How to get into television work
Starting off as a Supporting Artiste or Extra can be a good way of initially getting into the TV and Film indusrty as a performer. Whilst not as good as being a principal it can be a good starting point and it still gives you a good opportunity into how to be truthful in a scene, hit marks and how to react to what is being said. It also shows you what amount of work goes into a shoot on a daily basis. It also provides a good networking opportunity as you meet a great variety of people, which include fellow supporting artistes and members of the cast and crew.
Also, you may just be noticed by the director for reasons such as looks, mannerisms etc and he may keep you in mind for something else. Doesn't always happen but the possibility is there. It potentially can be a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
It is also interesting from a practical point of view too as because there is lots of spare time during setups it gives you a good chance to see the technical side of filming too.
The days can be long or short depending on what the production is and what the schedule is for that day. Some days can be up to 14 hours so just be prepared for long days on certain shoots. Whilst professionalism is first and foremost being an extra can be a lot of fun.
There are many agencies who have extras on their books so this is a good starting point for those who don't know what may be the best way to start off. If you are professional and do as asked whilst on the shoot the feedback to the agency will be good and you will be booked agin.