Life as an Extra on HBO’s Looking

A lot of activity outside of Doc's Clock today. A new HBO show called "Looking'" is filming in the no-frills bar across from the Mission Local office on 22nd and Mission streets. Photo by Alexandra Garretón.

Daniel Hirsch who generally covers everything from Google bus disputes to Planning Department meetings and more for Mission Local, worked as an extra on HBO’s Looking.

He wrote about the experience for Slate and then posted the full essay on Medium. 

Here is a brief excerpt from Slate. It is definitely worth clicking to read the whole piece.

Even the most blasé extras among us, the ones who are just doing this for the story to tell co-workers, to kill time, or for a day’s minimum-wage pay, are concerned about the same thing. Between takes, you hear lots of whispering and speculating about who was in the shot. There’s a real sense of disappointment emanating from the extra in the back who’s never instructed to make a move closer to the camera before they call, “Cut.” All of us want to be on camera. We want to do more than look; we want to be seen.

As an extra, you are poised perilously close to the Hollywood dream machine. Somewhere in my brain, Singin’ in the Rain is playing. Despite my better judgment, I’ve cast myself as Debbie Reynolds and the Star With Nice Nipples as Gene Kelly, ready to discover me in the crowded chorus.

When film cameras are rolling, you find yourself thinking in these Hollywood tropes. Not only am I the chorus girl poised for my big break, but I’ve also cast myself as the frumpy nerd in glasses who the handsome leading man eventually realizes is secretly hot. What if Star With Nice Nipples and I got a drink after the day’s shoot? READ MORE HERE

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