There's been a murder in downtown Los Angeles!
Okay, not really. But I pretended, or acted, like there was. Let me rewind a bit - last week, I signed up for LA Casting, which for the non-actors who read this blog, is a site that takes some basic info about you, and then sends casting notices out to you based on what fits your profile. I started hitting the submissions hard early this week, and lo and behold got a bite back on my submission for Bosch. I was selected for background work as an LAPD officer - if you've never done background or extra work, it's not particularly glamorous - you typically get herded from shot to shot, given simple directions, and try to stay out of everyone's way. You're expected to be on set the entire time, even though you'll likely only be used for 1/16th of the time that you're there for.
However, in defense of background acting, it's a great way to meet people and get some of that movie magic to rub off on you, especially if it's for a bigger show. I had done this kind of work in the Bay Area, and was accustomed to the long hours, little pay, and less-than-stellar Kraft services table, but this was my first gig in LA. And not only that, but we were shooting in downtown. Where the Heat shootout happened, where Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock careened through the streets on that outta-control bus, the skyline that's the backdrop for so many silver screen moments that I watched growing up took place. I packed my things, hopped in my car, and got to set right at my call time.
This felt like my experience as an extra in the Bay Area functionally, but the electricity around the place was something else. As I walked over to wardrobe to get my police officer's uniform, I glance over and see Lance Reddick, Daniels from the Wire and Zavala in Destiny. I was in the buffet line behind Paul Calderon, who stuck in my mind from an episode of Law & Order I watched in college (one of my favorite shows back then - Jerry Orbach was truly a legend). And, after realizing that he was on he show and also the creator of the Think Bigger Summit that I had just signed up for, tweeted and got to meet Dajuan Johnson, a working actor who (I can already tell) gives so much back to the community. (author's note: you might be wondering why I didn't mention Titus Welliver, the star of Bosch - I had one interaction with him, in which I accidentally hit him with some caution tape - I'm not ready to talk about it yet but look for my memoirs in 40 years).
Even though extra work isn't exactly advancing my career, and even though I'm at a point where I should focus the lion's share of my time on exactly that, something about being on that set made me feel like this was right. Getting to know people and their stories and chat with working actors brought a barrier down between me and this profession. Connecting with people, telling stories, being a teensy-weensy cog in this huge production to breathe life into a narrative - whew, that's exhilarating. And that's something I want to do day-in, day-out. All in all, this was such a great shoot, such a positive experience both on a professional and personal level, and I can't wait to keep going down this rabbit hole. Next step? Get an agent.
Oh and by the way - I plan on updating this thing a lot more regularly now. I know you've all been on pins and needles waiting for this to drop ;)