While attending college at Dalton state and working at Harcrow Electric he has found time to be an extra for the popular television show Vampire Diaries.
Self proclaimed “a typical guy” Dillan is a 2011 graduate of Calhoun High School, enjoys time with friends and family, working out and playing video games and watching movies.
“I am currently enrolled at Dalton State for a degree in electrical. I go to school two days a week and work at Harcrow Electric, LLC the other days, unless something comes up on Vampire Diaries and then I go to Atlanta to film as long as it doesn’t interfere with my school schedule,” he said.
Dillan was on the drum line for all four years in high school and loves to wake board. So how did he get into acting?
“This is the funny story. My cousin, Dana Sloan, had told my mom over and over I should send in my picture to be cast as an extra because she just knew I would get picked. How she knew this, I have no clue, women’s intuition? One Friday, Dana sent my mom the link from the casting company that does all the ‘extras casting’ specifically for Vampire Diaries. We didn’t email them my photo and information until late that Sunday night, which was very close to the deadline and I never thought I would get a response. I had a confirmation email that I was chosen within two hours after sending it. We were all sort of shocked,” Dillan explained.
Extras like Dillan are contacted by email at short notice so that the location for filming can be kept private.
“I am fortunate in that my work schedule was flexible to be able to go.Your confirmation email tells you that you were chosen, a call time to be at a specified location, what to wear and a phone number if you can’t show up. You are responsible for your wardrobe for the most part and they request what colors and how to dress for this particular scene and they also send sample photos of wardrobe looks of what they want. They needed winter clothes and attire for everything I have done so far and it was July and August in Georgia. That wasn’t exactly fun when you are in pants, long sleeves and jackets, but if you want to do the part, you must follow the rules. You then receive another email very late the night before the shoot or very early that morning with the actual map of where to go. Most all extras go to a parking lot and then a shuttle gets everyone and takes them to the secret film location where lockers are provided and the wardrobe people pick out or change your clothes (you have to bring 2-3 outfits usually for them to choose from) and then you wait in a room with all the extras until time to film. They don’t want it leaked out prior to filming where they will be that day or so because the fans show up all the time. Streets get blocked off, security is everywhere and they have to keep the fans at bay most of the time. I actually filmed at a church for a funeral scene as a mourner and for a bar scene where I was a waiter at the Mystic Grill. I have also done scenes at the Mystic Falls High School and for a college party. I have been on the actual Vampire Diaries set that is used for the main characters houses and got to walk through the house that is ‘Elena’s’ (Nina Dobrev’s character). It was very cool.
“I watched bits and pieces of the show prior to being an extra but then after being a part of it, I bought seasons 1, 2, and 3 and got all caught up. I was a big fan of True Blood long before Vampire Diaries.”
“I am in the episodes airing the 18th, 25th, and November 1st so far. How much of me you will really see on T.V. is still up for debate. I received a lot of camera time but they edit for all the scenes, therefore it may be a brief flash of me or any extra for that matter, or it may be long enough to actually see and recognize me. We don’t know yet. It’s just been a really fun experience to do it.”When asked if Dillan could tell readers anything about this season’s plot he eluded to the following.
“Well, as stated earlier, there is obviously a funeral. They don’t go into details with the extras but you do get a clue as to what is happening,” he said.
“I can say a new main character will be introduced this season and I talked to her personally several times.”
“They have very strict rules when you are an extra. You aren’t allowed to talk to the main actors. All cell phones and cameras must be left in your locker. If the main characters want to talk to you in between filming they can and you can return the conversation at that point. Other than that, you usually just talk to the other extras or stay quiet while the director is talking to the main actors about the scene, or redoing the lighting, or changing something around on the set. It’s harder work than anyone realizes. You’re in winter clothes in July. In retrospect, you might end up in summer clothes in December. Depends on the scenes at that point in time. The lighting is hot, you have to be still and pay attention during filming. It’s all very interesting and I have learned a lot just from this short experience along with making several new friends. One of the best parts is the food. They have great catering brought in all day long. They feed you well and I was very thankful because I eat all day long anyway,” he said.
“Some of the actors are more approachable than others, or friendlier than others, but I can say that Ian Somerhalder, who plays Damon Salvatore, is the jokester of the bunch. He cut up frequently on the set and talked to all the extras as a group regularly when we filmed with him. I did meet most all of the cast members at one point or another.”
As for future plans in acting, Dillan is open to the idea. “I used to really dislike speaking to a crowd or to people I don’t know very well. Vampire Diaries has changed my ability on that a great deal and being on camera was fun. I would definitely do acting if something else came up. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. I have enjoyed the time I have spent so far on Vampire Diaries and that has obviously led me to think about other possibilities down this path. Would I go to Hollywood if I had the opportunity? Absolutely! My parents and family would support me 100%. They always do. I am a blessed and fortunate to have their love and support.”
“Whether this turns out to be a one-time deal or continues into something bigger, no one knows yet. All I can say is it’s been a positive experience and a blast so far!”
The newest season of Vampire Diaries airs Thursday, October 11.