WATERTOWN — City native Ed Abbate has been enjoying his extracurricular activities as a movie extra since 2004, when the film bug hit him during a “Star Trek” gig.

The latest result of Mr. Abbate’s slices in screen time involve the recently released film, “No Such Thing as Loyalty,” shot in Syracuse and available on Amazon Prime. (Synopsis: “The loyalty of two men is tested when a very ungrateful and needy female comes between their friendship.”)

Mr. Abbate has been in about 15 films, has met some pretty well-known actors and actresses, but has only been paid for being in three of his films. But that’s OK for the actor, 61, as he holds out hope that his roles as an “extra” in his films possibly turn into something extraordinary.

“The independent films which I don’t get paid for give me experience and face time,” he said.

For example, in “No Such Thing as Loyalty,” created by Syracuse filmmaker Tyrone “Tizak” Jackson, and shot in Syracuse, Mr. Abbate plays an undercover cop and is happy with the results. He appears near the end of the film.

“I come out of the cop car and arrest this guy,” he said. “It’s like a minute, but I have a close-up scene.”

But he can turn up anywhere as an extra. For example, in describing another film: “I just play a person watching a movie. The guy in front falls over and I help him out.”

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Holding samples of his work, Ed Abbate, a Watertown actor with a long resume of roles as a film extra, poses in front of his home. Kara Dry/Watertown Daily Times

Mr. Abbate recently left his job of several years at Samaritan Medical Center where he worked in the mental health department as a safety aide, to care for his girlfriend whose lung cancer recently returned. He’s waiting on word of his latest audition, a film series, “K-Town,” planned to be shot in Kenilworth, N.J. He auditioned for a role but full production has been delayed because of COVID-19.

The Facebook page of the series, described as a “mob series,” says its pilot has been completed, with 10 more episdoes in the works. A casting call sought extra roles of “‘non speaking’ Italian-looking men and women.”

“I don’t know if I got that or not,” Mr. Abbate said.

He’s not a member of The Screen Actors Guild, but did get an invitation to join. He balks at its cost. SGA has a national initiation fee rate of $3,000 in most some states, with annual base dues at $200.

But Mr. Abbate said he did get paid for three films he was in:

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Ed Abbate, far right, poses with actor Jeff Goldblum and another extra during a break on the set of the 2018 film “The Mountain,” shot in Seneca County. Courtesy Ed Abbate

The 2018 drama “The Mountain,” now available on Hulu. It stars Jeff Goldblum and Tye Sheridan. It was filmed in Willard, Seneca County, at the former Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane. The film is set in the 1950s. Mr. Abbate plays a phsychiatric patient. Local actress Sonia Conlin and her son are in the same scene, Mr. Abbate said, shot in the auditorium of the Willard Drug Treatment center.

In the HBO series, “Succession” — season 2, episode 6. Part of it was shot at the Lake Placid Lodge. He’s 32 seconds into the episode, “on the left, next to the patio torch facing away from the camera.” His character is a billionaire on vacation.

The 2020 film “Topside,” about a 5-year-old girl who lives in abandoned New York City subway tunnels with her mother. Part of it was shot in Rochester.

“I play a tunnel dweller,” Mr. Abbate said. He also has speaking lines and a closeup.

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Ed Abbate as a mercenary in “My Brother Cain 2,” shot in Utica. / MindTwist Media

Mr. Abbate became interested in acting in 2004 when a Samaritan Medical Center co-worker asked him if he was interested in being an extra in a “Star Trek” fan episode production, “New Voyages,” filmed in Ticonderoga, Essex County, where “Star Trek” super fan James Cawley rebuilt replicas of many the sets from the TV show. Mr. Cawley now operates “The Star Trek: Original Series Set Tour,” with the sets fully licensed by CBS, home of the original “Star Trek” series.

Mr. Abbate has been in eight fan episodes of “Star Trek” that were shot at Ticonderoga before the facility became a set tour. In those films, he played an extra, Lt. Hallier.

He often works with Syracuse-based DiBernardo Productions, which provides principal and background casting for TV, film and commercial projects.

Mr. Abbate hasn’t tired of his devotion to seeking film roles.

“It’s worth it,” he said. “You can show people what you can do.”

Among the Central New York-area productions Mr. Abbate has been involved in:

“Pain” (as a store clerk) and “No Such Thing as Loyalty,” All Grown Up Entertainment, Syracuse, produced by Tyrone Tizak Jackson.

A cop in “Anti-Heroes” and “Return to Clarke County,” E&H Productions, Utica, produced by Shawn Uebele.

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Ed Abbate poses with actress Robin Givens in Syracuse in 2016 during a break in filming the pilot episode for “Priest the Lost Son.” Courtesy Ed Abbate

A mercenary in “My Brother Cain” and “My Brother Cain 2,” MindTwist Media, Utica, produced by Chris Flores.

A bar patron in “The Man With No Pants,” Mad Angel Films, Utica, produced by Matt Peters.

A cop in “Three Days in the Woods 2,” Mad Angel Films.

An extra in the 2015 film “The Egan Murders,” produced by Glen T. Curry. The movie is about the slayings of brothers Peter W. Egan Jr., 27, of Sackets Harbor and Gerald F. Egan, 19, of Watertown at an Interstate 81 rest area in the town of Pamelia. It is inspired by the book “Jefferson County Egan Murders: Nightmare on New Year’s Eve 1964” co-written by David C. Shampine, former Watertown Daily Times reporter who died in 2017 and Daniel T. Boyer.

Last week, Mr. Abbate traveled to Syracuse for his latest project. He’s cast as an extra in “Ralphies Gym,” which stars Jesse Eisenberg, known for his Academy Award nominated role as Mark Zuckerberg in the 2010 film “The Social Network.” Mr. Abbate plays “a skinny Latino guy with headphones.” Mr. Eisenberg and Mr. Abbate were filmed in the same scene at Destiny USA mall. “We looked at each other in our scene,” Mr. Abbate said.

It was another paid film for Mr. Abbate; his fourth. He said he received $182 for eight hours of work. “Most of the time you’re sitting around,” he said. “Plus, they fed you.”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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