Monday, June 20, 2011

Letter to Christopher Gray Casting

Dear. Mr. Gray,

I would like to share with you my experience in earning an 87$ check for my work as an extra on the production of "Luck".

First, I had to sort out which casting company was filming at the racetrack in my hometown. I then signed up for more information on your site. A few months later, I received an email informing me I could create an appointment to register. I made an appointment for the following Monday and showed up at the time of my appointment to register. To my dismay, there was nobody in the office. I called and left a message and it was returned a few hours later. It was implied that the lady on the phone would waive the $25 fee to register. I said I could not make it, but promisted to return to register the following day. The next day I returned, however, along the way received a ticket for not having a hands free device for my cell phone. In a perfect world, I would have been able to register the day previously and had not had to run around. When I had registered, Dave helped me by getting me in the system. Though, in my opinion I dont think Dave was authorized to waive my fee. I did mention what had happened with my appointment. I have been studying qualitative sociological methods in school and from an analysis of Dave's speech, my inference was "Luck" was the only thing currently being cast by your office. For the next few weeks, I called with availability, however gbot busy with graduate school, umpiring baseball, and substitute teaching.

On may 26th, 2011, I was on my way out to do a planned errand with my mom, when I received a call at a little after 8 in the morning. It was a rush call, so I rushed into my 1969 Camaro and drove to the racetrack. Imagine my excitement thinking my goal as an actor to earn a union voucher had been met. I had rushed to set within 30 minutes of the call and had cleared wardrobe and found a production assistant at 845 am. For this rush call, the extra consideration was 6$ of time, yet in the back of my mind was Dave resassuring me how the relationship between people and the casting agency was different at Christopher Gray Casting.

The point of this letter is to inform you that for the trouble, I went through with registering, getting a ticket, and the rush call, I don't feel adequately whole. Therefore, I am asking for your attentive consideration in making me whole and continuing a steadfast and loyal agency.

I would like to earn a union voucher. I've taken acting classes, performed in theatre, and confuct myself with the utmost professionalism.

Thanx for your time. I hope we can continue a positive working relationship.

Respectfully Yours,


  1. Dear Mr. Unlucky. First of all, your expectations are far too high for "Background Extra" work. Even I will admitt, it's BS how they treat extras while they hull in millions off the back of our hardwork too. However, you seem to have that college mentality that just becaue you went to college, you deserve to get the big job with big money. It doesn't work that way nor should it. Also, you sound like you're blaming the ticket you got on getting called for this job. That's nobody's fault but your own. There was no need to even bring that into the story you've told. No need.

    To earn a unoin voucher, you need to be cast as a "feature" or "Principal" actor for the project. If you really wanna be union that badly, you can pay AFTRA their $1600 bucks! but it won't get you much farther. You have need to build a reel first and you do this by working on small projects, like for people in Film school. And most of it will be for free. Secondly, you will then need to find an agency that will accept you. The fact is; you won't get a speaking job unless you're with an agency and thus, you won't get a voucher until then. Fairly simple.

    Just so you know, I started out not knowing anything before I found my place but I didn't run to the web and announce it as you have. Not a good idea to do by the way. You need to research more about this type of work to inform yourself on how things really work here. Ask questions from people who have worked in this biz but don't complain because you will be black listed from every agency in town! I know several who are because of doing things like this. You just have to eat the bad that comes with the very little good until you make it bigger. That's just the pecking order you must follow. So Good Luck and learn!!!

  2. Look sir. I've give Christopher Gray casting an opporrunity to make things right with me. I shared with them my ecperience and did not accuse them of, making things wrong. I did however, mention that there was a relationship between their agency and a chain of events that ultimately left me dissatisfied.

    The reason I sent this letter is to do something different. Background actors get paid squat but what comes with the territory is a lot of downtime. On this particular day I was exploited. There was hardly any downtime and I was in the sun all day. Bg performers do not have an opportunity to pick and select their work. There are opportunities to join the union, however these exist everyday embedded in a crapshoot of what first assistant directors need at that very time and moment. You cannot become a union performer if you don't work.

    This letter was to appeal to make things right. While I personally did not charge christopher gray casting with any responsibility, I did mention that he was in a position to do me right. He could have called me up the following week and offered me a one time dispensation and used a union voucher on me. It is the same work but with 2.5 times the pay.

    Why should I be chastised for negotiating a rate of compensation. I may have used an irrational means, but isn't the industry irrational? Many people want the work which pays pips and there is no shortage of ready and available extras? Also, I was promised a more personal touch, yet was required to pay at the time a 25$ administration fee(illegal).

  3. Good "Luck" collecting anything from Chris Gray. He booked me for a job January 2012 and I haven't been paid since. Neither have 98% of the people I had worked with.

    If you find him, I'd like to know where he is so I can serve him some paperwork.


    1. I worked in that promo as well...never got paid:(((

  4. Nick... he is here in griffin ga!

  5. Here is a recent bounced check from this group.