Brenda J Fowler, 62, enjoys browsing op shops for 50's fashion, meeting up with friends for lunch, sewing and showing off her beautiful Border Collies. Besides working as an extra on TV, she also does burlesque dancing.
I was working for a battery company helping out a friend but I completely detested the role. For 30 years I had worked in an office environment and I’d reached a stage in my life where I wanted something different. This was 2015, the year before I turned 61.
However, I had no idea of what I wanted to do nor did I feel passionate about a new career. I left the employment three weeks prior to Christmas which was definitely not a great idea however, we managed. My husband is still working so for a change he supported me. After Christmas I looked for some part-time employment however, at the ripe age of 61 not too many people knocking on the door.
No matter, I didn't seem to be home much as I was meeting up with friends, going on lunch excursions, op-shop tours, shopping, and washing and grooming dogs for dog shows. There just didn't seem to be enough hours in the day and I pondered where did I find time to go to work.
But then I came across a job ad in March 2016 advertising for work as an extra on a show called “A Place To Call Home”. This was amazing as I was part of a Facebook page writing daily letters to Channel 7 demanding to know why they had axed our favourite show.
I turned up at Camden for the audition feeling very excited, like a child in a chocolate shop. I just kept thinking, “Oh my god, I am going to be on TV!”. I had to be there at 6am so it was an early start which did not worry me as the excitement just took over. I found a dress and hat that fitted, changed and then went to make-up and hairdressing to get that 50s look. I can tell you Foxtel definitely look after you as once you are looking like you’ve just stepped out of the 50s you sat down to a beautiful hot and cold breakfast.
After breakkie, I was called for my role which was part of a political rally waving and cheering at the handsome George Bligh (aka Brett Climo, we all know who that is). It was such a fantastic day. The excitement on the day is just something that I cannot explain. The thrill of watching famous Australian actors like Noni Hazlehurst, Marta Dusseldorp and Brett Climo was part of it as well. It was hard at the end of the day as I was still buzzing from the excitement of the day. It was difficult to turn off as I made my way home to the beautiful peaceful Blue Mountains.
The hardest part of the experience I found was that I really couldn't tell anyone what I was up to just incise they thought I was going to provide them with information about the upcoming season –which I definitely didn't do! So at the end of July, filming was finished and I then told people that I was an extra on “A Place to Call Home”. My closest of friends were ecstatic that I had been given the opportunity and that I had met the actors.
Since July 2016 I have been in the new Jackie Chan movie filmed at the Sydney Opera House. That was so exciting. I have also played a part in the new series "Doctor Doctor" and have also just been involved with a McDonald’s advert.
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