Background Extras: Where to start…

billy in robin williams movie (5)  back of my head in robin williams movieIMG_5269 (4)
Photos from ‘Boulevard’ Movie, (1) Billy in the opening credits scene, playing solitaire at a table behind Robin Williams and his ‘father’ in the movie, at the nursing home.
(2) Back of my head in the movie ‘Boulevard’, shown sitting at a table with another background actor to my right, as Robin Williams gets off the elevator, turns the corner and walks down the hallway to his ‘father’s’ nursing home room. (As it turns out, these are the only times either Billy or I were seen in the movie, even though we were probably there about 12 hours or so.)

Hubby and I are both retired after spending most all of our working lives in and around Nashville TN USA. And, really., I don’t recall what made me sign us up to be ‘background
extras’ with ‘On Location Casting’ on Facebook. But I did in early September 2012, then almost mid-year of 2013, I received a phone call on my cell phone from the lady who was head of OLC, asking if we wanted to and could be in a new movie that actor Robin Williams was filming in Nashville as background actors. We were at my husband’s sister’s house, for him mowing her lawn when I got the call. I discussed it with him, then told the lady on the phone, ‘Sure!’.

So began our adventures into ‘background acting’ in movies and some TV shows in the Nashville area. The movie ‘Boulevard’ (which turned out to be Robin Williams’ last movie) was being filmed on that day, June 8, 2013,  at the defunct ‘Clover Bottom’ home’ in Donelson, Tennessee.

There were several more background actors present that day, but several of them never  even ‘saw any action’ in the scenes being filmed on that day. We were there until after 12 midnight (I forget the ‘call time’ that morning, but it was early, I think)

This is part of the email I received about our booking for our very first acting project:

Subject: You ARE BOOKED for work on FRIDAY 6/7/13 as a SENIOR RESIDENT for the feature film “Boulevard”

 — GREAT! Thank you for your response.  PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL CAREFULLY

You ARE BOOKED for work on FRIDAY 6/7/13 as a SENIOR RESIDENT for the feature film “Boulevard”.   You are BOOKED and this is your official BOOKING CONFIRMATION!!

From that time forward, we tried at different times to be on the Nashville TV show when it began filming a new season (Season 2) again in July. Our first ‘gig’ on Nashville was in a few months…more on that later in my story…

This is from one of the emails early in our ‘background extras’ career:

WHAT TO EXPECT: During filming you will be asked to follow various instructions given by the Assistant Directors which may include: cheering, applauding, singing along to performance and from time to time moving around the arena. You will be asked to act naturally as you would in a concert setting. During breaks in filming there will be an MC to let you know what is going on, entertain you and give away prizes. Simply bring a great attitude and get ready for loads of fun! (Note: this one was a ‘volunteer’ concert audience…not paid as we later got to go do.)

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Boulevard by Lionsgate $7.99

robin williams



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