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Local actress hits the big screen

Stacy Blaine stars on movies and TV. Photo submitted (click for larger version)
November 24, 2010 - After being in the business world and having her company close down after 13 years, Stacy Blaine was looking for a balance between stay-at-home mom and work.

She decided to tap into her creative side and try being an extra in a movie.

"I got into it through my cousin on my mom's side," she said. "She's done like 12 movies and has been bugging me to do them."

Blaine landed her first gig in the new futuristic robot boxing movie "Real Steel," which is set to hit theaters on Nov. 18, 2011.

Out of 1,200 fight fans, she was one of the 40 "upscale fight fans," which also known as a "featured extra."

"A 'featured extra' means you'll for sure be on camera and they have to pay attention to your hair and makeup and your wardrobe. 'Extra' means you might get an elbow, a toe, or your face shot," she explained.

In one scene, she's seen in the front row, while Jackman is in the ring fighting. In another scene of the fight, she sits behind Evangeline Lilly, who starred in the ABC TV show "Lost."

"The reason why I think I got picked to be with Evangeline Lilly is she has long straight brown hair and was wearing all black and I have blonde hair and was wearing a purple top," Blaine said. "It's really something to see myself in the background of these movies."

Since "Real Steel," she has also been an extra in "Laugh Out Loud," starring Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus, "This Must Be the Place," with Sean Penn, "Transformers 3," starring Shia LaBeouf, and the Hallmark movie "Smooth," where she is a jogger and a waitress. All the movies are set to come out in 2011. Blaine has also been on ABC's hit TV Show Detroit 1-8-7 a few times, in her most recent she plays a news reporter, which will be in episode 11.

"I've gotten my dad into it and he's done some episodes, too," she said.

Though she is not paid much as an extra, Blaine said she does get overtime and food. She also has her car registered to be used in the movies as well, which she also gets paid for. Plus, she likes the flexibility of being her own boss and being able to choose what movies she does or doesn't do.

"I think it's great," she said. "It's helping me for sure."

Now the election season is over, Blaine hopes new Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will keep the film incentive going.

"I have met people who have moved here from Hollywood. This is the newest place to be," she said. "This is the only industry that I know of that's a large industry coming to Michigan right now."

According to the Michigan Film Office, since the tax credit incentives passed in 2008, more than 7,000 productions jobs have been created in the state along with an additional 4,000 jobs as extras and day players. A total of 119 film projects have been shot in Michigan over the last two years.

Blaine said while being on the different movie and TV sets there is a "gamut of everybody that's in Michigan looking for work."

"People I meet are 'I'm retired from GM, I'm a stay at home mom, I'm a college student and just graduated and can't get a job,'" she said. "It also helps businesses, too, such as the local restaurants, hotels, security companies, and the hair and makeup people who come to help out from the salons."

Whether it is the beaches and Great Lakes or the cities of Michigan, Blaine said "the people of Hollywood have embraced the state of Michigan."

"The big actors love that they can even come here with their family and have the city life, but within a couple hours be at the beach or rent a house on the lake up north and get the feel of 'this doesn't feel like Hollywood at all,' she said. "The people I've met from LA are excited to be here, it's fresh, and it's new for them. They love the people of Michigan they think we're all incredibly friendly and kind."

As far as Blaine's future in acting, she is looking to get with an agency that offers speaking roles.

"That's my next step," she said. "I wanted to get my feet wet doing this (a non-speaking role first)."

Blaine lives in the Clarkston area with her husband and three children.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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