In this interview, Kate Martineau Adams compares the potential for moving up in acting ranks from background (extra) player to principal roles in soaps and feature films. She explains why you might want to get a job as an extra in one form, and definitely not in another.
Susan Dansby: You cast the background players primarily. [Note: Background players don't speak at all. An 'under-five' is a part where the character has one-to-five lines of dialogue. A 'day player' character has more than five lines and may be used once or many times (recurring). A 'contract role' is one where the actor is contracted to appear a certain number of times each week.] How did those people come to your attention? Because being a background player, or an extra, is sometimes in actor’s first experience on film or on tape. Continue reading