O is for On set


I’ve spent a lot of time on set for movies, t.v. series, advertisements and promotional videos. Although this sounds glamorous, it can at times be far from it. There is a lot of sitting about involved if you are just doing extra work. Waiting and waiting to be called for a scene is par for the course. It can also be great fun. I’ve met so many people and been to so many different locations for filming. From bars and landfill sites to midland villages and Β the glorious Wicklow hills.

I must admit though, as fun as it is ; nothing beats getting a feature part and having your own lines. I am a Drama Queen don’t you know….now go bring some hand carved ice balls and a crate of champagne to my trailer πŸ™‚




The life of an actress is a glamorous affair

But not that of an extra darling Β β€˜ air hair lair’

I sit around most of the day,

Doing my best to keep out of the way

Waiting and waiting to be called for a scene,

On location, I’m never too keen

To stand around in freezing cold

Waiting around for hours to be told

‘Stand over here…no stand over there…

Oh, just stand anywhere…’


An extra certainly doesn’t need a degree

To drink endless coffees and cups of tea

As pack after pack of fags are smoked

Looking on as stars egos are stroked

Yes it can be a terrible bore

At lunchtime we have to wait some more

First to be fed are the actors and crew

The extras are at the end of the queue


The life of an extra can be mundane

Hanging around can be such a pain

You hope and wish with all of your heart

Someday you’ll get a speaking part

Until then you’re part of the crowd

Who’s not supposed to talk out loud

Spend your days on set lip syncing

Or in some fake bar pretend to be drinking


Roll cameras, silence on set

Action, then the director will get

Pissed off β€˜cos someone fecked up a line

In a scene that everyone else thought was fine

It will most likely end up

On the cutting room floor

As soon as we’re signed off

We make a bolt for the door


Yes the life of an extra can wear you out

But it is quite fun, there is no doubt

Background craic with the crew and cast

Happy days long may they last

Sure, we may never make movie stars

And we’ll probably never have fancy cars

But we live for the day, don’t have high expectations

But neither do we have the mortifications…



We’re never late getting on set

And we have no lines to forget

We just sit or stand wherever we’re told

We have an image to uphold

Without us a scene is not complete

You know that is no mean feat

When we are on set we are such pros

Although we’re never stars of the shows


No, the life of an extra is no glamorous affair

Our faces on screen they are quite rare

But feck the begrudgers, who cares what they say

At least we’re getting paid for the day

Famous actors we may never be

But our services will never be free

The only thing that is quite a bore

Is that we usually end up on the cutting room floor. Β  πŸ˜›


cutting room floor











About trishnugentwriter

A wife and mother of four who writes and acts as much as she can in between the housework and shopping. I have been published in 'Irelands Own' 'Intallaght' and 'Tallaght Echo'. I have won prizes for poetry including 1st place in The Bealtaine Writing comp in 2012.I'm a member of drama group in 'An Cosan' in Tallaght and also 'Platform One' Writers group in Rua Red.
This entry was posted in A2Z blogging challenge 2014 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to O is for On set

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    I’d rather be an extra than a lot of other things I can think of

    Twitter chat wanderer.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  2. My hubby and I were both into theater, and I dabbled in film early on, but when it came down to it, I prefer a theater stage, and actors got pretty strange in college. I switched over to score composition and writing instead. *shrugs* At least I still get to mingle with the behind-the-scenes crew. =)

    True Heroes from A to Z

  3. Vee dC says:

    Hiya. Just stopping by from the A to Z Challenge. Funny poem. πŸ™‚

  4. Damyanti says:

    Visiting from the Twitter chat– lovely blog, and a very clever poem, highlighting what happens behind the scenes to minor characters πŸ™‚

  5. As an audience, we always are focused on the protagonists of a story / play / movie, aren’t we? This is an insight into the lives of all the other unsung heroes of the glam world. Thanks for sharing this perspective!

  6. Thanks for taking time to read it πŸ™‚

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