My Day as a Background Actor on Location with Private Eyes

In the Summer of 2018, I was presented with an exciting opportunity: spending the day on location with Private Eyes. Not only would I be there observing, I was actually going to be a background actor for the day! I was told that in the episode, Matt Shade (Jason Priestley) would be going undercover at a TV dance competition show hosted by his ex, Becca (Nicole de Boer). Think Dancing with the Stars without the judges. I just had to say yes!

My day on location with Private Eyes

I arrived early that morning at a holding area near the legendary Masonic Hall in Toronto. Following the formalities that come with being an extra (check-in, paperwork, hair, makeup and wardrobe checks), they walked us down the road to where they’d be filming. As a music venue, The Masonic Hall has hosted the likes of Tina Turner, Iggy Pop, and Depeche Mode. It was even the site of Led Zeppelin’s very first show in the city. Even though it wasn’t my first time in the building, its history still had an effect on me the moment I passed through those doors.

Once we were in the theatre space, the group of background actors was given a rundown of the day’s scenes. We were told that we’d be standing around the ballroom floor, cheering on the contestants. The choreographer also came out to tell us about training with Priestley, who despite only having limited rehearsal time, really picked up on the moves.

We spent the day watching Jason Priestley doing the pasodoble as Shade tried to figure out who was after one of the Ballroom Smash celeb contestants. We clapped and smiled a lot, and in between takes, the background actors tried to stay warm. It was absolutely freezing cold on the sidelines. To this day, I wonder if my body temperature ever recovered, but it was so worth it! A word of advice if you ever find yourself on a set: have a sweater or jacket on hand.

The episode of Private Eyes, “Dance, Dance Retribution,” premiered tonight on Global TV.

In case you missed it (and you’re in Canada), you can watch it here. If you look closely, you’ll spot me in the background a few times during the second half. Mostly I’m applauding, but I also look really concerned in a few frames as Shade tries to solve the case!

It was an exciting day that left me with an even deeper appreciation of everything that goes into creating TV. A special thank you goes out to the cast, crew, guest stars, background talent, and absolutely everyone working behind the scenes to make this happen.

Photos Courtesy of Global TV

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