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Looking for extra cash? 

If you’ve ever dreamed of making it big on the silver screen or the black box, working as an extra may be the fastest way to get your foot behind the green door. Background work, as they call it, introduces you to the industry, generates contacts, and could lead to your lucky break. It worked for Brad Pitt, after all.

Cameo Casting Services, now located in San Luis Obispo, works directly with Hollywood producers and casting directors and is looking for ordinary, everyday faces from the Central Coast to perform as extras in TV shows like “Will and Grace� and “Malcolm in the Middle,� as well as many big-screen blockbusters that you haven’t even heard of yet.

In business since 1995, the Beverly Hills-based company represents about 600 extras in Southern California. Cameo Casting Services moved its headquarters from Cambria to San Luis Obispo last month and has just begun recruiting talent in this area.

Most of the filming is done in the L.A. area, but Dawn Deibert, spokeswoman for the casting company, expects many people in this area will be willing to make the drive south to work on a Hollywood set. But Deibert also points out that there are more productions are being filmed on the Central Coast, and this could become a great opportunity for local talent or anyone interested in getting into the entertainment industry.

The company keeps its headquarters on the Central Coast for the simple reason that “it’s a nicer place to live,� Deibert said.

Cameo Casting provides its service to film and television producers for free, but charges prospective actors a one-time registration fee of $99 to be placed on its roster. Extras can expect to make that money back in their first or second time on the set. Non-union workers generally receive $54 for eight hours of work, while Screen Actors Guild (SAG) members usually get paid $118 for the same time. Cameo Casting Services represents both SAGs and non-SAGs.

Upon registration, the Cameo Casting staff will take some digital pictures and post them on their web site — glossy headshots are misleading and outdated, Deibert said. From there, Cameo makes the necessary calls to its extensive industry contacts and quickly finds background work for its clients. Cameo Casting extras have recently appeared alongside Prince and Madonna, and in films like “Dodgeball.�

For more info or to set up an appointment, call Dawn Deibert at 544-9090.

FAST FACTS

Guayakí Sustainable Rainforest Products, based in San Luis Obispo, was honored at the Natural Products Expo East in Washington, D.C. last month with a Socially Responsible Business Award. In 1997, David Karr co-founded Guayakí, which specializes in yerba maté, a natural alternative to coffee that grows in the rain forests of South America and boasts an incredible list of health benefits. Originally a class project at Cal Poly, the local company now leads the yerba maté industry with 65 percent of the market share. For more information, visit www.guayaki.com or call 1-888-GUAYAKI (482-9254). …

… River Oaks in Paso Robles is proud to introduce the nation’s first six-hole golf course. Developer Dick Willhoit wanted to create a “Player Development Course� and hired Rudy Duran and Gary Wishon to design a course that accommodates all levels of golfers who want to play but don’t have the time to enjoy a full game. The one-of-a-kind River Oaks Golf Course features three tees on each hole, allowing beginning, intermediate, and even seasoned players to choose their own level of difficulty. Located just north of Highway 46 East, off Buena Vista Drive, the River Oaks Golf Course is open from 7 a.m. to dusk. For more info, call 226-2096. …

… The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is sponsoring a workshop for local entrepreneurs titled How to Survive in Business in San Luis Obispo County. The workshop, to be held in the conference room of the Templeton Community Services District from 5:30 to 8:30 on Nov. 9, will discuss issues of marketing products and services, managing cash flow, and hiring new employees. For more info, contact SCORE at 547-0779. ³

 

Staff Writer Jeff Hornaday compiled this week’s Strokes and Plugs. E-mail him at
jhornaday@newtimesslo.com.

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