Recently, I was faced with a question. Drive to Norman, Oklahoma and spend all day on a film set where I would have no lines and end up just fading into the background as an extra for a mere seventy-five dollars. It was going to cost about half that in gas just to get there. What good was this really going to do me? How much on set experience would I really gain and would it even get me noticed by anyone? Well after a short, but valuable, conversation with my mother I decided to take the chance and go. What happened next was, well, interesting.
I arrived on set at ten in the morning per the casting director’s notes. I walked around clueless for a good fifteen minutes and eventually found my way to the green room where all the actors were getting ready. There I sat for about four hours doing nothing and talking to no one. I kept thinking, “Well, I made the wrong choice.” Lunch came and we all filled up on Panda Express and shortly after I was approached. The woman looked me up and down and said, “You’re a judge now.” Okay, let me backup. I can’t say what the film is or really anything specific about it, but what I can tell you is that it is a sports competition type film and I was to play a judge for this particular sport. Still no lines. Still in the background, but now I was going to be featured pretty regularly on camera. That was a big bump in exposure, but not in pay. Unfortunately.
Had I said no to the chance in the first place I would have never been bumped up to a more prominent position in the film. I had doubts, but what this experience taught me is that sometimes you just have to go with your gut and something the night before told me that I should go for it and take a chance. As a result I got a better role and a whole extra day on set. Also, I got to meet some cool people and other area actors and actresses who I am not networked with and those connections could lead to more opportunities. Planting those seeds (See The Seeds We Sow) Not only did I get that chance, but I witnessed two guys who showed up to be extras in the crowd in full body paint get featured in the film because they took a chance and went that extra mile to be “big fans.” Pretty cool for them!
Next time you are met with a question or have some sort of doubt about a situation like this, as in something that applies to your world and life, ask your gut and see if it tells you to forget about those doubts. I find that in many cases, more often than not, typically, most of the time, your doubts are wrong and opening yourself up brings better things than you imagined.