I partook in a gig as an extra in a new Japanese drama coming out in April. 8:00am - 5:00pm and no pay.
So I show up at this abandoned Japanese elementary school at 8:00am. 50 Japanese and 1 white guy (me). Guess who stands out? No worries…I’m used to that. …or AM I?
* 80% hot-ass girls that wanna be on TV wearing mini-skirts and stockings in 1 degree C weather. In their defense, we were asked to dress for spring. But since it was so cold, they kept jumping and bouncing (insert cartoony sound effect here). I felt like I was 13 and hanging out with the boys on the playground again.
* Saw 3 celebrity model actresses in school girl outfits. They were even hotter. My pants looked like a summer camp tent at this point.
* The PAs directing us were actually pretty nice. Didn’t expect that considering the guy on the phone the day before was kind of a dick.
* Standing around doing nothing shot after shot.
* Thinking there’s no way I’m even getting on camera in these shots. I'd walk 2-3 steps, then hear them yell, "cut!"
* The ever-growing feeling that I’m wasting my time here.
* Being the only foreigner and really feeling out of place. The setting was supposed to be a Japanese high school. Why the hell would a white dude be at a Japanese high school? Don't answer that.
* Thinking to myself: “They don’t need a white dude extra for these scenes. I’m just gonna stand out, and extras probably aren't supposed to stand out since they're just meant to be in the background.” Why did they even call me?
* Being told (albeit politely) that a foreigner wouldn’t really work for some of the shots. Ah ha! I was right!
* Did I mention the no pay thing?
I guess extras aren’t supposed to stand out! Lesson learned. A random white dude walking into a Japanese high school stands out. Whoops. Luckily, I didn’t waste my time. I just ditched around 11:00am. No way I’m gonna do that til 5:00pm. I went home and enjoyed the rest of my day off. I’m happy I learned a lot from the experience of it all. And knowing is half the battle.
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