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Extra! Extra!

Sarah MacDonnell at launch of extras agency 1066 Casting

Sarah MacDonnell at launch of extras agency 1066 Casting

Bohemia entrepreneur Sarah MacDonnell launched her extras agency, 1066 Casting, at the White Rock Pavilion in February. “I was very aware of Foyle’s War, and also Michael Caine was down here filming, but all the extras they were using were coming down from London. I realised there wasn’t an agency to connect local people with the film production companies,” said Sarah.
Sarah, who lives in Bohemia, comes from a show business background. Her first job was as a Butlin’s Redcoat, then she worked on a cruise ship for four years as a singer and dancer. She has also appeared in TV shows and worked for several years in musical theatre. She moved down from London when she was cast as the princess in the Hastings pantomime in 2003. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else now!” she says.
Since then Sarah has been working as an entertainment agent in the family business, Prima Artists, which is based in St. Leonards.
“They book corporate and private entertainment, and they deal with the National Elvis Tour as well. I set up my own tradition within the family business, of booking headline entertainment on cruise ships.”
The launch of Sarah’s own 1066 Casting drew crowds of hopefuls to the Sussex Halls at the White Rock. People of all ages and types were queuing to register, have professional portrait photographs taken, and learn more about what being an extra entails.
“All it takes is an agency to make the connection.” says Sarah. “Then production companies coming down here, for example for Foyle’s War or one of the Harry Potter films, some of which was done in Eastbourne, can use local extras in crowd scenes, or as a background in a pub or on the sea front. Local people are just as capable of doing it as people from London.” She stresses that being an extra is casual employment. “It’s not so much a vocation as a hobby.”
More information: www.1066casting.co.uk

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