How I Made It On the Set of “How To Make It In America”

Susie G
How I Made It On the Set of “How To Make It In America”
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While I was checking my e-mail earlier this week, I opened up a message from the amazing community website Ladies Lotto that had a small mention about a Craigslist-posted casting call for extras to appear at a “hipster party” for HBO’s comedy-drama series How To Make It In America. The series, if you haven’t seen, is quite entertaining for us young NYC urbanites. It follows a group of twenty-somethings in the Big Apple trying to make it big in the fashion world, and is currently in production for the show’s second season, scheduled to air this Summer.

A party….for hipsters? And we get paid? Yes please!

As a partying hipster myself, I figured this would be right up my alley plus, it wouldn’t hurt to make some extra shekels on the side with a two-week holiday approaching. As soon as I finished reading the post on Craigslist, I sent an email to the casting agency (along with two hipster-esque candid photos) to sign up for the gig. By the end of the day, I was already confirmed for the shoot!

The first four hours of the shoot involved checking-in, having wardrobe approve your look and waiting around for one of the production assistants to make an announcement. The last four hours involved a little bit more waiting, getting wrangled and arranged into the “hipster strip club,” waiting around for multiple scene takes to be filmed and then huddling around a production assistant to get your paperwork signed so you get paid and can go home!

All in all, I am sort of glad I got to be an extra just for the fact that it was a bit of a learning experience, even though I had to miss about 5 different Cinco De Mayo parties my friends were throwing that night. But would I have been able to stand around with watered-down beer in hand while having some sort of unidentifiable liquid splashed on me a few times (for a few scene takes) at these parties? Nope!

I’ve already been asked by friends and coworkers, “Do you think you’re going to appear on the show?” Ummm…..probably not. I’ve also been asked if I got to meet any of the actors from the show. My response: “Of course not.” And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed about not seeing Kid Cudi on the set. At the end of the day, I at least got to walk away with a truly unique, one-of-a-kind experience and $85 to go towards this weekend’s shenanigans.

To get an inside glimpse of what it was like to be an extra on How To Make It In America, browse through the slideshow above!

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6:30 PM Arrive at the "holding site" where extras check-in, fill out paper work to get paid, get their look approved by wardrobe and spend a lot of time waiting around.

Fellow hipsters wait in the queue to check in.

8:00 PM If there is one thing I learned about watching the Brit-com series Extras, there is a lot of time spent just waiting around.

Wardrobe pieces for the hipster strippers. Take note of the glitter nipple tassels.

8:30 PM Catting up with my fellow hipster co-workers.

It should be pretty obvious why I love this girl's hair.

9:00 PM We are allowed an one hour "lunch break." In honor of Cinco De Mayo, I head to Chipotle for some Mexican-American grub to celebrate.

I figured this would help me get into character as a hipster party-goer.

10:15 PM Production assistants walk all of the extras over to the shoot location and have us wait in a line outside.

10:30 PM Still waiting...

Smoking - a hipster passtime.

Meet Corey - fellow hipster extra who was one of the more memorable people I met.

Meet Corey's pin - just as memorable.

The location of where the fictional hipster strip club scene was being shot.

10:45 PM  Finally inside the club, production assistants coordinate where all the extras stand. I got to stand near stripper poles. Yay....

A view of the DJ set up with the name of the T-shirt line that all us "hipsters" were celebrating.

11:15 PM Last shot of the night before a scary production assistant said that if he catches anyone with a "picture camera-phone," he will take it away. And if you're wondering when I got to leave the shoot, let's just say I didn't get home till after 3 AM.

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