Back ground actors can be selected during an ‘interview’ for specific needs of the production. During the interview process a number of BG are booked for a 2 hour period (with 2 hours worth of pay) during which we generally stand around shuffling our feet, trying to discern what qualities the director is looking for so that we can outdo our fellow BG in showing our ability to match the requirements. 🙂
So it was during my interview for the Deep Space 9 booking. There were about 20 BG vying for 5 positions.
Hooray I was selected.
Immediately after the interview was finished, I was booked for a fitting. (Fittings also are paid in 2 hour increments at the regular rate.) I was sent to a special tailor shop on the Paramount lot that did nothing but create costumes for the various space spectacular series. A red cloth was thrown over me and then tailored to fit me as you can see in the video.
Some days later when I arrived for the shoot, off to makeup which also created all the weird facial masks so prevalent in Startrek and Deep Space 9. A piece of soft plastic material was applied over my nose to give me a wrinkled alien look. It’s not really visible in the video clip. I still have the nose somewhere. lol.
Notice the circle we formed at the beginning of the clip. Initially the 2nd AD gave each of us a separate line of words. However when it was discovered that we would instantly become day players (with quadruple the pay) the lines were scratched in preference to a group recital which still qualified as ordinary BG pay. Suffice it to say I loved being on the DS9 set with all the magnificent space accouterments.