Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Anyone But Me's Mitchell S. Adams Works "Extra" Hard

You may not notice our extras on Anyone But Me, but you would definitely notice if they weren't there. Imagine “Clarence High” (Vivian’s Westchester high school) if the only students were Vivian, Archibald, Jonathan, Sophie and Elisabeth; a “busy” train station where Vivian was the only passenger; or a New York party where Vivian, Aster and Breck were the only guests. Extras do more than just fill in the background; they are the unsung heroes who bring ambiance, energy and realism to a scene.

Mitchell S. Adams, ABM’s hunky quarterback Jonathan, knows this as well as
anyone. When he’s not playing Sophie’s boyfriend on ABM, he’s a regular extra on Gossip Girl, Guiding Light and other TV and film productions. In this interview, Mitch talks about life as an actor in New York, his work on ABM and other projects, and mingling with the Gossip Girl cast.

What are some of your favorite on-screen moments as an extra?

MITCHELL S. ADAMS (MSA): Well, here’s the thing about being an extra. The director needs you to be convincing doing whatever it is they ask of you. However, they need you to do it in total silence. My favorite tactic is to simply tell a crazy story, either real or made up, to whomever I’m standing with. I frequently go with my Bar-Mitzvah crashing story. I don’t think I will get into the details now… As for favorite moments in particular, recently one of the assistant directors on Gossip Girl placed me as Dan Humphrey’s [Penn Badgley] friend during a scene. That led to a brief feature when the episode aired a few weeks ago. That was fun, plus I got to chat with Penn between takes.

What about off-screen moments – any good stories about working on Gossip Girl or any of the other shows you’ve been on?

MSA: I would say the best thing that happened to me off-screen was during a long week of Gossip Girl filming. We were shooting about 12 hours per day for four days straight for a formal gala scene. On our last day of shooting that week, one of the principal actresses was wrapped for the day, and I stepped aside to let her exit the set before me, you know, because I’m a gentleman. She looked at me and said she kept thinking I was Chace, in reference to Chace Crawford [who portrays Nate Archibald]. First off, this was a serious compliment because he is a far better-looking man than I am. Even better was the fact that this stunningly beautiful actress was not only being friendly, but she was telling me I looked like someone who was one of Teen Magazine’s 50 Hottest Guys in Hollywood.

Some of the extras from Anyone But Me have been turning up on Gossip Girl. How did that come about?

MSA: Lots of actors in NYC do background work either as their main source of income, a part-time job, or just as a way to dabble in a new area of the industry. As we know, ABM is a show primarily about the lives of kids in high school. Gossip Girl, while being a completely different show, is also primarily about high school kids. Actors usually know which shows are casting. So, if you have been cast as a high school student on one show, there is a good chance you can be cast for the same role on a different show.

How does playing a main character on Anyone But Me compare to doing background work for larger productions?

MSA: In all honesty, I LOVE being a principal on ABM. I have so much fun
working on our show. We have such a great cast and crew, and since it is a small production I get to interact closely with everyone. It’s very cool that I get to work on the likes of Gossip Girl, Guiding Light, and various other shows located in NYC. However, I will always choose being a main character on Anyone But Me over doing background work, regardless of the show. Besides, my goal is to be a successful actor, not a successful background actor!

In addition to the new episodes of ABM to premiere in March, where else can ABM fans see you over the next few weeks?

MSA: I will be working on more Gossip Girl episodes. That is somewhat of a crap-shoot, though, as to whether or not you see me. I play a student, and there is no way to predict if I will be on camera.

I had a featured background role in the independent film Greetings From the
Shore, which allowed me to get onto IMDB.com. I also have a commercial that aired throughout the holidays, and is apparently airing again on cable networks nationwide. It is an ad for Shaun White’s Snowboarding: Roadtrip game on the Nintendo Wii. The spot has been posted on several Web sites as well. If you were so inclined, you could visit GameTrailers.com to check it out.

Was that too much of a self promotion? I swear I’m not conceited!

--Edited by Leslie Jaye Goff

Editor's Note: What's on the playlists of the students at Clarence High? Check out the new ABM Interlude on StrikeTV to find out!

No comments: