Wannabe extras dream of stardom – Raymond Zhou
From China Daily (link):
Playing wallflowers on the big or small screen seems to be an enjoyable way of making some money, but those wanting to be extras must be prepared for more intense competition and exploitation than in most jobs.
Yao Haidong sports a haircut that makes him stand out in a throng of about 100 people in front of the Beijing Film Studio (Beiying). Nobody would mistake him for a rock’n'roller, but anyone with an inkling about this group would know that Yao had probably been in a recent production of a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)-related movie or television show.
Yao is an extra on the constant prowl for work. He is one of hundreds who mill around the Beiying entrance waiting to be cast in walk-on roles that will help sustain a hand-to-mouth living and may open up a fancy world of glittering stardom.