Five-0 Redux: Being the blonde on the beach

May. 31, 2011 | 30 Comments

BY WENDIE BURBRIDGE / Special to the Star-Advertiser

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Photo by FL MORRIS / fmorris@staradvertiser.com

I know that much of why we are drawn to “Hawaii Five-0” has a lot to do with the look of the show, and for that matter, the good-looking people on the show. All those tanned, gorgeous, shirtless bodies, and the beautiful women in bikinis—and I’m not just talking about McG and Kono, though they count too. I’m also talking about all the background players who look terrific walking around and lounging on Waikiki Beach as well as sitting in restaurants and running away from yakuza gunmen.

Which is why it is not surprising that when you meet someone as beautiful and striking as Sarah Katherine Miller, you’re not surprised that she has been an extra on several episodes of “Hawaii Five-0” including being a “Bikini girl” in several episodes, namely “Ke Kinohi” during the scene where the Yakuza tried to kill McG on Waikiki Beach, and in the Tiki’s bar scene and in pool shots at the Aston Waikiki during “Powa Maka Moana.” She also played a patron at the Tropics Bar and Grill in the famous “Blue Hawaiian” scene with Kala Alexander, McG, and Danno, and a pedestrian on Queen Street when Kono and Chin pull over a car to look for weapons in “Ko’olauloa.” She is tall and lovely and as sweet as she looks. And as someone who has cast extras before, if the daily call sheet asked for “a blonde on the beach,” she would be the first call I made.

Quick side note: Call time is what the television and film productions use to tell actors when they have to be on set in order to get into make-up, costume, and to get ready for filming. Call time is usually at least two hours before shooting begins (depending on how much make-up or costuming is needed). A call sheet is what the production crew gets toward the end of the shooting day and it basically tells everyone who is expected to be on set the following day, what scenes will be shot, what locations will be used, what time the crew needs to be on set, what time actors and extras need to be on set, and meal times. For extras casting, it is a very important sheet because it tells us what kinds of people we need to cast for the following day. That’s what makes extras casting so hectic—not only do you have to be working on set running the extras, but you also have to cast the following day while shooting is going on. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the call sheet early in the day, but I’ve actually starting casting extras at 10:00 at night for a 6 am call time the next morning.

Sarah is really a great find for Extras Casting, because she has prior experience as an extra, so she knows the drill: bring three changes of clothes, no red, black, or white, or anything with logos, she knows that the call time is very important, that she will be waiting for long periods of time, and that the day may be longer than 8 hours. Sarah was an Extra on the film Ladder 49 and on the television show “Army Wives.” Most of her experience was on “Army Wives” where she said, “it basically became a part time job. I worked almost every week and appeared in multiple episodes of Season 3, often as a waitress in the Hump Bar or as an Army wife, but even appearing once as a soldier in full gear.” She once worked for 17 hours on the “Army Wives” set, where she was in full 1940’s make-up and costume and danced nearly the entire shooting day.

Most times when you are called to be an extra, you will be asked to bring your own clothing to wear on set, or they will provide you with a costume, like in Sarah’s experience for the 1940’s scenes in “Army Wives.” Most likely, unless “Hawaii Five-0” does a flashback to Pearl Harbor during World War II, you’ll probably BYOB—bring your own bikini.

  • Jlopie

    Very cool story, Wendie!  I think I could do one half of the “elegant older couple!” I said “older,” not “elderly”!

    • joey keagy

      Older. Elderly. Just simantics

  • Josue

    How do you become an extra?

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Here’s a better link to reach Rachel Sutton Casting to register as an extra: http://rachelsuttoncasting.com.

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Here’s a better link to reach Rachel Sutton Casting to register as an extra: http://rachelsuttoncasting.com.

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Here’s a better link to reach Rachel Sutton Casting to register as an extra: http://rachelsuttoncasting.com.

  • Anonymous

    Mom with toddler? How about a dad with (the cutest ever) toddler? I might just sign up coz she is the only reason why I didn’t yet, there’s nobody to watch over her if I’m not around =)

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article. Enjoyable read

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article. Enjoyable read

  • Val

    What would Hawaii be without all its “beautiful” people in the background?  How come we only get to hear about the blond babes – what about the cool cute guys – there must a be dozen of those around wearing board shorts and hawaiian shirts and all  beautifully tanned!!  Man if  I were to look that great – I would jump at a chance to do  back ground work….nothing very exciting (no lines or anything) but you get to see the film crew in action – that would be the most fun and of course seeing our Ohana Five O’s in super hot action.   

    Great fun blog Wendie – thanks for giving us the heads up!!  Now write about the cute extra guys on the island, you know we would like to hear from them too…..lol!!!   

  • http://twitter.com/H50undercover Officer 808

    I’m 5′ 3″, 250 pounds.  I have a great personality.  And a hairy back.  Could they use me as an extra?

    • Val

      Oh I’m sure – that they will have plenty room for such a character in H50!!!  I’m sure you would blend really welll into the background – like “deep background” – something I’m sure you know how to do very well, wouldn’t you say, with one exception no camera or notebook and pen.  I t would be fun to play a character like that just think how busy the “tweets” and “blogs” would be so close to the action. 

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      They can use all shapes and sizes- and back hair, Officer 808:)

  • Silke

    Great article and interesting insight! I’m so glad you keep posting during the hiatus!

  • Silke

    Great article and interesting insight! I’m so glad you keep posting during the hiatus!

  • Wallyr911

    That’s my stepdaughter, Way to go Sarah!!!!!

  • Paul D

    Another great blog Wendie. Appreciate the inside info along with the photos. Your comments add much to understanding how a production is put together.

  • Paul D

    Another great blog Wendie. Appreciate the inside info along with the photos. Your comments add much to understanding how a production is put together.

  • COSMIO_PROPELLOR

    Anyone know how tall the blond detective is?  He seems a bit verticaly challenged but fine actor.

  • COSMIO_PROPELLOR

    Anyone know how tall the blond detective is?  He seems a bit verticaly challenged but fine actor.

  • Bigscottbrooks

    It’s hard to believe a staff writer would put an apostrophe in a plural. Common mistake these days.

    • http://twitter.com/WendieJoy Wendie Joy

      Not a staff writer- just a regular girl working two jobs- thanks for the grammar catch. I see it. Sometimes at midnight it’s hard to catch all your dumb mistakes. I’ll beat– er… speak to my editor. 

    • Anonymous

      really, that’s what you took from the blog, an accidental grammatical error?!?!?! gee, being perfect must be hard, huh???

    • Val

      Actually if you read the text again, you will see that Wendie has worded it correctly.  The apostrophe is in the right place after all. Its referencing to the set of the show called Army Wives.  Besides all of us who follow Wendie’s blogs truly have an appreciation for the great research work she has done for all of us who don’t live in Hawaii – mahalo Wendie. 

  • Bigscottbrooks

    It’s hard to believe a staff writer would put an apostrophe in a plural. Common mistake these days.

  • Lisa

    “BYOB”  That’s cute, Wendie.  Good article.

  • Lisa

    “BYOB”  That’s cute, Wendie.  Good article.

  • http://twitter.com/MahaloMichael Michael Miller

    Nice Blog post! Sarah @BlondeAtBeach is a great person to boot!

  • http://twitter.com/WEBSouffle Dana Marks Rachlin

    Wendie, 
    Very cool post and great info for extras wanting to know the real scoop! They work hard, long hours, get to meet some cool people, get fed and get paid. Not bad! Oh, and don’t worry about the Grammar Police, they just don’t know you have “Immunity and Means!”

    Dana In Vermont

    PS: what if they can’t do their own makeup and hair? :(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PG6CCL3DX4RJECOPB7SPXFDLBA malachite

    There is a difference between being professional and being “high and mighty.”  Rachel Sutton falls in ths latter category.  The success of casting LOST and then Hawaii 5-O has gone to her head.  No wonder all her former staff quit or were let goand she had to get new staff who would serve her without questioning.