There are very few ways to make “easy cash” in this world. Unless you are a millionaire or better, the term “easy cash” is nearly a fictitious entity, destined to remain just beyond one’s reach in the twilight zone of relaxing on the beach and hiring a stockbroker to work your millions.
Of course, this is a myth. There are ways to make “easy cash” or should I say, “relatively easy cash.” Working as an extra in a film or tv is a modestly paying job, and can get you a few extra bucks in the bank. The difficulty is in finding that opportunity. This is where it gets a little tricky.
Finding a job as a movie extra is harder than one would think, and it is not as easy as typing “be a movie extra” into Google. When people begin looking into being a movie extra, they commit one immediate flaw. The opt for a hiring service. These services promise that with a registration fee, they will find you work in big budget films. The problem is that the director and the team who are responsible for finding extras, do not surf these resources. They go to a reliable source to find extras, and usually do it a few days before. The truth is, these sources are phony in their ability to get you any work at all, let alone consistent work.
Casting agencies can be legitimate, but they are few and far between. You can tell one is real if the registration fee is appropriately low, around $35-$45. You register with them, and they notify you of an open casting a week before. Sometimes it is less, as directors needs extras quickly to move forward with the scene. When you register, you confirm yourself with a profile and an image, as well as some basis stats about you (height, attributes).
If chosen, you usually show up to the shooting location with your social security card, a photo of you, and ID. You do not get paid the day of the shoot, but more often than not, a week or two later. The job is often easy, and you may wind up in the marginally important background of a famous film!
If you are a somewhat serious actor, or pursuing a serious career in acting, the goal of extra work is meeting someone who enjoys you, and obtaining an option for a speaking role, however small. Every actor started in some way, and they likely started by being an extra and sticking to it. The job is fun, but ultimately stressful if you are trying to get more than $100 a week out of it.
Yet many extras procure consistent work, and have been doing so for years as a reliable and interesting extra. The fact is, there are many people looking to make money. Opting for a just any casting agency is likely a waste of your money. Surf the Internet and find the reliable sources, and expect sporadic work. Acting is a tough job no matter where you lie on its wide and imposing spectrum.