So I went to LOS Angeles back in about 2004, 2005 or so. Things weren’t going too well, but I did get a call to be an extra on a popular TV show which need not be named—not because it was a bad show but partly because that is not necessary.
Anyway, so I get to the place I’m supposed to be and, after they graciously let me change in one of the dressing rooms in a trailer (which immediately had me set the goal of getting into one of those rooms in the three-room dressing trailer), they had me go to extras holding. That, for those who don’t know, is a stage where they put extras who aren’t being used while they shoot the show in, in this case, the next building over.
So there I am. In extras holding. Most of the day. Got called to set but never made it on, for whatever reason. Guess they just didn’t need us. Mostly played Snake on my Nokia candy bar phone, which I think I still have. It was at that moment that I knew I was in the business for right reason: Would rather have done it for free and gotten on camera than have sat all day without getting used. No shade on them—they just didn’t need me/didn’t use me or the other couple of actors in my group. It happens.
Bottom line: To me, it meant I was not in it for the money, though that’s a huge part of it. But as former WWE, now AEW commentator Jim Ross might say, I’m glad for the jersey, but put me in, coach. I wanna play.
Learned a lot that day.