Getting onto the wild wild west, Hollywood edition of a “Montana story” all started when I realized that the state of Montana was issuing tax credits for productions that filmed in Montana and used Montana residents exclusively as extras. While my time on the silver screen has largely become a rearview prospect, doing extra work seemed right up the alley for me! I like networking, enjoying the set design, getting to know the hair and makeup crew, and all the other crew in the backstage.
Photo of Toby-Jeanne’s favorite Double H boots that she wore on set.
Making the connection
After I heard about the filming tax credits for the Yellowstone production, I looked up resources for the casting department- which happened to use Facebook to put out most of their calls and other resources. Upon begrudgingly reactivating my long-deactivated Facebook in order to get the latest casting news, I saw that they were indeed looking for my “type”, Female- 20s, petite. Their little Facebook page was replete with good information on what roles they were needing, when and where the roles would be needed at. I then sent in my application with headshots and included additional information on the bottom of the email that might encourage them in my ability to be a great extra. (Casting is almost always interested in details that might help you be a better actor- have you taken classes? Been involved in previous productions? Do you have special skills like horsemanship, ballet, group dance, pageantry, instrumental skills? Casting usually likes to know in case they have a specialty role for someone to play for that scene.)
Once I sent in the casting email, I heard nothing back! That’s right, a big whopping nothing. Surely there was a mistake, as they were asking for rush extras in my demographic? Well, I didn’t hold my breath. I moved on and kept living life until the subject came up again and I decided to reapply, and this time I received information back in nearly the same instant. I was to come to set and to bring a decent wardrobe with me! So, I replied back with a confirmation that I was indeed set to go.
Photo of Toby-Jeanne’s car packed and ready to go.
Packing and prepping
I packed like a true pageant girl, bringing plenty of wardrobe options for the ”buckle bunny” and “Fair” scenes (including my favorite Double-H boots). Once the little car was sufficiently full, I took off on my 8 hour journey to Darby from Miles City. (8 hours, doesn’t include stops! Darby is darn near “Idaho Montana” and Miles City is only an hour and a hop from the ND border, so it is a fairly long drive.)
Being that I have food sensitivity, I elected to car camp near the location overnight and have an early morning cookout before I got dressed and did makeup. (For all those wondering, yes, many Montanan’s “have a favorite pistol”, and many of us travel with our favorites as well! Safety first kids!) I then packed myself food for set and tossed it in my medical bag before heading to set to get checked in and go through the rigamarole of paperwork.
Photo of Toby-Jeanne’s car before (top) and after (bottom) getting washed in case they needed a vehicle for a scene.
Getting to the Set
Once on set of Yellowstone, I met some wonderful other extras who happened to be early to the show as well. We sat in our camping chairs and got to know one another before heading in to the check-in where a lovely wardrobe assistant picked from my jewelry and outfits to make the perfect “Fair going” outfit for the day. As I looked up from my checklist, I saw an old pageant friend and we had a grand time catching up as we progressed through the check in process.
At this point and time, the extras were called in shifts to the actual set where everyone was enjoying the day “at the fair;” although it might have been considered Crowley’s (from supernatural) day at the fair, since it consisted of “waiting-in-line” for rides that never came for many extras. I met several wonderful people during the duration of the day- and even fell asleep on set during the nighttime shots. (Don’t tell the editors!)
Photo of Toby-Jeanne after a long day on the Yellowstone set.
Ending a Long Day
At the end of the long 14 hour day, I gathered up my withered existence and hauled myself and my buddy to a wonderful relatives house, who graciously opened her doors to our shenanigans! I was prepared to car camp for days on end, whereas my buddy was definitely ready for a shower and a real bed.
Upon reaching the “host home”, I received a phone call from casting, inquiring if I knew of any resources that could help them for upcoming scenes. I gladly volunteered the information, and the casting crew has been super fun to work with ever since! A helpful hint for those who are curious to make connections in the industry- always be ready to help whenever something is needed on set, and always volunteer information that might be helpful if it is an appropriate time to do so!
All-in-all, this is my experience on getting on the set of Yellowstone, with the intention of getting a bottle of Cat’s Claw fasteners into the hands of the set design boys. (Stay tuned to hear more behind the scenes happenings!) Have more Yellowstone related questions? Cat’s Claw Fasteners would love to hear from you. Make sure to email them over to our Head Cat Collector at email@example.com, check out our other fencing related blogs here and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube!