Background Actor Keys to Success in 2020

JANUARY 13, 2020
The Jobs page is one of your keys to success
Background Actor keys to success in 2020

It’s a new year and a new decade, which makes it the perfect time to learn how to become a successful Background Actor. So whether you’re planning on registering or consider yourself a pro, use these keys to success to make 2020 your best year yet.

Check our Jobs page regularly

We know your ultimate goal is to get on set. One of the best tools to help you get there is our Jobs page. In their job posts, Casting Directors will include information like portrayable age, portrayable ethnicity, union status, sizes, and any other requirements they have. All of this information is necessary for the role, so please read job posts carefully and only submit if you fit the description.

An important thing to look for in job posts is instructions on how to submit. When submitting via email, Casting Directors may have you use a specific subject line or include additional materials like a selfie or Stand-In resume. Just like role specifications, this information is extremely important. Remember, a big part of being a Background Actor is following directions, not only on set, but when interacting with Casting Directors.

Reply promptly to text messages

Another tool Casting Directors use to book their shows is our text messaging system. Please respond as soon as possible when you get a text message from Central Casting. In some cases, Casting Directors are booking replacements or sending photos to production and a quick reply may make the difference in you landing that role. Whether the answer is “yes” or “no,” please always respond to text messages. There’s no harm in responding “no” or responding late. Our Casting Directors always prefer getting an answer over no response at all.

If you responded “yes” to an availability check and your availability changes, you can change your response by texting back “no.” Just remember, if you need to cancel you must call our office and cannot reply by text message.

An important term to know when working with Central Casting is first avail. If a Casting Director puts you on first avail, it means that while you have confirmed your availability, they cannot book you right away. This is often because they have sent your photos to production or are waiting on additional requirements. When you are on first avail it doesn’t mean you’re booked, so you can look for other work. We just ask that you call the Casting Director you are on first avail for before accepting another job.

Always be on time

You heard it in registration and every time you’ve been booked, but it always bears repeating: it’s imperative that you show up to set on time. Production schedules are constantly evolving and call times often change throughout the night. We recommend calling the Call Time Change Box before you go to bed, when you wake up in the morning, and before you head to set. Don’t forget to factor in time for parking, public transportation delays, and check in.

Come to Re-Registration and Updates

The beginning of the year is a great time to come in to re-register and update your profile. We recommend updating your photo every six months or any time your look changes. This is so Casting Directors know your casting photo reflects your current look. So if it’s been awhile since you registered or if you got a haircut for the Holidays, be sure to come in to take a new photo.

While taking a photo every six months is a recommendation, you must re-register with Central Casting every three years to continue to be booked on our productions. Before visiting our office, check the Re-Registration and Updates section of the Talent page as some of our offices require reservations.

Keep up to date with our calendar

The best way to keep up with our latest events is to bookmark your location’s calendar. Our calendar makes it easy to find out when to register, what days we hold Re-Registration and Updates, and if we’re holding special events, like Visiting or Central Casting University. You can also make reservations for these events by selecting the event you wish to attend and clicking the “make a reservation” button.

If you’re looking for more keys to success on set, check out the Best You category of our Articles to find how to impress as a Background Actor.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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Best You


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