If you catch HBO’s hit show Succession this weekend, you might see a familiar, local face: Norman Dascher. He’s not a veteran SAG-AFTRA guy from the Capital Region, but rather the CEO of Glens Falls art museum, The Hyde Collection. He’s also a big fan of the HBO show. “I love the show,” he says. So much so, that when Dascher found out this past spring that a Succession production crew was coming to Upstate New York to film a couple of scenes for the series’ second season, he and his wife Janice jumped at the opportunity to audition as extras. “It was [done on] a complete whim,” says Dascher of nabbing the audition.
The HBO show, which premiered last year, revolves around Logan Roy, an aging media mogul, brilliantly portrayed by Emmy-winning actor Brian Cox, and the Roy family’s struggle for control over his media empire. Dascher says he saw something in the paper about the show looking for extras, and figuring nothing would come of it, submitted his and Janice’s names, headshots and information. Much to his surprise, a couple of days later he received an email that said they’d been accepted for a day of filming during the show’s Lake Placid shoot, April 23-30 (production crews also filmed scenes at Lake George, May 2-3 and, for a different shoot, in Albany, July 1-2). “The email said our roles were going to be billionaires and that we should show up dressed like that,” says Dascher, who had to Google what billionaires typically wear.
On April 27, the date of their shoot, the Daschers were bussed up to the massive, Adirondack-style Lake Placid Lodge on the shore of Lake Placid, where filming was taking place that day. Though Dascher estimates that there were at least 200 extras in all, he’s confident that he and his wife snagged a little onscreen time, albeit just in the background. “I definitely think my wife’s going to be in it, because she’s sitting at a table right behind the Roy table,” he says.
In the scene at the Lake Placid Lodge, the Daschers portrayed billionaires attending a comedic roast of the Roy family. However, things don’t go as planned, as Roy takes offense to the comedian’s jokes and storms out of the room. Dascher says he got pretty close to Cox during that heated moment on camera. “When he got up, my instructions were to walk close to him but not to touch him,” Dascher says about his big moment in the scene. “I told them I’d done that before and I was qualified.”
It may not seem like a lot, but that one lodge scene turned into a ten-hour shoot. “Of the ten hours, you’re probably just standing around for eight-and-a-half of them between the setups for the shoot,” says Dascher. However, all that idle time between takes gave Dascher the chance to chat with Cox. “He’s a very nice gentleman—he acted just like one of the crowd,” says Dascher. “He said he hadn’t been to Lake George before, but he was looking forward to filming there.”
As to whether he’ll do it again or if he plans on getting an agent, Dascher says he’ll probably stick with his position at The Hyde Collection, where he’s been since December 2018. “We did it once for the experience,” he says. “But we had fun.”
For those curious to see the Daschers’ hopeful “cameos” on Succession, check out the series’ latest episode, entitled “Argestes,” this Sunday, September 15 at 9pm on HBO.
Update: Unfortunately, the Daschers’ scenes on Sunday night’s episode didn’t make it past the cutting room floor. However, there are four more episodes left this season to potentially catch some other Capital Region locals as extras.