FOX 32 NEWS - Have you ever dreamed of appearing on one of your favorite TV shows like ‘Empire’ as an extra? It may be easier than you think, and now may be your best chance.
At least seven TV shows are filming in Chicago, and several movies will be coming next year.
Empire is one of the hottest shows on TV. So is Chicago PD and Chicago fire. What do they have in common? They’re all taping right here in Chicago.
"I've done Empire, Chicago PD, Fire Chicago Justice,” said Anna Shilov.
"You'll see me as Lucious' body guard,” said Benjamin Donlow.
As an extra, Donlow can regularly be seen on Empire as a body guard.
"At first I thought it was only 3 days and then they said oh no, we need you for another month or two,” he said.
The film industry is booming in Chicago and casting agents are looking for extras to fill roles. Just ask personal trainer Aaron Murphy.
"It was somewhat of an accident, a woman approached me…since then I have a local commercial on CW and Chicago PD and Empire," Murphy said.
In fact, Murphy has become a part of the core cast on Chicago PD, regularly appearing as a uniformed police officer.
"If you are smart, you can work almost every day,” he said.
Jess Gisin is the co-owner of 4star Casting. They’re one of several agencies in Chicago and are looking for people of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities.
"We need office workers, pedestrians, people eating lunch,” Gisin said.
And it's as easy as going online and registering.
"There are very clear instructions who we are and how to register yourself, Then we use Facebook. Facebook is a huge tool for us,” Gisin said.
And here are some other tips: Be flexible, call times can vary. Show up on time. Send a picture of yourself as you really are, not a professional one that's been touched up.
Follow the directions to register. If you post correctly, you go to the top of the pile. Be prepared to wait, it can take several hours before your scene is ready to shoot.
The pay usually is minimum wage, but it's the perks that have people coming back.