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KD Alum, Marissa Bell, chats about ’13 Reasons Why’

KD Alum, Marissa Bell, was cast as an extra on the hit Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’. We talked to her about her experience as an extra and life on set…

1. How is life after graduation?

It’s great, a lot of auditioning more than anything. I love auditioning though, you get to show casting what you’re capable of and get to meet everyone else in the area who is interested in the industry. Most auditions I’ve been to I’ve seen more than a few familiar faces. Workshops have played a pretty big part after graduating for me personally. I believe you can always further develop your craft. If you don’t have anything going on filming wise then I feel that it’s important to be involved in either stage acting or taking workshops. Creativity is constant and there’s no end to it, everyone should take advantage of that. The great thing about KD is even after you graduate you’re always welcomed in as an alum.

2. What is it like working on the set of “13 Reasons Why?”

It is both demanding and rewarding. Everyone is very welcoming, but it is a fast paced environment, which can be a bit stressful at times. You want to make sure you’re doing exactly as you’re told, and that you aren’t ruining the shot. There are times it will be so hot outside and we need to be dressed in winter clothing. Even the opposite, it’ll actually be really cold and we’re dressed like it’s summer. That’s never ideal, but craft services was very considerate and came around with water bottles to keep us hydrated. The crew will let us move off to the side for shade or step inside for a moment while they set up the next shot if it’s too hot. I remember a day where it was freezing outside and even raining a little and my wardrobe was a dress for a party scene. One of the PA’s saw that I kept shivering so instead of keeping me outside for the shot I was moved inside the house. Everyone is always well taken care of. It’s absolutely incredible working on set, and the show films for around six months so you get to make some really close friends. Connections too, that’s so important. Besides the paycheck, making connections with others in the industry you want to be in is definitely the biggest reward. It’s an amazing chance to get a start.

3. Did you feel prepared for the show after attending KD?

Very well prepared, yes. I knew, for the most part, all of the terminology used because of what I learned at KD, which made it easier for me to be able to take direction. I didn’t have to ask what back to one meant or what a PA was for example. KD gave me all the tools I needed, including a proper resume and headshot that I could submit. In class we learn so much about camera work and get a feel for what it’s like being around a camera, so you’re not like a deer caught in the headlights when you get close to one. You know how to properly act around industry professionals with confidence.

4. What is the biggest lesson learned at KD that was applied to your time shooting “13 Reasons Why?”

I remember being taught that once you wrap for the day to say thank you to all crew members. Even sound and lighting, craft services. Everyone. I feel like that was such an important lesson to learn. Once we’re finished for the day people rush to get signed out so they can leave, not many take the time to say thank you day after day. The thought doesn’t even occur to them. The crew will remember you, most will appreciate it and putting your name out there is something we all want to do.

6. What’s next?

The second season of “13 Reasons Why” is being filmed so I’ve been working on set again. Which is wonderful that I was invited back. I just became SAG eligible too, so I plan on joining soon then sending my headshot and resume out to agents. Which I’m very excited to do!