Actress with local roots shines in the background

Photo of Wright State student Brandy Zapata.

Brandy Zapata was the Dayton CW Star in 2012.


Brandy Zapata dreams of one day being front and center on a television drama, but for now, she’s gaining experience — and earning a living — by staying in the background.

The 24-year-old actress and Ross County native, who graduated from Southeastern High School in 2008, has appeared as an extra in numerous television shows since moving to Los Angeles a little more than a year ago.

Her background resume includes “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Revenge,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and close to a dozen appearances on TV’s highest-rated comedy “Big Bang Theory.”

Before moving to California, she worked as an extra in two big-budget movies shot partially in Cleveland — “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Draft Day.”

“It’s not glamorous. I don’t have any lines, but it’s still fun and flexible,” Zapata said. “On the days I’m not doing background work, I’m going to auditions.”

Unlike some background actors, who pay calling services to line up shoots for them, Zapata books her own extra work. Not only does she keep more of her earnings that way, but she also has more control over her schedule. For example, she keeps her Mondays free because that’s when she has acting class.

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