Monday, September 14, 2009

When I first moved to Dublin, I saw repeated ads for this site called Movie Extras that supposedly finds you work as an extra in local TV and movie productions. I did a search of it, and it seemed like it was legit, so I paid the 89 euro to join. Well, my phone never rang and I got teased by Mark for falling for the scam. Once I ran out of savings, I thought regretfully of that 89 euro. Then I got an email from them saying that my date of birth wasn't listed, and I hadn't been coming up on agents' searches. I quickly updated my profile on the site, and sure enough, a couple of weeks later I got a text asking if I was available to be an extra on the local soap opera, "Fair City."

Was I!! Fair City is only, like, my favorite show! We watch it religiously, and if we miss an episode, we watch it online the next day. So when I got the text, I did a happy dance and texted back YES! I was told to bring 4 casual outfits, and that one scene would take place in McCoy's, the show's pub. No way! McCoys! I was so pumped.

I took the bus to RTE studios, and was told to watch out for a large antenna. I was so excited to be there, I took a photo of it (I had to collage two photos to get it all in):

At ten o'clock, they took me and the other Fair City extras into this waiting room, where I proceeded to sit until one o'clock:

At one, we broke for lunch and I went over to "the canteen," and while I was eating, I saw the actress that plays Carol talking on her cell phone outside. Then the guy who plays Paul walked in, wearing a very un-Paul outfit. I also saw another RTE guy, John Kelly, from The View (not to be confused with the American show).

Back in the waiting room, I was clearly the only one truly excited to be there. I had burning questions! Was Bella's limp real? (yes) Do they serve real alcoholic beverages at McCoys? (the beer is real but the spirits are not.) Is the actor who plays Annettes' husband, the American biker dude on the show really American? (no - he's Irish. I knew it!) I was truly jazzed.

Finally they called me and a bunch of other people in for the McCoy's scene. They used some of us, and the rest of us sat on the sidelines while it was filming. We sat next to The Hungry Pig, the burger joint. The set was SO much smaller than it looks on TV. All of the sets were. It's kind of amazing. Then I heard them say they needed one more extra, and the guy came in and chose ME. Finally! But when I walked in, the director said, "They're going to be at the bar talking to Charlie. Get an old man." So I had to go back to my seat, dejected.

Then a couple hours later, they told us all to change into our "Sunday best" for a scene at Vino's, the new tapas bar. I brought casual, but a couple of my outfits were on the dressy side, so I changed. I was called in with the rest, and my job was to walk into the restaurant, pretend to order something of the counter, and be handed a brown paper bag. Now, here's the thing. You have to do absolutely everything *soundlessly* because actually all the background noise of the public places are added in later. So I walked in, had to pantomime my order, and pantomime a thank you. I was so nervous! After all, as a lowly extra I didn't want to be responsible for screwing up the scene and have everyone look at me! But then, during one take, I was handed the bag, but the scene wasn't quite over, so I started to walk out with it, but I didn't want to open the door because I thought it might be to disruptive, so I kind of hesitated, and made a face. WHOOPS! They re-shot the end of the scene. No one said it was because of me, but I think it was. Oh well!

Then I was in another Vino's scene where I had to sit at a table with two guys and pretend to have dinner. The funny part about that was they put plates of food in front of you, but don't give you silverware. They poured each of us this sparkling grape juice that smelled about a week old. We had to pretend to drink it. One of the guys at my table would only nod, so the other guy and I had to pantomime the entire conversation. It was fun! We did about five takes. My back was to the camera the entire time. But I loved being there and I hope I get called again. When the show is on, I will definitely post screen shots!

Also, speaking of extras, I thought I would pass this along. There are a couple of local TV shows looking for audience members:

The programme is based on the hit TV3 show The Apprentice. They are looking for audience members for this Thursday in Swords. It follows a similar format to the UK Apprentice You’re Fired.
You can download an application form at

GLAS VEGAS – TG4 (filmed in RTE studios, Dublin)
They are currently looking for audience members for the fourth series of 'Glas Vegas', a TG4 variety show to be recorded this September in RTÉ studios, Dublin. Tickets are FREE and each show promises to be both weird and wonderful! There are five shows in total available so there's bound to be one that suits and you'll be well looked after in the RTÉ studios!
For more information check out -


  1. That is way cool. My sister, a famous TV actor! :-)

  2. It looks like you proved to Mark that answering the call of an ad some times gets you a dream come true. I am sure you enjoyed the hell out of it.
    I have to say it looks like it took a lot of "hutspa"(?) to get through the waiting and keeping track of what was really going on. It seems, and I am not surprised, you are a very observant young woman. I guess you really do know all about that particular show. Question, and tell the truth, when you were called for the scene in the bar and when you were turned away, did you, even for a moment, wish you were a little old man?
    It's a great narration and I enjoyed reading about your dreaming.

  3. Well, I did wish I was an old man for a split second, that's for sure! The waiting wasn't so bad -- I had a pretty good book, and had some nice conversation with some of the other extras. So I wouldn't mind doing it again soon!