Joshua C. Bartolovich is a Movie Extra who also Goes the Extra Mile as a Patient Care Technical Assistant

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Joshua Bartolovich on the set of “Jack Reacher.”

By Christopher Cussat

Joshua C. Bartolovich says that he is as simple of a person as it gets. But this Patient Care Technical Assistant (PCTA) who has appeared in multiple major motion pictures has anything but a simple and standard life! Bartolovich lives in Sarver, Pa. with Danielle, his wife of three years. “I do not live outside our means and we always make the best of what we have with our friends and family,” he adds.

Bartolovich is a 2000 Freeport Area Senior High School graduate and has had his EMT designation from Butler County Community College since 2006. Before becoming a PCTA, Bartolovich worked on an ambulance. He explains, “I used to work and volunteer my time with Saxonburg ambulance until health issues caused surgeries and made me take a step back. All my life I grew up around firemen and firewomen—so this type of work was always a natural calling for me.” Bartolovich notes that he originally became an EMT to help those in need and he still tries to keep his ties to the fire and EMS communities. “Not so much as I would like to now, but it’s still there!”

Currently, Bartolovich works as a PCTA which he describes as pretty much being a nursing assistant that is cross-trained as a unit secretary. This is his primary objective while working in the urgent care area of the Emergency Room (ER) at Butler Memorial Hospital, where he has been for the past five years. “Five years prior to that, I was working as a contract employee within the hospital as a Security Guard Shift Leader,” he adds.

Always looking toward the future and advancing his career, Bartolovich is also planning to attend nursing school to eventually become an RN. “The best part of working in the ER has made me realize that when I do get my RN, I want to be a flight nurse—I was always drawn to the fast-paced, hustle and bustle of getting a patient taken care of. The feeling you get when you actually save a life or being a part of the team that helps care for that patient and involved in decision making is great!”

Bartolovich says that being an extra on a movie set was never a dream of his. “For two years I followed the rumor mills online that Pittsburgh was going to be the new Gotham City for Christopher Nolan’s, ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ So for a year I was like, ‘Yeah right,’ because Chicago was always used as Gotham. Then when I saw the casting notice for extras coming to Pittsburgh I told my wife that I wanted to go and try it.” Even though he was really back and forth on the whole idea of attending open casting calls, Bartolovich stuck out the long lines and the hours of waiting while being herded together like cattle in a downtown hotel. He was literally seen with the last group of the day and was one of the last people to get his photo taken for casting consideration. But his patience and persistence paid off, for as they say, you know the rest of the story—Bartolovich was cast as a Gotham City police officer for the movie! He recalls, “I still have that voicemail saved because I remember standing up and screaming, ‘YES!!! I GOT IT!!!’”

Although Bartolovich has no intention on trying to “make it big,” he is recognizable in the second trailer for “The Dark Knight Rises” and his first stint in film has led to other on-screen opportunities. He explains, “Being a part of this Batman movie was awesome and it opened the door for other films. I also got to play a Pittsburgh police officer in the movie, ‘Jack Reacher,’ starring Tom Cruise.” In addition, Bartolovich notes that seeing how movies are made has taken the “magic” out of some of it. “But now I also have a higher respect for actors and actresses that we have all looked up to,” he adds.

Bartolovich explains that he is drawn to film because making movies is similar to the hard work he grew up observing. “As a kid, I was always around firemen, steel workers, and people who worked very hard for a living.” There is even a little movie connection in his genealogy, which happened to also inspire his later EMS ambitions. “My grandfather was on the set of ‘Striking Distance’ on the river as a rescue technician when they jumped the boat. He always told me since I really couldn’t get into the fires directly (due to having asthma) that I should get into EMS to help people who are in need.” He adds that his grandfather also took him to the Cheswick Cinemas all the time to see every kind of movie that came out. “So in a sense, doing this was just like being connected to him still. I even wore his dress shoes on the set of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’—they were a size too small, but I wanted a piece of him with me.”

When asked if he were not working in his current health-related profession, Bartolovich wasn’t sure whether he would pursue film work as a career. “This is really tough for me to answer. The arts have always been around and now that I am more ‘in the know,’ I now really know what I’m getting myself into.” As far as being famous, Bartolovich assures that he’s really not interested in making it big. “I am not looking to be discovered or have any intention on attending workshops for acting. I like my privacy and being an extra is just bragging rights and a cool story I will be able to tell my kids.”