Wednesday, April 12, 2017

California Dreamin'

I'm sitting on the left in Flo Rida's Music Video Zillionaire!

During the summer of 2016, I completed a six week program in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. I took a Situation Comedy Writing class along with an Introduction to the Film and Television Industry course.  Before I went to California, I enrolled online at for consideration for Background Actor. It was very easy to fill out the registration form, upload a photo and enter the information for the monthly $14.99 fee. Almost immediately, I began receiving emails asking for submissions for various television shows, movies, student films, music videos and commercials.

While I attended USC classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I spent the other days of the week writing a spec script for the television show Brooklyn Nine-Nine for my sitcom writing class, working on presentations and attending networking events for my Film and Television Industry course and submitting for Background Actor jobs on

I submitted for a rush call on Monday morning, June 20 and two hours later I was on set in a bar in Chatsworth, California for the filming of the first episode of the NETFLIX Series, Santa Clarita Diet, starring Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant and featuring one of my favorite actors, Nathan Fillion. In addition, I also appeared as a Russian Embassy staff employee on the final episode of Shooter with actor Ryan Phillippe, sat in the audience of one game show and two talk shows and then portrayed a defendant on the courtroom drama, The Verdict with Judge Hatchett.

I'm in the background (over Nathan Fillion's left shoulder)
as a bar patron and dancer in Santa Clarita Diet that
aired on NETFLIX on February 3, 2017.

In the first week of November 2016, I went back to California to visit my good friends, the Shea Family, and to see actor Darren Criss as Hedwig in the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood as a celebration of 15 years of being cancer free!

I also enrolled at Central Casting in Burbank. Four days later I was sitting in the spacious dining room of a $9 million house in Simi Valley, California with 13 other people, all referred to as "Talent", Victoria Secret's model Chanel Iman dancing on the table and rapper Flo Rida singing behind me in his music video Zillionaire! I was called "Mother" and was so happy to be there!

In January 2017, I began receiving calls from casting directors asking if I was available to appear as a Background Actor for different television shows. Because I enrolled at Central Casting in November 2016 and completed the free registration process, including having several new photos taken, I now was listed in their database of available talent. So when a casting director was looking for a Caucasian female in my age range along with my height and weight as well as my brown hair and eye color with olive skin tone, my name and picture would appear in their search. After I received three calls for immediate booking in three weeks, I made arrangements to fly to Burbank the next week and stay with my friends for two months in order to submit for roles in television shows during the busy time of completing episodic television shows for the current season and the upcoming pilot season.

Shows I filmed as background while in California
February 12, 2017 - April 1, 2017

Photos from IMDb

TV Show - VEEP
Date Filmed - 02/15/2017
 Role - Adult at a County Fair
Airs on HBO in April 2017

TV Show - Ballers
Date Filmed - 02/16/2017
Role - Upsale Restaurant & Bar Patron
Airs on HBO in June 2017

TV Show - Scandal
Costume Fitting on 02/21/2017 & Date Filmed -02/27/17
Role - Featured Wedding Guest
Airs on ABC on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 8:00 pm (CST) 

TV Show - The Last Tycoon
Costume Fitting on 02/22/2017 & Date Filmed - 03/03/2017
Role - Member of Church Congregation
Airs on Amazon in June 2017

TV Show - Speechless
Date Filmed - 03/07/2017
Role - Airport Traveler
Airs on ABC Television on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm (CST)

TV Show - American Housewife
Date Filmed - 03/15/3017
Role - Ballet Recital Audience
Airs on ABC Television on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm (CST)

I had such an amazing time in California during these last six weeks. As a graduate of the Radio/Television Department at ASU over 30 years ago, I haven't had the opportunity to appear on a real production set. Even though I was just an "extra", it was wonderful to see how all the separate pieces (wardrobe, makeup, hair, production assistants, directors, and camera operators) come together to produce a television program, movie or commercial. Some people like sports or hobbies, I like television and movies. When I went to California some friends said to me "See you at the Oscars next year!" I didn't do this to be nominated for an Academy Award - I did it because it's something I've always wanted to do. If someone plays touch football with friends on the weekends, would you say "See you at the Heisman Trophy Awards next year!"?

In addition to all the shows listed above, I also appeared as background on three different pilots airing in the fall of 2017: Young Sheldon (featuring a young Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory as a nine year old genius in 1989 East Texas); Me, Myself and I (starring John Larroquette) and Orville (a science fiction drama set 300 years in the future and created by Seth McFarlane). I also met actor/dancer/singer Dick Van Dyke during the filming of an infomercial, walked by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, watched comedian Adam Carolla during the rehearsal of his new live show, and appeared in the audience of two new game shows "Child Support" hosted by Fred Savage and "Winsanity" hosted by Donald Faison.

Best of all, I was able to see my friend Lynn and her daughter Hannah at the filming of Conan with guest star Darren Criss!

Posing with Lynn & Hannah McGee along with the Conan 'Bobblehead"
before the taping of the Conan Show on Tuesday, March 14, 2017
featuring actor/singer Darren Criss!

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