015, I received a Facebook notification from a friend from college about extras needed that week for a few scenes that were being filmed again for the Christian movie God’s Not Dead 2.
The movie, the second one in the God’s Not Dead series, stars Melissa Joan Hart as a teacher and Jesse Metcalfe as a lawyer, and was filmed in the central Arkansas area during the summer of 2015. The production company needed to do some re-shots and advertised for extras. I worked as a protester on the film for one day, along with one of my sorority sisters from college, and I loved it!
I’m wearing a white tank top while yelling at young actors portraying high school students during a protest rally at the Arkansas State Capitol. My Chi Omega sorority sister, Paulette, is standing behind me wearing a blue shirt and glasses.
In April 2019 I had the opportunity to do one of the things I’ve always wanted to do – appear as a background actor in a Hallmark Channel movie! The movie, Wedding at Graceland, stars actors/singers Kellie Pickler and Wes Brown and is a follow up film to the very popular Christmas at Graceland movie that aired on the Hallmark Channel in December 2018.
I am registered with On Location Casting and received the notification through Facebook. Once I submitted and was accepted, I received a call time of 6:30 am the next morning at a location in Memphis. I will mention that I had spent the two previous days in Nashville, working as a background actor for the upcoming Lifetime movie, Patsy and Loretta, about the close friendship of Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. That movie is scheduled to appear on Lifetime in October, so I’ll write another blog about that exciting experience as well.
It’s funny that in several of the productions I have appeared in, I’m sitting at a bar. I don’t even go to bars!
Here are some of the things I took away from this experience:
- I absolutely love being involved in television and film productions! Most of the time, I just observe how the production crew and cast work together to produce a completed project.
- Kellie Pickler is sweet, Southern and small! She was so friendly, introducing herself to many of the extras and even taking pictures with some of them! When I work as a background actor in California, we’re told not to approach the main cast members unless they approach you first. On this production, all of the main cast were friendly and approachable.
- One of the best surprises was finding out that one of my favorite actors, Eric Close of Without A Trace, was the director of the movie.
I snapped this photo of Director Eric Close (wearing plaid shirt) between scenes.
It took a total of 12 hours to film what ended up being about a seven minute scene that appears about an hour into the movie. I was also surprised to find out that actor David Keith, who starred in the Academy Award winning movie, An Officer and a Gentleman, played the father of Kellie Pickler’s character, Laurel.
Here I am – dancing at the far left of the screen wearing a long floral dress and pink sweater. I felt like I was at a private Kellie Pickler concert!
Photos from IMDb and Hallmark Channel