Working as an extra in Hollywood can be a great job at times. I do it part time and although it is not the best pay, it is a great startup engine for becoming an actual actor in films and advertising. In fact, a lot of the famous celebrities that are leading actors nowadays actually started their careers acting as extras in advertisements or films.
There is nothing like turning on the TV and staring at yourself in the background of an advertisement, or taking all of your friend to the cinema on opening night to see that short shot of you behind the lead actor. There are a number of agencies and companies who you join and they then find you work in the various mediums, working as an extra cannot be a full time job as the demand for you goes up and down and sometimes you can go for a whole month with no work, usually one job last about a full day but sometimes they need you for more than a day. So if you are working other jobs you should have a pretty flexible schedule so that you can take several days off during the month for your filming shoots.
One nice perk is that all of the meals are complementary and usually the food is top notch and you can mingle and socialize with everyone there from the lead actors to the director and producers, which is quite a lot of fun if your into that line of business.
The actual work is very easy, the director assistant will probably tell you whatever it is you need to do (Usually very simple) and then you just do it as many times as needed. Sometimes you will even be given a speaking part and this is a lot more complicated if you are shy or embarrassed in front of the camera, but if not it shouldn’t be that hard for you, and you might even get paid a little more.
A lot of the time you will probably be standing around waiting for the shot, so bring along an IPod or something to read, so that you don’t get too bored.
If you are doing extra work for a film you will probably at least be able to see some famous actors or actresses, I know some people who got into extra work just so that they could see famous people.
You will learn a lot about the film business being an extra and if you want to get into that world I would advise you to do it, at the very least you will have a lot of fun. Pay is around 100 to 200 dollars a day but on occasion you will get paid more. Don’t take it too seriously and have a good time.