How did you
get the job as an extra on the show?
I worked in radio as an
on-air personality for 27 years (retired in
1996). In that occupation, I would sometimes find myself
under-employed. It was during a period of under-employment in
1989 that I
was looking to pick up some part-time work, so I asked everyone I knew
knew of anything. A friend of mine, an aspiring actor, told me
signing up extras for The Young Riders, then in its first season, and
go and who to see. Since I had done work doing sound for film
went down hoping they'd need someone in the sound dept. They
I signed up to be an extra. I put down on my application that I
sound for film, just in case. I never thought I had any kind of
look, but apparently they did. I was surprised then I got a call,
week later, to come work as an extra. I found it very enjoyable
got into my blood immediately. BTW, the casting people told me
later that a main reason they called me was because I had put down that
worked in sound, because that told them that I had been on film sets
irony here is, working in radio and as an extra, I was
either seen and not heard, or heard and not seen.
Was this your first Television Show?
Yes. I worked on
two more network TV series (and 10 movies) after that.
Take us through the process of a regular filming day: When did
Whenever the "call" time
was for that particular day. It
varied, but was usually very early in the morning.
Where did you park?
There were designated
parking areas near the set.
What kind of security clearance did you have to go through?
enough. Everyone knew everyone.
It very rarely changed
and almost never laundered (only
once). The same old wardrobe got kind of raunchy after a while.
Sometimes one rehearsal
before rolling film. Sometimes those rehearsals
were shot just in case they came off well.
What was the length of
Probably averaged 12
hours. Often, after working all day (since sunrise
or before), we would be asked if we wanted to stay for night shots, so
voluntary. Since we got paid by the day, we would get no more
doing so. There was one day when I showed up for work only to
that the shooting schedule had been changed. We were sent home,
paid for the day.
Did you work at both Mescal and OTS?
Yes, as well as the
"warehouse", which was a soundstage along with
offices, carpentry shops, wardrobe dept., etc. in what had been a
warehouse here in Tucson. That's where
many interior shots were made. For example, there was an exact
of the interior of the Riders' bunkhouse there. Bunkhouse
could be done either at the warehouse or in Mescal. All saloon
were done at the warehouse.
Which of the three seasons did you work on?
All three. Only
one episode the first season, only two episodes the
second season, but most episodes of the third season .
Do you recall any of the episodes by name?
I'm away from home and
my videotapes, but I'll see how many I can remember
offhand (I may not be able to recall them accurately or in
Bulldog (my first one)
And Then There Was One
A Tiger's Tale
Good Night Sweet
Til Death Do Us Part
(pts. 1 & 2)
I know there were more,
but I can't remember titles offhand. Right after
the last episode of the second season, all the behind-the-scenes people
producers, etc.) did a made-for-CBS-TV movie called "Gunsmoke III: To
Last Man" with James Arness.
Which episodes/scenes can you be 'seen' in?
Too many to try to
list. My best shots were in "Goodnight
Sweet Charlotte", "Spies" and "Til Death Do Us Part",
Do you recall any episodes or scenes that took 'forever' to film?
many. Each episode was scheduled to be shot in 8 days, so
it moved right along. Scenes take longer to shoot for movies than
shows. In The Quick and the Dead, for instance, each of those
took 3 days to film.
What did everyone do between takes to amuse themselves?
That varied widely, but
mostly talking, getting to know other people on
set. It became one big family after a while. Some took
Some of the stars hit golf balls into the desert during lunch
crew people played hacky-sack.
Which actors from the Main Cast did you have the opportunity to work
All of them, except
Travis Fine (Ike). For some reason, he was not in any
of the scenes I worked during the first two seasons, and he was gone by
Do you recall any practical jokes on set?
Not offhand. There
were jokes, but I don't remember any practical
What were the funniest moments of production?
They should have made a
blooper reel. There was one scene where Hickok
(Josh Brolin) took off on his horse after some bank robbers. On
take, as he took off at a gallop, his pistols flew out of their
It may not sound like it in this description, but it was
During "Til Death Do Us Part", in the very serious scene where the
young man lies dying outside the church, a horse nearby let loose with
terrific piss. That broke everyone up. There were many
What were the scariest moments from production?
One comes to mind:
In "Spies", where the schoolhouse is on
fire, they had a window rigged to blow out. They did a separate
just this effect, so I was not needed in the background. I took a
"butt can" (like a pail), turned it upside down in the middle of the
street about a block away from the schoolhouse, and stood on top of it
camera hoping to get a photo of the explosion. Well, some flame
(propane powered) failed to ignite, filling the building with
The FX people were unaware of this and, when the explosion was
was MUCH more of an explosion than anticipated. The shock wave
right off that butt can, onto my own butt. I did not get the
What were your memories from the last (Til Death Do Us Part) Episode?
It was the first, and so
far only, 12-hour wedding ceremony I've ever
attended. Those wooden pews got pretty hard after a while.
Here's a very
interesting anecdote for you: according to the original
script for that episode, when Teaspoon, conducting the ceremony, came
part where he needed to call the Kid by name, it was to turn out that
name was Lou. That's right, Lou and Lou! They changed that
I remember a couple that
just involved extras.
One time there was a
first-time extra on set. We were sitting around
between scenes. At one point, this guy went up to the
person and asked "When do I find out what my lines will be?".
Made us experienced extras laugh!
During the third season,
a new Asst. Asst. Director (the person responsible for
placing extras in scenes) came up to a group of us. He said "I
a couple of cowpokes...you and...you (pointed at me). I had
determined that this guy had a sense of humor so, on the way to where
was being shot, I said to him,
"Listen, I resent the
use of the term "cowpoke". I don't
like the sexual innuendo. I'm a "saddle tramp."
OK, now I remember one
that involved at least a guest star. I forget the
title of the episode, but it was the one where they made the
move, from Sweetwater to Rock Creek. The original Marshal of Rock
had been killed (clearing the way for Teaspoon to become the
the day they filmed the scene where his body was brought into town on a
buckboard, the actor had an abscessed tooth. They didn't want him
it treated (pulled or a root canal), fearing that his jaw might swell
up as a
result and he wouldn't look right, so they just got him some
pain-killers. While playing the dead body on the buckboard, he
asleep and started snoring.
I also remember a couple
of other potentially dangerous situations. They
would always leave horses, wagons, etc. tied up at hitching posts in
day long. One day we were shooting a scene at the cemetery just
town. There was a buckboard with a horse and a mule hitched to
The horse and mule did not get along, and on two different occasions,
free and ran helter-skelter through the town. Runaway
They very nearly crashed through one of the buildings. It's a
we weren't shooting in the street at the time, or someone may have been
"A Tiger's Tale" was an
episode that, in my opinion, had a weak
premise (misinterpreting "Bengal Tiger" as "Bengal triggers"???), but
it was one of the most fun ones on which to work. They had two
set, a male and a female. EVERY horse in town was very
male was just a big pussycat, gentle and mellow, and they'd walk him
a leash. The female was edgy, jumpy, a little mean-spirited and
ferocious. They attempted to shoot only one scene with the
one where they drive the tiger out of town in a cage on the back of a
wagon. The tiger would growl and swat at the bars with her
They had mules hitched to the wagon in the belief that they would be
relaxed about it than horses, but they did not like it at all. I
saying to another extra that this was not going to work. At one
the mules broke loose from the hitch and ran off. They eventually
switched tigers and put the male in the cage. If you watch that
very closely, you can catch a glimpse of a reflection off the
installed over the window in the cage nearest the drivers to protect
Bob sent a number of Pictures to the Express Station Site run by Wendy.
These are all photos you will not see at EXP Station...
This group photo was taken after the one sent to Express Station.
photo is of the group as it's being assembled.
This one is the actual, official photo.
photo is quite large.. so I (Raye) have made
of certain people in the picture!
Bob said that I should pay close attention to the cast members on the
side of the pic... hmmm I can't understand why? *cough*
I made some really good friends while
working on The Young Riders, particularly a couple named Bill and Penny
one is of a group of extras who were
dressed in night clothes and long-johns, since they were supposedly
when the schoolhouse caught fire, then rushed out of their homes to
help put it
out. In the center are my friends Bill (plaid robe) and Penny
shawl). Kneeling (old man with white beard and suspenders) is
was in his 90's at the time. He's now 100 years old and doing
BTW, they ran out of night clothes by the time they got to me, so
they left me in my usual wardrobe, figuring I had come from the
There are some excellent shots of me (in the episode) in the bucket
Penny had her
one and only speaking part in
"Spies". She played the conservative older lady (they made her
look older than she really was) who objected to Rachel being the new
because she had once worked for a gambler. Her husband Bill was
standing in the
background of that scene.