GOSHEN — A local face is getting some prominent time on a new Netflix show.
Braxton Hale, 23, was one of the 100 people selected for the show “100 Humans.” Debuting on Netflix back on Feb. 27, the show’s premise reads, “One hundred hardy souls from diverse backgrounds participate in playful experiments exploring age, sex, happiness and other aspects of being human.” All eight episodes of the show are available to stream on the service.
Hale, a 2015 Goshen High School graduate, was “Human #90” on the show. Although showed sparingly in the first seven episodes, Hale gets a prominent role in the season finale. Hale reads a few lines into the camera, culminating with him asking “How common are heroes?” This sets up the next experiment on the show.
“They gave us a script and told us to come in an hour early,” Hale said. “All the people that did that, they had a script and they had a specific crew that got us. I kind of figured they would keep that in.”
Most of the filming of the show took place in June 2018 on the campus of California State University, Northridge in Los Angeles. Hale said there were 10-straight 12-15-hour days of filming in order to get everything for the show. Nobody was allowed to be on their phones except when they ate lunch. They all wore the same clothes every day, but were allowed to go home if they could. Since Hale lived nearby, he was able to go home every night.
The production crew then brought everyone back for a day in November and filmed every episode finale together. Each episode ends with all 100 humans coming together to go over the final results of what they were testing that episode. All the experiments were filmed in June, while the “end of day” scenes were filmed in November.
On the show, they list Hale as a “front desk associate” from Goshen, IN. In actuality, Hale was unemployed at the time the show was filmed.
“I actually got fired from that (job) when I accepted the show,” Hale said. “So, I didn’t know what else to put, so I was like, ‘I’ll just put my last job.’ They told me not to put ‘wannabe actor,’ so front desk associate it is.”
While the 100 people on the show are all from different parts of the country, most of them have a background in acting, according to Hale. That’s how he found out about the show, as he saw an opening to join the show posted on an acting website he subscribes to.
“The project said ‘Untitled Docu-series’ and it was very vague; I just submitted myself thinking nothing of it,” Hale said. “The next day, I got a message to do a Skype interview, which is normally how it doesn’t go in the auditioning process. … She just wanted me to talk about me and my personality and seeing if it would be a good fit.”
Hale didn’t do any acting until after graduating high school. He was working as a server at a restaurant when a co-worker told him that she thought he should be on TV. Hale agreed, and the woman gave her the phone number of a casting agency based in Chicago.
A week later, Hale was cast as a background extra on the NBC show “Chicago Fire.”
After doing background acting on numerous Chicago-based shows, Hale knew he wanted to take his acting to the next level.
“I looked online for acting conservatories in New York and L.A. and I got accepted into one in L.A.,” Hale said. “Couple of months later, I packed up and drove across the country.”
Hale started studying at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Jan. 2017. Since then, he has appeared in a few commercials, TV shows and movies. He said he also has some other things scheduled to come out later this year.
“I have some projects in the works — I did a film at the beginning of this year; I did a couple films last year that are coming out this year,” Hale said. “Should have one coming out on Amazon Prime here in the next couple of months. I’ve got some stuff in the works; it’s actually going pretty good.”
Hale estimated that only 20-25 of the “humans” on the show didn’t have some form of acting background.
“One of my close friends from the show, he’s a Special Education teacher,” Hale said. “He found it on Craigslist and went, ‘Yeah, why not? I’m not in work right now, so I can do a TV show.’ It just mattered if they liked your personality or not.”
“100 Humans” was one of the first things Hale did right out of acting school. Even though there were a lot of long days of filming, Hale found it to be a rewarding experience.
“It was awesome,” Hale said. “It was a crazy experience to get to do that right out of school.”