Last night I worked as an extra on a local TV commercial. I spent about 4.5 hours either in holding, in wardrobe, in hair & makeup, eating bananas and granola bars (I opted out of the pizza), or on set. It was a surprising amount of fun.
There were about ten of us extras, and I appeared to be the youngest--which tells you something about the commercial's target demographic. As near as I can tell, the commercial was for a local hospital's cardiac unit. Not too many people under 50 are terribly concerned with such things.
We did at least a dozen takes of a pretty simple scenario, and after each one the director tweaked the scene just a bit. At "action" we were all directed to carry on as if we were at a dinner party. This was made much simpler by the fact that they weren't recording sound, so we could actually converse with one another and not just fake it.
I had the good fortune to be placed right next to one of the principal actors: a guy named Tyler. We talked about a bunch of crap from Airplane! to soap operas to murder mystery dinner theater and so on. I was particularly interested in his experiences with murder mysteries, and that's something in which I still dabble.
Call time was 6pm. We wrapped just after 10:30pm. Not a bad day at all! Having had the good fortune to be working right next to the main guy in the scene, I may actually be seen in this. Woohoo!