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During the Depression Unskilled Labor Flocked to Hollywood  <br />(Photoplay Magazine, 1934)During the Depression Unskilled Labor Flocked to Hollywood
(Photoplay Magazine, 1934)
Illustrated with the images of shanties and tents that once surrounded Universal Studios, this article tells the sad story of Hollywood movie extras and the challenging lives they led during the Great Depression:

"Tossed out of other work by the recent depression, attracted by the false stories of Hollywood's squanderings and extravagances, excited by the thrill of living and working in the same town and the same industry with world famous personalities, they drifted to Hollywood and attached themselves to the motion picture industry. They registered with the Central Casting Bureau, and joined the great army of extras."
"These people saw no glitter, no romance, no bright mirage of stardom. To them, it was hard work and serious work..."

From Amazon: Hollywood Unknowns: A History of Extras, Bit Players, and Stand-Ins

DON'T BECOME AN EXTRA <br />(Liberty Magazine, 1935)DON'T BECOME AN EXTRA
(Liberty Magazine, 1935)
If you were planning to use your time machine to travel back to the Thirties so you could be an extra in Gone with the Wind - you might want to read this article about what a bad hand was dealt to that crowd back in the day. It was written by Campbell MacCulloch, General Manager of the Central Casting Corporation - and he knew all about it:

"In Hollywood dwell some ten or twelve thousand misguided folk who cling tenaciously to a couple of really fantastic illusions..."

''Extras Are <i>Anybody</i>'' <br />(Rob Wagner's Script, 1935)''Extras Are Anybody''
(Rob Wagner's Script, 1935)
When the 20th Century Fox executive Joseph Schenk (1876 - 1961) opened his big fat pie hole and blathered-on about what he really thought of Hollywood extras, he soon discovered that this minority had champions in the press corps who would come to their aid when needed.
Trainable Extras Were Vital <br />(Click Magazine, 1938)Trainable Extras Were Vital
(Click Magazine, 1938)