Retired school teacher, Theresa Daniel of Forsyth, has found a way to supplement her retirement income in the Georgia film industry. Since retiring in 2016, she’s worked on nearly 75 productions as an extra or a stand-in.
Growing up in Macon Daniel didn’t have the opportunity to pursue her dream of acting. Now she is making that dream a reality working in the Georgia film industry.
“I feel like I’m on a new adventure in life and I’m loving it,” says Daniel. “And with the money I’ve made, we were able to build a new deck and go on vacation. My retirement income helps pay for our basic needs, the film industry money is for the fun stuff and the extras.”
She works mostly as a background actor (also known as an extra) and sometimes works as a stand-in, the person who holds the spot for a principal actor while lighting and other issues are worked out.
She has worked on TV shows, commercials and movies. She has traveled around the state working on productions like “First Man,” “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Brockmire,” “Stranger Things,” “I, Tonya,” “Sharp Objects,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Pitch Perfect 3,” “The Resident,” and “Den of Thieves.”
Daniel fell into the film industry in 2013 when her husband, Monroe County Schools Assistant Superintendent Jackson Daniel, allowed an indie film to use the school’s auditorium.
Teachers volunteered to be extras. It was a “bucket list” item for Daniel, and she was happy to participate. It ended up being a family affair, with both her husband and daughter, Katie, performing as background actors as well.
After that experience, Daniel wanted to find more opportunities for acting. She found her next gig on the Harrison Ford movie, “42,” filmed in Macon. She and Katie volunteered and spent three days on set.
“The movie was set in the 1940’s and we thoroughly enjoyed getting our hair and makeup done,” said Daniel. “I got to say hello to Harrison Ford, and he was very nice. I was just thrilled. I was hooked after that!”
Daniel tries to work one to two days a week. She is grateful the film and television industry came to Georgia and gave her this opportunity.
“I feel like the film industry is feeding Georgia,” says Theresa. “Both economically and artistically.”