Hawaii's Greatest TV and Film Extra
In a land that Hollywood treats like its own tropical backlot, one aspiring actor has a plan to make it big.
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For a couple of years after the unceremonious end of his run on Lost, the background jobs coming his way slowed to a crawl. Part of the problem, Teddy realized, was that the film industry in Hawaii simply isn’t as robust as it could be. Part of the solution, he decided, would be to bring some organization to the pool of local talent.
With that in mind, he started an online social networking site, the Hawaii Actors Network. It’s a place where Hawaii’s actors and would-be actors can post headshots, talk shop, and keep abreast of the latest industry news, gossip and rumors. Casting directors sometimes post exclusive crew calls on HAN. When the independently produced movie You May Not Kiss the Bride premiered in Hawaii, HAN members filled the theater. Teddy once rallied HAN members to protest at the state Capitol in support of a stronger film industry.
The network has grown rapidly in its four years of existence, and now includes more than 6,700 members, Teddy says.
Along the way, Teddy has a achieved a level of Internet fame that has surpassed any notoriety he’s achieved as a background actor. HAN members recognize him everywhere he goes, he says. But, he’s quick to add, HAN isn’t about him.
“The whole purpose is to empower people,” he says. “To get people who don’t really believe in themselves to believe in themselves, and to understand that being an extra is really not a bad thing.”
Meanwhile, he’s continuing to take every background-acting gig that comes his way. And while the other extras are chitchatting in the extras’ holding area, he’s standing on the sidelines, near the director and principal performers, watching, learning and ready for anything.
“I believe that I will be on the set one day, and somebody will see me, and come to me and say, ‘You know what? You’re perfect for what I need.’”