Jermaine Sanders, 43, on guard for Showtime

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By Michael Romain


Jermaine Sanders, a security guard with a private firm that's been contracted to guard a corner store at 19th and Kedzie in North Lawndale, works a 12-hour shift. The store, which is, in fact, a prop built specifically for the hit Showtime drama series "The Chi," caused a stir about a year ago.

Last October, DNAinfo reported that the corner store "threw out a dumpster's worth of food and household supplies that decorated the make-believe shop,' according to residents, some of whom picked through the dumpster where the food was tossed "so they could bring home food to their families." 

That was last season. This season is different, Block Club Chicago reports. What food remains in the store after filming wraps up will be donated to residents who live in the expansive West Side food desert. 

"That's what's up," Sanders said of the development during an interview last week. He approves. The guard, who said that his 24-year-old son is contemplating going into politics, noted that the coast is often clear outside of the TV set. 

"There aren't any big name actors in this, so you don't get the crowds," he said, of "The Chi." "Now, if you go over on Homan and 21st, it's different." 

That's where "Shameless," another Showtime show (this one a comedy) is filming. Sanders said that most people don't know that two Showtime shows are currently filming on the West Side. 

With the shows, he stressed, come opportunities. 

"I get a lot of people who walk by and ask, 'How can I be an extra?'" Sanders said. "I tell them they can get about $88 a day in their pocket." 

Go online to 4 Star Cast, he said. That's: Scroll down to Chicago and fill in the boxes. Get in on the action while it's here. 

 Michael Romain 

Email: Twitter: AustinWeeklyChi

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