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Extras: Read all about them in today's L.A. Times

June 10, 2011 | 12:28 pm

Extras are trained to keep a low profile. It's their professional occupation. But the people who play the  the anonymous hotel clerks, courtroom jurors and store patrons in scores of movies, TV shows and commercials are now in the spotlight thanks to a recent action by local and state officials.

Last month, the Los Angeles city attorney's office and California labor commissioner took the unusual step of issuing a cease-and-desist letter to Central Casting in Burbank -- the largest company for extras -- ordering it to stop charging an upfront fee that they said violated state law. Similar warning letters were sent to 13 other L.A. casting companies.

The action stunned many at the casting companies who said they were unfairly targeted and that the fees were necessary to cover their costs. But the warning struck a chord for those in the extras community who have complained for years about being squeezed by fees for casting firms and job listing services at a time when work has grown increasingly scarce.

Read the full story in Friday's Los Angeles Times.

-- Richard Verrier


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