Monday, August 6, 2012

My day on the set of House of Cards ~ Hooray for HollyWirk

What do Gwyneth Paltrow, Annette Bening, and I all have in common?  We all worked with Kevin Spacey!  Yeah, yeah, yeah...  I know what you're thinking, and you're right.  They're big stars!  Well, there's plenty of room in this universe for everyone to shine, and I got my "sparkle on" on Friday in Baltimore.

Last Sunday I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be in a TV show or movie.  In 2009 I was chosen to be an extra for the movie, "Just Wright".  I couldn't work the three days though since work sent me to London.  For some reason, last weekend, I decided I wanted to try again.

On Sunday, I searched for casting agencies that were looking for background actors and submitted three former Facebook profile pictures, along with my age, weight, and sizes to them via E-mail.  I noted that I was non-union, and waited for a reply.

Sure enough on Monday, I got the call from Central Casting that I could work on Friday.  The show, "House of Cards" will star Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.  It's being shot in DC and Maryland from what I can tell...

When the casting people called, originally I had a call time of 8PM, and I was "background with car".  Then I received another call asking if I could play a pedestrian.  Ultimately, I got a call around 9AM, saying that someone dropped out, and I was asked to report at 2PM and to drive my own car in the scene(s).  By the way, it pays extra if you're asked to use you car.  I'm not sure how the editing will eventually work out, but who knows...  You may see me and/or my car in the episode!

By 2PM, I had parked my car (i.e. per my instructions) in the garage and hopped in a white shuttle van to holding.  When I arrived at holding, I was told to repark my car on the set.  No problem.  I hopped back in the van and moved my car to the set.  Then I walked a couple of blocks back to holding, where I received my paperwork.  I met the other folks who were driving, and then we went to craft services to get some food before heading to the set.  I presume it's because of the long hours, but they call it breakfast.  There were hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, union rings, salad, fruit, etc.  We grabbed our food and we were off to the set.  

Eventually, I saw Kevin Spacey and other background workers on the set.  We, drivers, received walkie talkies so we could hear our cues to drive.  For about 3 hours, I drove a route and made u-turns.  I got to sit in my car, in a cool 66 degrees, while the background actors sweated it out in 90+ degree weather.  The crew passed out water bottles and that was a welcome treat!

I was in a prime position to watch Kevin Spacey get his make up touched up in between takes.  He had a fan to keep him cool while they were touching up his make-up, otherwise he would've melted like the other people who were outside!  

If you're an extra, you're not supposed to take pictures on the set or of the actors, so don't do it.  Trust me, it's not cool and other people were scolded for doing so.  You don't want that embarrassment.

At around 8, we wrapped and they brought out the pizza for us.  Some extras got upset when they tried to eat the sushi that was for the crew, and were told that it wasn't for them.  That's life people.  The crew needs to eat too, and they're probably union.  Some people just need to be happy that they're picked to be a part of the experience!

If you have the show biz bug and want to go "Hollywood" for a day, my best advice is GO FOR IT!!!



  1. Very cool, Sarah! Do you plan to continue to find gigs like this?

  2. Schedule permitting, I don't see why not. Thank you, Nuvs!