Believing Takes Practice for “Wrinkle in Time” Extra Freshman Katie Gardner


The newly released Disney film “A Wrinkle In Time” came out on March 9 and starred A-list celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling. However, one of the film’s other cast members is CHS freshman Katie Gardner, playing an extra. As an extra, Gardner was able to meet some of the main cast members while also learning a lot from her experiences on set.
Gardner initially became interested in acting when she became a dancer and fell in love with the entertainment industry. Her mom quickly signed her up for acting classes at the age of 11. Even though Gardner currently does not take acting lessons, she is able to to improve through participating in CHS Theatre. Gardner is also part of an acting agency, which is how she initially was able to land this role. Before “A Wrinkle in Time,” she was also an extra on the Disney Channel shows “Liv and Maddie” and “Bunk’d.”
Being an extra on a movie set is actually a lot more difficult and exhausting than it seems. Gardner’s average day on set lasted from about 4 to 9 p.m. While she was on set, there were multiple things that she had to do before she started shooting. The first thing she did when she got on set was do her hair and makeup, then to go talk to the director, Ava DuVernay, who assigned her a designated position before shooting would commence for the day. Gardner can be seen in three scenes in the movie: first in a basketball scene, then in a classroom scene, and finally in a hallway scene of the protagonists’ school. Gardner’s time spent on set taught her things that she could never imagine about acting, as well as creating new memories that she will not forget.
Besides shooting on set, Gardner had the opportunity to get a better understanding of what really happens behind the camera. She met hundreds of people that were extremely immersed in their jobs, whether it be doing hair and make up or helping cast members to memorize their lines.
“My experience on set was really cool and nothing like I’ve ever experienced,” Gardner said. “It really surprised me how many people it takes to put on a production whether that be a movie, TV show or a commercial. There were so many different people that did different things. It was really cool seeing everyone put in so much hard work.”
Gardner also met some amazing peers and role models on set, including DuVernay.
“I have had a couple chances to speak with more experienced actors and actresses than me,” Gardner said. “While talking with them I saw a pattern with the advice they each gave me. Every single one of them said not to give up. In the entertainment industry, you can go to hundreds of auditions and not be picked for a single one of them but you can’t let this stop you from trying. You have to keep going to auditions and hope to be picked.”
Being able to be a part of this movie’s cast was a life-changing experience for Gardner since she was able to learn so much and gain valuable advice. Regarding the future, she hopes to continue on in the entertainment industry as either a hair and makeup artist or a set designer. Gardner may not be a big star in the movie, but since she has now been gifted with this opportunity, her career has taken its first step.