A few years back I took a day job as an extra on a SAG commercial. During our lunch break, while in line, I ran into an old college buddy who was working with the catering services. After a brief chat, she sized me up and said, "How tall are you?" "Five foot ten," I answered. "What's your weight?" "175 on a good day," I replied. "Have they used you on camera today?" "Not yet," I said.
"Go see Marcy, the costumer, and tell her that you are a friend of mine. I think they're looking for a helicopter pilot for tomorrow's shoot." So I walked over to the costume trailer and I introduced myself to Marcy.
After looking me over, Marcy, too, asked me about my size and weight. After answering her, she pulled out a flight suit and said, "If it fits you, then you're the pilot tomorrow." Well, I would have used grease to slip into that flight suit if I'd had to, but my luck held: It fit like a glove.
The pilot's role was a principal without lines, and my paycheck went from $250 as an extra to nearly $8,000 after the commercial completed running its cycle on TV. And that lucky break helped finance part of my wedding and my entire honeymoon. Now, I had always wanted to be an inch taller. But I stopped whining after that.