Book Review! A Guide To Becoming A Film & TV Extra by The SA’s

Book Review! A Guide To Becoming A Film & TV Extra by The SA’s

No this is not a book by the SAS. It is by the SA’s! SA stands for ‘supporting artist‘ or in this case ‘sexy artist‘ as the authors like to be known. I used to be a sexy…er…I mean…supporting artist. Before I moved up to ‘lead artist‘. Then I never looked back darling, never.

You may have seen the hilarious British sitcom Extras written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, which follows the exploits of several supporting artists as they mill about film sets and rub shoulders with famous actors.

Well this book is even better.  

Extras and supporting artists make the world of film go round. Without them the likes of Russell (I am Maximus and demand maximum pay) Crowe and Nicole (must whisper every line) Kidman would be nothing. NOTHING.

No longer the domain of the select few, this is by far the most brutally honest representation of the the world that exists in front of camera. Satirical, informative and an invaluable guide for a budding extra/supporting artist. As this book illustrates, TV and film land evokes commitment, passion and self-expression in a way that very few industries can.
Approaching film and TV extra/supporting artiste work with the wrong attitude can take you down the road of inflated dreams, unrealistic expectations and unfulfilled ambition. However, if you approach this work with the right mind set, a whole new world that you never thought you could be part of can present itself to you. This book (guide) will give you the tools you need and the rules that must be adhered to. Note that no one will make you a star overnight. You will dictate how bright and long your star will shine, according to your commitment, talent and willingness to play the showbiz game.
If you’re willing to make personal sacrifices (sometimes of dignity) and follow the rules of the Showbiz Jigsaw, you could be immortalised in HD. However, never forget that you are a small cog in a mammoth machine. When you are dead and buried, you can live on forever on celluloid film or on UK TV Gold. Just remember, don’t be a Grubb!
I urge everyone in the film industry to buy and read this book. Heck, even if you are not in the film industry you should read this book. As one delighted reviewer on Amazon has written, ‘This book pulls no punches and is clearly authored by experienced individuals, obviously transformed both economically and spiritually by this scarifying process of filmic support. No sandwich is left unturned, no honey wagon spared soiling in this soul-ripping expose of life as an extra. If you want to join this secretive and elite world, then here is your entree material to prepare you and lubricate your passage for entry to extras’ land and become the most exposed group of individuals on the small and big screen.’
 I couldn’t agree more. I highly suggest you all lubricate your passages and find out what it really takes to be a supporting artist.
This wonderful piece of literature is available on Kindle from Amazon here.
Be more than a 9-5. Once captured on film, you’ll always be alive!


  1. 13th October 2015 / 8:33 am

    This sounds like a great read! I love this post.

    Actually as I live right next to Leavesden Studios, one of my Airbnb guests encouraged me to enrol with some agencies and twice in the first month I’ve had calls to go in as extras, I mean supporting artists. Sadly on both days I had tours… damn my morals and work ethic!

    Not sure I will ever be a sexy artist or a supporting artist, I’ll leave that to my betters!

    • Ekaterina
      13th October 2015 / 8:38 am

      Yes you must enrol Stephen! Although you may have to leave your morals at the door…!