DENVER — Sarah Ortegon is an office manager at a Denver law firm.
“At this job, I came here at 8:30 a.m. and typically leave at 5 p.m.," she said.
She is also an actress, currently working as an extra on the PBS TV series Jamestown, filmed about an hour outside of Budapest, Hungary.
"Acting, sometimes you will get to set at 4 a.m. and you won’t leave until maybe 8 p.m.," Ortegon said. “So really it’s a different type of experience but I enjoy having this as a steady income.”
As an extra on Jamestown, Ortegon says she is learning a lot about the Pamunkey people.
“Jamestown is a historically accurate rendition of what had actually happened when settlers first came into the town named Jamestown which is in Virginia," Ortegon said. "It’s based upon three women who came from Europe which were the first three women who came to America. Before that, the majority was just all men. It tells about that facet of living but it also focuses on the Native American population which is the Pamunkey people.”
Ortegon has had to learn more than a few lines on set. Extras must learn phrases from the Pamunkey language as well as the people’s way of life.
“As an extra they actually had us go and record ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement). We had to learn some of the Pamunkey lines in Pamunkey," Ortegon said. "They actually revitalized the language which I think was really cool."
They will be giving the rights to the Pamunkey people after its finished recording.
“And so, it’s not just giving a history to people but it’s also bringing the language back to the people," Ortegon said. "So, I think that is really interesting and an awesome way to give back to the people that they are portraying in the show.”
Thousands of miles away from Virginia, set designers have created a replica village from the past.
“What we were learning was their daily lives," Ortegon said. So, it wasn’t just standing in the background. If they had a ceremony we had to learn about the ceremony because we wanted to be respectful of the tribe."
“I think it’s shocking to people to see an indigenous woman acting because typically even for indigenous women roles, indigenous women are not cast,” Ortegon said. “I am eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho."