i have been thinking of doing some background work but people always told me that there was no point cuz you can't put it on your resume anyways.
So my questions are 1) if you can't put background work on your resume then is there an actual point to doing it ( well except to get experience and $$..haha)
2) if your just starting out like me and have nothing on ur resume, then can putting background work actually be good?
manni, in my opinion, I think it's a good idea to do extra work a few times (or more if you like it) to learn about being on a professional set. If you're just starting out and perhaps new to acting classes, I think that it can be a great experience. However, extra work doesn't belong on an actor's resume. Check out Mark Brandon's post on page 1 of this thread as to why it's not a good idea to put it on your resume, regardless of where you are in your career. I've heard the same sentiment from more than one CD as well.
Extra work is not acting. Why would you put it on a resume? All it's really good for is set etiquette training, in a way. It can go under training if that's ALL you have, but realistically, if you don't have any experience, you don't really NEED a resume considering you aren't ready for an agent or auditioning. Get good training and put THAT down as training. Then audition for indie, student films etc, create your own work, and off you go with your credit building!
Padding a resume looks like padding...to everyone that matters, anyway.
Background work on resume?
I do agree that Background Extra work does not belong on an "Actors" resume, but it does belong a "a" resume. here's what I mean.
Here's what I suggest as far as Background work is concerned. There are agencies out there that do nothing but Background work. For them you should have a resume. But of course you won't have one until you get started, unless you have gone to classes. If that is the case put all that down on a resume so you have at least something to present a potential Background Agent. Then as you go and get calls for Background work on more and more productions keep adding them to your "Background Extra Resume". If you start auditioning for, and getting roles in Student Films, or in movies or television, make a separate "Acting Resume" for those credits, but also put your training on that one as well. If you acquire, or already have any "Special Skill"s that you can bring to the pot, put those on both your resumes under "Special Skills". (like fencing, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, etc.)
Build your resume as you go. I have two different resumes, three actually. One is for "Film", and that only has roles I have done in Film, Television, Commercials, etc., even Principle Stage Roles. It's all acting. I have another resume that has everything on it that also includes a heading called "Background Work". That is the one I give to the Background Agents. I have the name of each production I did Background on in a list, in that section. It is also good to have to keep track of everything you have done through the years.
The third resume I speak of is my Santa Claus resume. I am also a Professional Santa Claus. So on that I have any films, commercials or television I have done as Santa Claus as well as my work in the malls. So in reality it is a combination Work Resume and Acting Resume. But it is strictly to do with Santa Claus. Now if I am being called to audition for a commercial or a film as Santa Claus I give them both my Acting and Santa resume.
So, as you can see, there is a place for Background Extra on a resume, but not your main resume.
Not to be an a-hole but I find that statement to be utter rubbish. A resume for BG? really? Honestly that's just a waste of paper. I have some experience working as an extra and I have never heard of such a thing. I also want to take the time here to mention that although normally working the BG scene mostly involves allot of Nothing. The lines that separate acting and BG can be pretty blurry sometimes. Case in point: I have been employed as an extra getting paid $10 an Hr and done some pretty good acting integral to the scene and conversely I have been employed as an actor and payed a ton of money for no acting at all. That's the honest to goodness truth.
Background work on resume?
There are Casting Directors out there who do nothing but cast Background people, and believe it or not, in my humble opinion, you should have something to show them that you know what you are doing. Experience! That is called a Resume. They want to see that you have worked Background before and won't be a waste of space and time for them. I have been on too many shoots in the past that were populated by a bunch of idiots who thought they could come out for the day and sit and do nothing and then get paid.
As a member of the Extras Caucus at UBCP we have spent years combating this and we are seeing the fruits of that work. The Extra Casting Directors want experienced Background people working for them. You may think that it is a waste of paper, but in my experience I do not think so. But we shall have to agree to disagree on that one.
There are courses that can be taken at UBCP and other places to learn Set Etiquette.
Ok, I'm being sincere when I say I don't want to get into a debate over the whole BG thing but honestly. Come on! I'm well aware of the fact that there is a BG industry with websites and Extra CD's but we all know that there is no skill required to be an extra unless you are employed as an SAE and even then the skills don't pertain to being an extra, rather the skill pertains to whatever the scene calls for, like for instance riding a horse. CD's in the BG biz are just glad to have a warm body show up on time with three sets of wardrobe that's not stuffed into a garbage bag. In all my experience as an extra and I have tons. I have never been asked for a resume and the only etiquette needed to learn can be read on a single page of paper.
A course for set etiquette? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. OMG, I am actually laughing out loud at this. How absolutely ridiculous! I'm sorry, but why on earth would you pay to learn set etiquette when there are plenty of opportunities to learn it for free or get paid to learn it??!?! Makes absolutely ZERO sense to me. I am curious as to how many people actually dish out their dollars for such a course. Oh, wow, this just made my day, hahaha!
LOL this thread has turned into a joke. Background is essentially a breathing prop. It doesn't belong on a resume and you shouldn't have to pay for set etiquette OR have a resume for background.
While background people are integral to film and television, they are a dime a dozen in my opinion. No offense to Extras but it's true. I've been on productions where the TAD was pulling people from the streets or actual employees during filming to make a scene work because there wasn't enough background.
Background work should not be on a resume you or your agent present to casting directors. It's misleading unless you specifically indicate you were background (and even then you shouldn't really put it on your resume for film and television).
Anyone ever watch the show "Extras"?
That should give you an indication.
Monty, Bianca and I have watched all 12 eps. Very funny stuff! Everybody should go to the video store and rent it. Highly recommended. Have a laugh!