Extra, Extra: Read All About One

Behind every singing member of the Glee community, there are those who make it all happen for them. It’s not you, their watcher, even though you keep the show going. It’s not the crew, though without them there would be no Glee. It’s the people on set that you see behind your favorite characters: the musicians who play their music. I was fortunate enough to have a phone interview with a guy who may have caught your eye on the show. Violinist Jeffery Crawford, born in Oklahoma City and raised in Los Angeles, talks on being a recurring extra on TV’s hottest recent show Glee.

The Fashion Pawn: How did you get the role of violin player on Glee?

Jeffery Crawford: While at Hamilton Music Academy, in my senior year, we received a call from Fox’s studios contractor, Christine Day. A few of us were selected based on talent and overall “High School Youthful looks”

TFP: Why did you choose to accept the role?

J.C: I chose to accept because it was something new, exciting, and a bit mysterious for me. I didn’t know what to expect, but I’ve gained a lot of great friends, co-workers, a great network, and even greater life-long mentors.

TFP: Give us an example of a day on set!

J.C: Drive in to Paramount Studios to get my day pass for parking, head straight to Christine to report (catch up). Then on to wardrobe (the look of the day, 9/10 times, is nerdy school wear-I don’t know why Glee seems to want to portray the idea that musicians are nerds… but hey, they’re getting paid the big bucks, not me haha!), then Hair/Make-up, Rehearsal, and finally filming! J

TFP: What’s your favorite moment when filming?

J.C: My favorite moment has to be when we are waiting for our starting positions (Staging).  Another moment is getting to know the people that aren’t on the ending credits. The un-sung heroes that make the magic happen.

TFP: Does your hero have his own personal style?

J.C: Well, if I had an actual character role… He’d definitely be the easygoing band member. He leads when he needs to, and follows when he’s not. He’s very chatty, but when the music starts his eyes close, he takes a deep breath, and let’s the music flow.

TFP: What have you learned from being on the show?

J.C: I’ve learned very proper and respectful set/stage decorum and anyone can be replaced. I’ve also learned that 21st Century Hollywood is extremely based on looks, and not so much talent at all. There’s so much that goes into making a Television show possible: directors, lighting, staging, audio engineers, vocal coaches (for this show in particular, There’s a lot of lip-syncing that goes on).

TFP: How has your view of Television changed since working?

J.C: I truly see that it is indeed very much “smoke and mirrors.”  I’ve also realized that a T.V. show is just another persons’ art; an immense production that takes loads of creativity, strength, and freedom to produce and present to the world.  It’s really awesome to think that Glee, having been a musical before hand, could’ve been just that all over again, but it was taken to the mainstream society to view and enjoy.

TFP: What comes after Glee?

J.C: After Glee, I’m not too sure. I’m still looking for a casting agency that works for me. Also a gym, it sucks but I need to be in better shape for my health. I want to do more of this work; background musician, actor, dancer, singer. I want it all. I believe in myself, but everyone who believes needs a little extra push & help. I feel like there’s something out there for me, I just need to find it. I see myself on a constant discovery. A Journey to using my talents and the bonding power of music to bring us all as One Human Race closer together!

I see myself winning and loosing A LOT of battles.

TFP: I may be back tracking but, I’ve been wondering, where did you learn how to play violin?

J.C: I taught myself how to play the Violin the summer of my 7th grade year at Palms Middle School. It was something that needed to be done and my family didn’t have extra money lying around for $70/hour lessons. HaHa!

TFP: For my readers, where are your favorite stores and who are your favorite designers?

J.C: I went through a very weird stage of Aber-Fierceness. I don’t regret it but I do regret what it made me act like. I’m very open to new designers; I don’t have much time to really think about it. Overall the original Gabriel “Coco” Chanel. She won my heart.

TFP: Chanel is truly inspiring. Sometimes I channel her in things I do. Do you have a style icon?

J.C: I love Bruno Mars. If you haven’t listened to Grenade, please do. And really listen to what he’s saying. He finds a way of writing a story, and painting amazing pictures when he sings.

See, extras have feelings and dreams too! So pay attention to the characters in the back! Catch Jeffery Crawford on Glee, Tuesday’s at 8pm on FOX.

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