Behind The Scenes

This year I have had the pleasure of adding some new jobs to my resumé: standing-in and photo-doubling. I started standing-in over a year ago, and was lucky enough to continue working as a stand-in on a few different TV shows and films. This summer I started photo-doubling in a big-budget feature film, and from there was able to also photo-double on a network TV show.

SO… What exactly am I talking about? What’s the difference between being a stand-in and a photo-double?

A stand-in is a crew member who (literally) stands in the place of the actor on their marks so that the camera crew, (Director, Camera Operator etc.) and the Lighting crew can adjust the lights, the sound crew can see where to place a boom microphone, and the set decorators and props people can see where the actor will be walking. A stand in is usually hired by casting, and will normally be the same height, hair color and skin tone as the actor. The stand-in is sometimes given “color cover” or a costume piece resembling the costume that the actor is wearing in the scene. This is to ensure that the lighting will look okay with the color of the costume, the color of the scenery, etc. A stand-in is not on-camera, and steps off set when the actor and director are ready to roll. For more info check out http://standincentral.com/

A photo-double is a crew member hired because they are similar in features and stature to the principal actor. Their face might not look exactly the same, but their body type, hair style and skin tone usually are similar. Depending on the shot a photo-double usually wears all of the same costumes that the actor is wearing, has their hair and make up done similarly, and even wears the same jewelry. A photo-double can be used in a quick insert shot where the character is answering the phone (just the photo-double’s hand), or the photo-double could be used as the character is walking away (the back of the photo-double’s head). Sometimes a full-body double is used in intimate scenes, (I know someone who is a butt double!) Or sometimes people trained in the art of Stunts can be a photo-double, driving a car or falling down, etc.

But… why can’t the actors just do it themselves?

Just because a movie-star needs a hand-double or a body-double doesn’t mean they have creepy hands or an unsightly body. It usually is just to save time. They are quite busy filming other scenes, and if their face doesn’t need to be in the shot, then production can save time and money by having someone else film those shots. And plus it gives me a job! So yay!

Hope this gave you a little insight into some movie magic 🙂 It’s been fun being behind the scenes and meeting new people! I’ve had the pleasure of standing-in and photo-doubling for some of my absolute favorite actors and its been a real learning experience!

 

Best,

K

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One Year of Acting…

In October 2012, one year ago, I decided to quit my retail job in NYC and become a full-time actor. I put in my two-weeks notice right before Halloween; little did I know that a Hurricane was heading our way. Sandy destroyed many homes, businesses and lives in New York, but I was fortunate enough not to lose power and watched the whole ordeal on the news as it happened. It was devastating and the repercussions from the storm still linger.

I was terrified as I realized that I (willingly) no longer had a job. Paying rent and the cost of living in NYC is not  easy to handle if you don’t have a consistent income. Most TV/Movie sets were closed for days after the storm, some studios were impossible to get to because all of the subways had been closed. Slowly but surely, the TV and Film industry started to get back to work, and so did I.

In the past year I’ve worked on incredible television shows, films, student projects, festival shorts, music videos and commercials. I’ve built up my resume and my confidence while making new friendships and connections. I am so happy and excited about the life that I have been able to live!

….And I am very happy to announce that I am now officially SAG-AFTRA eligible; meaning I can apply to any Union jobs, and join the Screen Actor’s Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (now merged).

The decision to join the Union is something I am still considering deeply, as it means that I will no longer have the option of doing student projects, web series or non-union commercials.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way this past year and I look forward to growing as an artist in the years to come!

~Krista

Watch Out for Me in 2013!

I’m very excited for 2013 to be here, especially because it means that all of the shows I’ve been working on will finally be premiering! Since moving to New York City in October 2011, I’ve managed to be in a few TV shows and movies. Seeing myself actually on screen for the first time this fall in “Person of Interest” was a very happy moment for me.

I have put together a guide for anyone interested in checking out the shows that I’ve been working on. Some of them are new this year, and others have been around for a few seasons.

1. NBC’s DECEPTION Mondays at 10PM Premiering January 7th

The first preview episode of “Deception” is already online, so I watched it the other day and it seems like an interesting concept. It is a mystery/crime/drama about a death in a wealthy family. I am anxiously awaiting watching the next episode because I am hoping it will be the one where I am a more featured extra. After filling in for an actor that didn’t show up to set, I was able to be in a scene with the main character played by Ella Rae Peck, and she was really nice to work with. Watch out for me on a bench in Central Park.

2. NBC’s SMASH Tuesdays at 9PM with Season two’s premiere  February 5th, 2013

If I’ve calculated correctly, I should be appearing in 5 episodes of  “Smash” Season 2. Make sure to check out the exciting performances of  Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Megan Hilty and others in this show about the drama behind the scenes of Broadway performances. “Smash” was a lot of fun to work on, I was lucky enough to attend a few parties, some special performances, and got a sneak peak into what promises to be an exciting season.

3. CBS’s PERSON OF INTEREST  Thursdays at 9PM Returning January 10th

I had the pleasure of catching a few seconds of myself in a club scene of the 3rd episode of this season  of “Person of Interest,” and it was cool to see Jim Caviezel on set. I’ll be appearing in another episode near the end of this season.

4. CBS’s GOLDEN BOY Fridays at 10PM starting with previews Feb. 26th & March 5th.

Golden Boy is a new show on CBS about a NYPD officer played by Theo James. There doesn’t seem to be an official website for it yet, but it seems to be more than a typical crime drama. I’ll be in two episodes this season. In one of them I will be eating breakfast right behind Theo.

5. ABC’s ZERO HOUR Thursdays at 8PM Premiering February 14th

I’m excited for Zero Hour to premiere because I think it will be a show with a very interesting plot. I feel like it will be a combination of the “National Treasure” and “The Da Vinci Code” movies.  I’ve done two episodes so far, one that took place in a church was fun to film with Anthony Edwards (Goose!).

6. FOX’s THE FOLLOWING Mondays at 9PM Premiering January 21st

“The Following” on Fox is about an FBI agent following the path of a serial killer who has his own “fan club” of sorts. It seems like a new idea, and could potentially be a suspenseful drama. I was lucky enough to be in a party scene with Kevin Bacon himself.

Can I Call Myself an “Actor” Now?

My very first paid acting gig was Seth MacFarlane’s movie TED, and I remember getting the check in the mail feeling like I could finally call myself an actor. That was July 2011, and it wasn’t until about a month ago that I received my first pay check from acting in New York.

Projects I’ve been a part of thus far in New York:
1. A web comedy series called “Hipster Vice”
2. A Television project for a class at NYU
3. A short film about a serial killer called “Wish You Were”
4. A Feature film starring Michael Clark Duncan called The Challenger
5. A promotional video for Touch Tunes Jute Box
6. A pilot for ABC’s “Americana”
7. An episode of CBS’s “Person of Interest”

Does it matter that I get rewarded monetarily? I wish I could say no, as long as I’m doing what I love.
Sometimes I always have to stop and wonder if I really do love this game we play of trying so hard to impress people only for a measly $100/ a day (before taxes).

I do feel special, though. I do still get excited when I submit online for extra work, get that phone call with my 6am call time, check in and get my hair and wardrobe done.

But then I sit around for 10 hours wishing I hadn’t forgotten my book and phone charger, waiting hopefully while the PAs come in and choose people at random to go stand around for 10 minutes in a scene.

No acting required, just show up on time, follow directions and  look good (and if you don’t, hair and make up will fix you).

Some days I miss the stage and theater. I crave live action and reaction, feeling close to a character, highlighting a script. I can barely remember monologues anymore, I very rarely go on actual in-person auditions, I haven’t even printed a headshot or resume in ages. (Not necessary when all of my submissions are by email or an online headshot/resume site).

I’m not trying to complain in this post at all though, I hope that’s not the way I’m coming across. Just attempting to paint a real picture of what my life has been like. To be completely honest I’m oh so very grateful and excited and proud of myself for not giving up and moving back home. (NH I miss you).

One thing I’m still trying to figure out is the new merger between SAG/AFTRA and how exactly to get those pesky little waivers. Oh, and in order to join the union I’ll also need to pay $3,000  [$1,440 ?] which is much more than I’ve been making.

Life is spontaneous and crazy as an actor in NYC. I never know when or if I’ll have “work” or if I’ll get paid. I keep adding to my resume and networking, meeting as many people as I can and trying to get as much advice to help me along the way.

Thanks for reading if you actually got this far in my rambling! 😉