Avail Messages: What You Need to Know
The first step to set yourself up for success as a Background Actor is to claim your Central Casting online profile. Claiming your profile has many benefits, like the ability to update your appearance as it changes, upload photos of your current look, see all communications from Casting Directors, and much more. If you haven’t already, you can claim your profile by selecting the “log in” button in our website menu and choosing the “claim profile” option. For help claiming your profile and to learn more about our casting platform, see our Profile Management page.
Messages from Casting Directors will be sent to the email address on file and in some cases as a text message with a link to respond. We recommend adding DoNot-Reply@centralcasting.com to your email safe sender list, so emails don’t get lost in junk or other folders. You can also find all messages from Central Casting in the inbox of your online profile.
The most common message you may receive from a Casting Director is an avail check. Availability inquiries are not offers or guarantees of work, we are simply asking if you are available to work that day. We know you’re eager to get on set, but please read each message carefully and be honest about your availability. Whatever your response is, we ask that you always reply as soon as possible. This lets our Casting Directors know if you are interested or if they need to look for other talent for their project.
Your avail check may also include additional questions related to the role, like if you have certain wardrobe, can realistically portray a skill, etc. Be sure to answer and include any information requested as part of your response.
You may receive multiple avail checks on different productions for the same day. Since Casting Directors are only checking availability, you can respond “available” to all of them if you are interested in each job. Just remember, it’s your responsibility not to become double booked. In addition to managing your online availability calendar, we recommend keeping track of what dates you’ve responded avail to, are on first avail for, and days you are booked in a personal calendar.
If you do confirm availability, you may receive a follow up first avail message. This means the Casting Director cannot book you right away, often because they are waiting on additional information or requirements from production.
What happens if you’re on first avail, but get offered a job on a different project for the same date? Before accepting the booking, we ask that you call your Central Casting office to explain the situation. The first avail project may opt to hire you first.
Any time you are on first avail and your availability changes, please call Central Casting as soon as possible to let us know. You cannot change your availability by responding to a message or updating your online calendar, you must call the office.
There are a variety of other messages you may receive from Central Casting, including details, call time changes, follow up messages, and more. It’s important to respond to every message to confirm you’ve received it, especially when you are sent details.
Whether you call or message with a Casting Director, communication is key! Keeping Casting Directors updated about your availability, especially if you’re on first avail, will help them book their shows and get you on set.
Want to know more ways you can get booked? Find out How to Make a Stand-In Resume and follow these Do’s and Don’ts for Optimizing Your Online Profile.