Background Actors Confess What Conversations They're Actually Having Off To The Side
Background actors are needed for plays, for film, for commercials - if you want it to look convincing, you need people in the background. Production teams normally can't just shoot with strangers in the background, tons of people don't want to be filmed while they're just trying to get some pizza or something. So what to do? Cue the background actors! But with no real direction, and (let's be honest) nothing really important to offer to the storyline, what exactly do background actors talk about all day long?
One Reddit user asked:
The answers were everything we hoped for and more, lol. Brace yourself for a lot of talking about food, because apparently that's like 90% of being an actor.
The Produce Section
Typically something like:
"Peas and carrots, peas and carrots. Peas and carrots?"
"Oh! Banana banana banana!"
"Peas and carrots. Peas and peas and carrots."
Former theater kid here. I generally stuck to small talk and used exaggerated facial expressions/gestures to make it look interesting. When I'd be talking with a friend of mine, we either complained about something that had gone wrong in the show or exchanged a little gossip, lol. Theater was fun.
Sound Editor Says:
Friendly neighborhood Sound editor and mixer here!
Their words are almost entirely mouthed. The goal on set is to get the cleanest dialogue AND ONLY the main characters' dialogue. Almost all other sound is made in post. Door creaks, footsteps, clothing noise. This includes background voices. They come from what are called loop groups. And their conversations are normally nonsense so that nothing can be picked out and listened to. There jobs are to sound like mumble without mumbling!
16 Hours Of Silence
I'm training for Stunts, so I do a lot of background/extra work in-between. I'm in Chicago, so I work on things like Chicago Fire, Chicago med, Chicago Pd, empire, the exorcist, etc. Every time I've been on set, I've had to be dead quiet. The mics are so sensitive that even flipping a page to a magazine on the other side of the room will get picked up. Throw in 20 more conversations on top of that and you've got a hot steaming pile of useless junk. It's pretty awkward having to fake a conversation, especially since you normally don't even know the name of the person you're talking to. Having to repeat the same pretend fake conversation and actions for 10 takes, rehearsals, etc, kind of sucks but at least you never have to worry about getting the line wrong. Repeat for 12-16 hours. Sometimes you will literally sit in holding for HOURS at a time where you have to be silent, too.
TLDR: nothing, sets are crazy quiet 90% of the time
Netflix and Tacos
I was in a recent Netflix film as a background actor, and was paired with another girl for the scene. We had to act excited, so we started this long conversation about how great Taco Bell was. It was hilarious!
F The Proletariat!
This might just be me but I usually make up gossip that would fit in the context of the show. For example, I was a party guest in late 19th century Russia, and I would walk up to someone and quietly say something along the lines of "Man, f the proletariat, am I right? No way that'll ever come back to bite us!"
It's All About Chemistry
Depends on your chemistry with the person you're talking to. But it is always very quiet - almost inaudible. It can be talking about where you're gonna walk to next - sometimes you need to do this if your background character has to do a lot of movement without crashing into people or the set.
A lot of times it's nice to do some joking back and forth, trying to get the other person to "break" - just to keep it interesting. Example: One show, I had to have a really close-talking, kinda angry conversation with a girl in the background, and we ended up going back and forth saying the most outlandish stuff we could think of while making really serious concerned faces.
Oooh We Have To Bleep ALL Of This lol.
I was on Game of Thrones set dressing (props) and when Jamie Lannister was getting pulled down the hill at Rob Stark's camp all the extras were just shouting:
_"C_nt f_cking bastard f_cking dckhead"
and so on lol. When the director said cut everybody was laughing even Jamie Lannister
Larry v. Barry
I work as an extra to learn about the industry (I aspire to be and actor and director) and I always try to have fun with these background conversations and really try to flesh out a ridiculous subplot between myself and the other background artists I work with. For example, when doing a TV show last year, we did a couple of days where we filled out the same market setting for different scenes throughout the series. They often hired the same actors and had us wear the same costumes, so the people I was grouped with and I decided to create an arc in which one of extras was called 'Larry', but throughout the series he was replaced by his weird evil twin 'Barry'. You can watch the show and notice our reactions to the Barry/Larry character change as the 'plot' unfolds.
Always give it 100% as an actor, folks.
Time To Learn French
When I was in a production of Les Miserables, the director instructed that all background conversation and ad-lib had to be in French. It was a really cool addition, in my opinion, once everyone learned to pronounce things properly.
Playing Wilbur in Hairspray on a cruise ship. Every show I had about a 45 second "conversation" with Little Inez. One day she says "Ohmigod! Did you hear about Phillip Seymour Hoffman?" That's how I found out he died. On with the show.
Dirty Talk And Strippers
Usually, you cannot talk... but have to mouth words.
One set I was on we turned it into a game. Mouth a sentence and when the director yells cut try and guess what the other person said. If I was in a scene with a person I knew well... it was usually PRETTY dirty...
EDIT: The most hilarious experience was on the set of a future TV show filmed in Chicago. It was a strip club scene, and the director wanted authenticity so he hired real strippers. They had to be told "tone it down" multiple times...
Tech here, one of my favorite examples from a stage show I did. Two actors had to have a background conversation upstage on set, while another scene took place. They were both huge Monty Python fans and would sit there reciting the entire dialog to various MP films. Some of the crew could hear them in the wings and had to work at not laughing, or blowing their cues. But the real problem was a young actress that was supposed to be sleeping next to them... she wasn't familiar with MP and broke several times.
So my experience was a little different than most the other ones mentioned here. I was an extra at a cattle auction and was required to yell for some of the takes. They kept telling us to get louder so by take 3 or 4 we were pretty much screaming. It was quite odd, especially since most of the time extras have to be silent.
People In Love Need To Poop, Too.
One time me and my girlfriend were extras for a film and we were in a cafe scene pretending to be in love on a date. I really needed to poop and all I was saying to her under my breath was "I need the bathroom" while looking at her in the eyes and smiling.
It cracked me up when I saw the film and you could read my lips and what I was saying.
Depends on who you're with:
Sometimes you get an older person, they over act with their face and actually pantomime (pretending to talk without actually talking). It's what we're all supposed to do but they're usually the only ones that do it.
Then there's the person with hearing problems. They try to whisper talk but end up being too loud and get everyone in trouble.
The person who doesn't have hearing problems but talks to loud anyway, everyone gets yelled at like above.
There's not really a limit or anything when it comes to the whisper conversations for backgrounders.
I usually talk about work, like "what have you been on? Have you worked with X before?" stuff like that. There's some networking as well, as some people who work as background are just getting their foot in the door for crew.
Every now and then you get a super annoying BG on set and you end up talking about them while the cameras roll, since you can watch them try and push their way in front of the camera.
I went on a couple dates with girls I've meet being randomly paired up with them. Made a lot of friends the same way as well.
Dancing To Silence
Did some background extra work. One scene was meant to be at a festival. For each take we would have to dance to silence.
The extras on set do not talk during filming.
"Crowd talking noises" are added in post production. That way they can use different takes without an audible cut or change in the background conversation.
There are two main ways this can be done. Typically, a "loop group" will come in, a troupe of five or six voice artists, who will ad-lib background conversation, read radio/TV reports, or otherwise make noise for people in the background of the shot. They can do a full movie in a day or two.
Other times, if there's only one scene where background noise is needed, after they finish shooting the whole scene and before they wrap the set, the main actors will leave and they will record 60 seconds of the extras talking, moving plates, using silverware, etc. There are SAG rules, however, about whether or not they have to be paid extra for doing this, though, so it only happens under certain conditions.
Flirting With Beggars
A unique perspective but for many years as a kid I was an extra in large ballet productions for a pretty prominent ballet company. Non dancing rolls I'd be "village woman" "market place lady" "beggar" "Ball attendee". Our job was to make the scene come alive so the village or ball or what have you seemed bustling and lively while all the dancing happened. We were meant to react to the environment and react to the action in that airy ballet type way.
Well large ballet productions like that are anything but silent. There are all manner of little jokes going on in the back and fooling around. Especially in the production where I was a beggar. I was 16 and there were 6 of us teens paired with 6 or so 20-something men from the Company. Our job was just to go around and create mischief, beg for money. We'd harass people in the background, create alternate story lines for ourselves and try not to get caught cracking or goofing off while also trying to flirt with the beggar boys. It's always the time of my life.
I actually did background for a year or so when I first moved to LA. The conversations run a gamut. Much of the time you don't actually say anything; you're just mouthing words.
Other times you'll just say inane things like "watermelon" over and over. Rare, but it does happen.
But a lot of the time you're just talking to the other background. It doesn't matter what you're saying (as long as you keep your voices low and don't break character visually), so you're just chatting. Granted, most of these people are one-day friends from diverse, artistic backgrounds, so often your topics will get really weird, really fast.
The fact itself that you're on set leads to much of the conversational hilarity. For example, one time I was working on a big crime procedural show and we were doing a rain scene outside of a murder victim's house. So me and two other background actors are huddled off to one side of the set under these big rain machines suspended from cranes. Right before they would call action, rain on, then cut, rain off. All we have to do is stay under our umbrella and look gossipy, and we're golden.
But of course we're chatting, and to hear each other over the water we had to project a little, even standing two feet away from each other. And we're having a conversation about one of the lead actors on the show, a very famous, masculine action star, and making very racy puns about him. Because, you know, it was 3 in the morning and we're standing out in the fake rain and we were a little punch-drunk. And this is what you talk about with new actor friends.
They called cut on the latest take, and immediately the Assistant Director calls over his bullhorn: "Background, be quiet." We didn't think anything of it, they'd been saying that for a few takes no matter how low we tried to get our voices. But then he added: "The mics are pointing right at you."
We shut up immediately. If one of the parabolic mics was indeed pointed in our direction, then a lot of the crew could hear all the butthole zingers we'd been coming up with about their star. Whoopsie.
Supposed To Be Miming
I did a promo as a background actor for the mother of a girl I liked who was directing. I didn't know that I was supposed to be miming talking, not making any actual sounds. Every time she stopped and said how she could still hear me through the sensitive mics I would just talk lower but it wasn't working. I still feel bad about that.
A Never-Ending Stream Of Profanity
I'm a pianist for musical theater, not an actor, but... In the show "Breaking Up is Hard to Do", there's a scene where an actor is talking directly to the audience and then the scene "flips" to other characters talking "backstage". As the scene flips, the actor's mic fades out, he turns around to face directly at me, and continues to improvise a monologue for about a half minute or so. Every night, it got more and more ridiculous... One night, it was just a stream of never-ending profanity. Thankfully, he chose not to go with that on any actual performances; our sound crew isn't always on top of things and that would not have gone over well.
I'm in opera and yea, we say some pretty messed up s*** to each other. The benefit over musical theatre is that we're never directly mic'ed so there isn't the worry of being overheard.
Professionals try to get each other to laugh all the time.
There's an opera, La Forza del Destino, where a character finds out at a climactic moment that his best friend has been sleeping with his sister. He finds this out by finding her portrait among the friend's personal effects. It's a common prank to remove the portrait and replace it with dirty magazines.
Talking About Squash With Amber Heard
I work as an "professional" extra, meaning I do it so much I almost make a living of it and have starred in a large number of Blockbusters and international productions. The funniest incident regarding weird background talk, was when I with two other guys, were made to talk with Amber Heard during the filming of The Danish Girl. If you've seen the movie, it's during the party scene, and we basically talked about how to say squash in different languages as well as our favorite cocktails. 10/10 would do again. She is super nice and down to earth, and absolutely one of the most approachable actors I've worked with :)
Being woken up suddenly is not very good for our health.
Especially for the elderly, it's not something to make a habit of. Sleep interruption can increase blood pressure, cause a worsened self image, and cause a day filled with irritation and confusion.
No one wants to be woken up, but there are definitely some reasons for being woken up that are worse than your alarm clock.
We went to Ask Reddit to find out some of the worst reasons people have been woken up.
Redditor Toothpiicxxk asked:
"What's the worst reason you woke up?"
These truly are the worst.
We love our pets, but sometimes not so much.
"My cat was throwing up right next to me."
"She brought you breakfast how cute."
"I was just about to answer that my cat threw up right on me, specifically my hair, which I had just washed..."
Some horrible news hits you.
"Being woken up to be told someone you know died certainly qualifies."
"Or when you already know, but you wake up in that ignorant bliss that lasts for about a second and then it hits you. And this goes on for a long time."
"It's been about 15 years and I still will wake up on occasion thinking I have to tell my older brother something cool that I know he'd love to hear about. Or have a vivid a** dream about how it was all an mistake and he's still here. Happens less often then it used to but oof does it ever still hurt."
"Woke up at about 3am to a cop repeatedly ringing my bell. my mom had accidentally drowned in the tub. she was really weak from chemo."
"Woke up to a phone call telling me my incredible brother-in-law had been hit and killed by a drunk & high driver, his wife was also expected to pass as her neck had been broken, and their kids were both in surgery. My husband and I were in the will to get the kids, so we needed to fly to Chicago right away. As I sat there in shock, I hung up the phone, turned to see my sleeping husband snoring away, and knowing I would now have to wake him up to tell him the worst news he would ever hear."
2018 false missile alert.
"I live in Hawaii, that time we got the missile scare."
"Oof at least it wasn't real but I would have definitely panicked if that was me."
"Damn, I slept straight through it. My mom literally woke me up, told me; and I still went back to sleep."
"What were you supposed to do? Go outside and witness your annihilation?"
"I think it's the right thing to do to inform people even if there isn't necessarily anything that can be done about it."
"Some people would appreciate being able to conduct prayers, get one last hug with their loved ones, etc."
"Cockroach walking on my lips with no shame. I brutally murdered it as soon as I yeeted it halfway across the room."
"I had a weird dream about a cockroach somehow paralyzing a friend then walking towards me in that same room. Then I awoke to find this a**hole cockroach slowly creeping on my lips."
"When I threw it away, what startled me was it did not panic AT ALL. It even slowly headed towards me!"
"I also mouth washed and brushed my teeth and even disinfected my lips with alcohol. It was a surreal experience."
"I seriously loathe roaches and there's no other way to ensure its death than a brutal one."
Screams in the night.
"One time I got woken up by a blood curdling scream in the middle of the night. I live alone and it also woke up my dog who was freaked out the rest of the night. Searched everywhere including outside and didn't find anything."
"Well that was lucky. Imagine what would have happened if you had found it..."
"Hopefully a fox, coyote, cat, or cougar."
"Being clearly asleep, and then someone wakes you to ask, 'Are you asleep?'"
"Bruh my mom be like [this]."
"The only correct answer to this question is 'yes.'"
"I woke up to my mom calling me sobbing because she thought I had died, I was 10 hours away and my blood sugar was severely low and wasn't answering any calls, that was horrifying."
"We've learned what does and doesn't work for waking me up in a medical emergency."
"Blood sugar can be a b*tch, found my mum having a really bad hypo while sleeping when I was a toddler and for years and years after would wake her up to check she was okay without realizing I was doing it for that reason. Glad you're okay!"
Something so relatable.
"My alarm rung. It's a daily struggle."
We've all been there.
If you're not a morning person, waking up in the morning can already be a challenge, but no one wants to get woken up to horrible news or an emergency.
In fact, we should be waking up naturally with our own personal sleeping patterns.
We all know that's easier said than done.
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People have a habit of excusing crap behavior - honestly because it's often easier in the short term. Long term = flaming dumpster fire.
The excuses people use to dismiss behavior range from mundane and meaningless to the sort of leaps normally reserved for kangaroos and Olympians. It's sometimes amazing that these excuses work - but they do.
Some of them work so well that they're just sort of "accepted." That, obviously, kind of sucks and is something we should avoid - so let's talk about 'em.
Can't swerve around what you don't see, ya know?
Reddit user TMTtasmachine asked:
... and away we go.
" 'That's just how they are.' "
"One of the biggest enablers for tantrum throwing, bullying, etc. is that they get treated with kid gloves to avoid dealing with them." - alexrt87
"Oh my God you hit the nail on the head. Whenever someone says 'that's just the way they are' I say:"
" 'Yes, that's the point! Glad you noticed too! Now is it okey-doke for them to be jerks they have special jerk privileges? Or maybe they are just people and should treat everyone else as such?' " - notatrumpchump
"It depends on how it's said."
"People are the way that they are, and you shouldn't be surprised when they continue to be that way."
"This, obviously, doesn't excuse it - but people also shouldn't be surprised when a bad person continues to make bad decisions. Neither should we waste space in our minds being bothered by it." - unlawfulfoxy
Harassment Isn't Humorseason 2 lol GIF by ShamelessGiphy
" 'It's just a joke, bro.' Harassing people isn't humor." - loading__99
"A guy who says/does offensive things and decides whether he was joking based on the reaction of people around him." - Eatsleeptren
"Dude, legit had someone come up to me and start shouting in my face, calling me Madison, pretending I was cheating on him. Literally the most crowded location outside a theater, everyone staring at us, looking at me like I was some horrible cheater while I was out with my then fiancé."
"I started hyperventilating, my fiancé nearly decked the dude, and then someone shouts 'CUT' like this is some big 'YOU'RE ON CANDID CAMERA' moment and everything's supposed to be okay."
"I burst into tears."
"It was the most humiliating moment of my life, and thank god my then fiancé, now husband is not the type to overreact or jump to conclusions, or be abusive. Imagine how bad that could have been for someone with an angry or abusive partner."
"Prank videos are a plague on the internet and there is a REASON so many of them are fake, or involve actors." - Darkovika
Stay Sober, Then!Drunk Drinking Beer GIFGiphy
" 'I was drunk / high / etc.' "
"Then don't drink?! Stay sober if you can't NOT be an a**hole!" - BasedBenjamin
"Alternately, I hear a lot of 'I'm a happy drunk!' "
"Yeah, according to your drunk a$s. That doesn't mean you're not an ahole. Not remembering is not an excuse either." - PepeBabinski
"I was also loud, obnoxious, and I wouldn't remember sh*t the next day."
"Quitting drinking has been one of my best choices of my life." - TTungsteNN
"Help"new girl coach GIFGiphy
" 'I'm just trying to help you' " - Miserable-Air1234
"Every time I've heard this, they're manipulating me while helping only themselves." - mykittenfarts
"My Mom to a T. Everything she does is better than anyone else's and she always gets pissed that people don't praise her for 'helping.' "
"She's now a certified (by herself) psychic and I have come to the conclusion that she's not a covert narcissist but an obvious one. I really wish I was joking." - Silent_Discussion657
Parenting ProblemsLeave Me Alone Run GIF by TLC EuropeGiphy
"Any variation of 'I'm a Mother/parent.' "
"Had some lady cut me in line at a coffee shop and she hit me with 'I'm a single Mom of 3!' as her excuse."
"Ok? And? I was still here first." - maid-for-hire
"I'm a single mom and I f*cking haaaate when other single moms/parents pull that sh*t to get special treatment."
"Last week, I was having a rough morning, my kid was being difficult, and I was running late. I was rude to a cashier over a minor inconvenience."
"Not only did I apologize for my shitty behavior, I wrote corporate to let them know how professional and patient she was while I acted like a f*cking toddler."
"Was being a parent part of the reason I was frustrated? Absolutely. Was it an excuse for that behavior? HELL no."
"I acted like a b*tch, and I called myself out, and I apologized. I still feel bad about that - I rarely let things get to me to the point I snap at others." - ClusterfckyShtshow
"Wow. I'm a Mom as well and tired but it doesn't give anyone a right to use it as some sort of ploy to get away with stuff."
"Like, mice become Moms about 12 times a year. You're not special 🤣" - SpoonLoops
Believing Your BossThe Office Monday GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"I had a boss say some really racist sh*t around me one day and the next day, out of nowhere, he says:"
" 'Don't believe half the things that come out of my mouth!' "
"It was not really an excuse, more like trying to cover for himself after the fact, but still stuck with me." - sirlongbottom441
"Report them to HR. Seriously." - kokichi--ouma
"Looking past the racist stuff for a bit, that's not a very encouraging thing to hear from a boss…" - WonderfulBlackberry9
Bad Day AgainBad Day Reaction GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
" 'I'm having a bad day/week' "
"Okay, so you decide everybody that you interact with deserves the same fate? Get out of here, dude." - myordinaryexistence
"We all got stress, don't take it out on me. I get some people have stress bad enough for it to be passable every once and a while (family member passing, etc) but general, stress should not lead to you being a jerk to me." - willsimpforfree
"Damn, I'm definitely guilty of this. Usually I remember to apologize after but at this point I've learned to just avoid the situation in the first place by minimizing my interaction with people if I'm in a shitty mood." - nozzzrul
"Reminds me of when that White boy went on a murder rampage and killed a bunch of Asian women & that a-hole sheriff gave a press conference telling the media that the 'poor boy had a bad day.' "
"My idea of a bad day involves going home after a rough day at work and just staying in the house."
"Apparently, I should change my ethnicity from Asian to White and go on a murder rampage, see if my @ss gets a sympathetic sheriff to say on my behalf that I had 'a bad day.' " - kingkazul400
It's Not An ExcuseSeason 2 Reaction GIF by FriendsGiphy
"This won't go down well, but using depression as an excuse. As someone who suffers from it, it's still not ok to treat others like sh*t" - Rainbowwallstickers
"Could not agree enough. My partner has a 'friend' who treats everyone like sh*t all the time, has no consideration for others and openly mocks people in public."
"She gets so much grace from those around her under the guise of her 'mental health.' It's so infuriating watching an adult woman never have to take responsibility for her actions." - 34boor
"I get there are some things you can't control, but you are still responsible for keeping that sh*t in check and if you're aware of your mental illness, you should be aware of how you approach people and situations."
"I'll admit I used to be guilty of using my mental illness to be an @ss, but now I'm trying to better myself" - VeeSquibbles
Florida Gonna FloridaLooney Tunes Florida GIFGiphy
"People are letting Florida off the hook way too damn much. And I live in Florida."
"Just because it's hilarious doesn't mean it isn't still completely f*cked up." - AlphaWhiskeyOscar
"The phrase 'Florida Man' is almost always followed some heinous way a Floridian is being an a$$hole." - PepeBabinski
"I'm also originally from Florida, and that state has serious problems. We need to pay attention to it." - [Reddit]
Moment of honesty ... as a Floridian ... yeaaaah, I'm gonna have to agree with that last one.
We live in a time where we are critically re-examining how we pay workers. After a two-year-long pandemic where some low-income and "unskilled" jobs were deemed "essential," we now must put our money where our mouth is.
For too long in the world have incredibly important jobs been overlooked or else outright maligned. Teachers in the USA make some of the least money, career-wise, and have some of the hardest jobs. Dancers pay to put their bodies through hell with no guarantee of paid work after training.
So how do we fix this problem? By naming it, of course.
Redditor u/NightReader5 asked:
"What professions are severely underpaid?"
Here were some of those answers.
Our Elderly Deserve Better
"I worked as a CNA in a nursing home and I loved it. It's such hard work for such little pay and that's why I had to leave."
"Not only that but I was a rare person in that I LOVED caring for the residents. Nothing was beneath me such as changing a dirty diaper or spoon feeding."
"Everything helped their quality of life. Sucks they can't keep people that genuinely enjoy it cause I couldn't make over $10 an hour."-Dancer9d9
"Came here to say this: Emergency Medical Technicians. I will never not be just a bit salty about this."
"My husband is one of those people who does this job because it's his passion and he loves helping people."
"It would be nice if he earned more than the kid who just got hired at McDonald's this morning."-ThePotterheadHobbit
High School Bathrooms....
"The janitors at my high school. I walked in the men's bathroom there once and there was a mega-giant steaming pile of crap and diarrhea right in the middle of the floor."-satanic-sex-god
"Anyhow. Are you sure that was a high school? We're talking grades 9-12 here, right?"-VoicedVelarNasal
"Unfortunately yes. Other highlights of my oh so great high school men's bathroom that contains teenagers from 14 to as old as 20 are:"
"A dude bringing a sledgehammer to school and smashing a sink, the toilets being blown up, the toilets being frequently clogged with trash..."
"Smashed beer bottle glass covering the floor, and a centimeter of pee flooding the bathroom whenever you walk in. I hate it here."-satanic-sex-god
You know immediately YOU might not want to do this job--so why is someone else getting paid next to nothing to do it?
The More You Help Others The Less You Get Paid
"Statistically speaking, any job that provides significant social benefit to others, the less you will get paid, something that David Graeber discusses in essays and his work, Bullsh*t Jobs."
"This is so sad. I'm currently in a job that pays very well, I just dont find any meaning or fulfillment with it. I want so badly to do something where I'd be helping others- something with purpose- but I honestly dont think I can afford it."-mko0njo9
"Social workers. Dealing with negligent, abusive parents while trying to help the children while in an underfunded, low-paid system is a travesty."-ZRX1200R
"Can also confirm. I like working with my family's but I don't get paid enough to deal with their crap or most of the bureaucracy."-Altowhovian93
Minimum Wage To Go Against FIRE
"Entry level wildland firefighters. They start them at $15 an hour."-NuclearEyedSquirrel
"I live in a small town in Ohio and I think the lowest starting wage I've seen was 11."
"That's the low side and those places are having trouble hiring because there's so many places paying higher. McDonald's here starts at 13 or 14 an hour."-rjoh4459
One Kid, One Para
"Paraprofessionals. Yea, my town increased the pay rate for paraprofessionals to get more people to apply since they have a shortage but the pay increase was not that good IMO."
"For that job, I think you need to be compensated for the physical and mental demands of the job."
"It's a hard job and they should be paid for the work, the pay rate in my community for the job with 60 credits is $14.50 but I think it should be more than that."-YourQueen2Bee
The question then becomes, why won't the people who HAVE money do something to help the quality of these jobs, and make sure that these people get paid?
"Everything in veterinary medicine. Kennel technicians, Veterinary assistants, Veterinary technicians, Veterinary receptionists, and Veterinarians."-aIsiduous
"Veterinary interns/residents, too. I work 70-120hrs+ per week, am on call about half the days per month, have to pay for my own board exams and accreditation fees out of pocket, and all for ~$33,000 per year."-WyrdHarper
"It's bullsh*t. There's nothing on this planet I want to do more than be a veterinarian, but I simply cannot afford the debt. Hopefully one day we'll get the recognition deserved. Stick in there, I know you got this!"--aIsiduous
In The Classroom
"I work in a special school, I love it but I really don't think we get paid enough for all the times we get yelled at, punched, kicked, bit, spat on, cursed at, have our classrooms trashed, have things thrown at us..."
"And then we also have parents making demands and admin telling us their 'simple' solutions to all of it that we have to carry out while they have zero clue on what it's actually like to spend a day in the classroom."-Sajiri
A Morbid State Of Affairs
"Funeral directors/embalmers/funeral professionals. We didn't get days or holidays off to begin with. Now the pandemic has stretched us to working double overtime, which we are exempt from getting paid for under Florida statutes."
"And forget hazard pay for being exposed to COVID multiple times a day every day via the deceased, the deceased's family members, the general public attending funerals, and the hospital/nursing facilities we remove decedents from."-Lesscute
So why are we holding off on giving these people a raise? Their jobs involve dangerous, mentally and emotionally taxing situations, and yet, we treat them as if society could function without them. The truth is it couldn't.
And society had best learn that as soon as possible.
What causes a small town to die?
Honestly, there can be quite a few factors, but perhaps the biggest one is that small towns often lack the upward mobility opportunities that are more available in urban areas.
As a result, many towns around the United States for instance have lost tens of millions of people as their populations seek jobs and opportunities elsewhere.
And what remains of these places can be pretty sketchy.
People told us more after Redditor RadicalizedSnackWrap asked the online community,
"What's a super sketchy US city that we never hear about?"
"Daytona Beach, FL. Imagine a bunch of alcoholic high school kids who came for spring break in 1984, and never left, and never grew up."
Oh, I don't have to imagine it.
I've seen it!
I lived in a neighboring town for a while and bodies would always turn up in farmer's fields that the cartel in Yakima had dropped off there."
Sounds like Netflix needs to get its hands on Yakima, a new show to go against Ozark.
"I remember a story..."
"Guntersville, Alabama. If I were to ballpark it, over 80% of the population are meth addicts and traffickers.
I remember a story where a man walked into the Walmart, took all the supplies and equipment required to cook, and proceeded to cook meth in the bathroom."
"A run-down town..."
"Reading, PA. A run-down town that is mostly used as a central point to run drugs between New York and Philly."
I am writing this from right nearby actually, and I can smell it from here.
"Small town almost entirely..."
"Butte, Montana. Small town almost entirely comprised of violent meth heads."
"More of a town than a city..."
More of a town than a city, but it's such a weird place, bordering on Twilight Zone. You'll see a meth house right next to a youth theatre."
According to a friend I have who spent a lot of time in Arizona, this sounds about right.
"Used to have..."
"Gary, Indiana. Used to have a prosperous steel economy, but now it's just home to abandoned buildings, failing infrastructure, and lots and lots of crime. Just look up pictures."
"I always said..."
"Amityville. Yes, that Amityville.
I always said the "Amityville Horror" house is for amateurs. You want something scary, put on a nice watch or a gold chain and wander around downtown Amityville after dark."
I went there once.
I have not been back.
"It looks harmless..."
"Harrisburg PA. It looks harmless and maybe a little boring but holy hell that place is a giant puddle of corruption just waiting for someone to step in it. Not just state government, there's a bunch of layers you can use to crawl up the corruption ladder."
"Used to be..."
"Natchez, Mississippi. Use to be the headquarters for the KKK. Not much there besides crackheads, plantation homes, and European tourists. Don't own a nice place if you're black, you'll be stopped by the police and questioned."
It doesn't look any of these are changing anytime soon, and that's sad.
Have some small towns to tell us about? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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