BSM junior mingles with Manhattan elite

AImee Brown

In New York for a summer fashion class, Francesca Sifferlin landed the opportunity for her fifteen minutes of fame. In the company of Chase Crawford and Blake Lively, Sifferlin got a taste of what it is like to be on one of the CW’s hottest TV shows, Gossip Girl.

After seeing some of the sets and hearing about the opening for extras from one of her leaders at Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM), Sifferlin and her classmates decided they wanted to be on the show. “We went down one day and they just needed a certain number of people and we just signed a list, and then we were in, it’s really easy,” said Sifferlin.

Once her name was on the list, Sifferlin spent three weeks working as a part of the show. “We met the cast and it was really cool because they knew everyone, like the cone guy and third camera, so they just want to get to know you,” said Sifferlin.

Along with the rest of the cast, Sifferlin got to meet Tyra Banks and Hilary Duff, who have joined the show for this season. “They were all really nice, and the guys were a lot shorter than I expected, that just really stuck in my mind,” said Sifferlin.

Between takes, they were able to talk with the cast. “They were doing something with limos and they had to drive them around to get them back in order and so between each one there’s like fifteen minutes and so we’d just sit and chat with them, especially [Penn Badgley], they were just mixed in between the extras,” said Sifferlin.

The show is set in a variety of places around New York. “One time we were at the museum, outside eating, and they filmed a scene there. And the last night, we were across from the Hilton and they were filming a scene where they were getting out of cars for a premier and we were supposed to be the crazed fans,” said Sifferlin.

Filming scenes takes a surprisingly long amount of time. “We were there from like nine to two in the morning filming a five minute scene and it took that long and 25 takes,” said Sifferlin.

During this experience, Sifferlin got a true look at the backstage process and realized it was not all that it is cracked up to be. “I always thought that it was super glamorous, but the set is tiny and then there’s people sitting and eating and it’s just really casual,” said Sifferlin.

The whole process was really secretive, the extras were simply instructed on what they were supposed to do and were not informed which episodes they would be shown in until after it was all over. “Season 3, episode 4, 5, and maybe 6, but they don’t know if they’re going to cut or not. Most likely four I’m definitely in, but I’m in this huge crowd so I’m going to look for the speck that’s me,” said Sifferlin.