A Refresher on Background Work Through Central Casting

OCTOBER 5, 2020
A group of people who got background work through Central Casting.
Little Voice with background cast by Central Casting New York (Apple TV+)

From our Casting Directors to our Background Actors, all of us at Central Casting are excited to get back to making movies and TV shows. By now you are probably aware that the casting process and working on set may be a little different than what you are used to. To set you up for success, we put together a guide with everything you need to know to have a productive and safe day on set.

Getting booked

One of your best resources for getting background work through Central Casting is our Talent page. There you’ll find information on the casting process, important phone numbers, and frequently asked questions. Parts of the casting process may have changed since the last time you were booked, so be sure to read through and bookmark your location’s Talent page so you’re up to date with any changes.

Among these changes is a production’s option to carry background. To ensure the safety of the set and to schedule COVID-19 testing, a show may hire and pay you for a consecutive number of days, whether you work all of the days or not. Each production may have different protocols around carrying background or may choose not to carry at all. Please read our article Carrying Background: What You Should Know to learn specifics about the process.

Here are some other resources to help you get booked by Central Casting:

Preparing for set

Your experience can change set to set, which is why it’s important to read your details and all communications from the Casting Director carefully. Depending on the project, you may not get to work with the hair, makeup, and wardrobe departments as closely as before, so it’s crucial that you come to set with the desired look and any materials you need to stay camera ready throughout the shoot.

Another change productions may implement are zone systems. You may be given instruction by crew members when you check-in about the zone you are in and what that means on that particular set, usually involving the areas you are allowed. It’s extremely important to listen to and follow these directions carefully. It’s up to all of us to ensure the health and safety of everyone on set.

Check out these articles to learn more about getting ready and the changes you may experience when booked:

Keys to success

At Central Casting, we know our Background Actors and Stand-Ins take pride in being professional and productive members of a production. When you’re not on set, there are still plenty of ways to stay engaged and ready for your next booking. A great way to learn more about the casting and production process is to watch our AD/CD series where one of our Casting Directors talks with an Assistant Director to bring you tips, advice, and inspiration for your next role. If you’ve worked as a Background Actor for a while, you know wardrobe is a big part of the job. If you need help putting an outfit together or just want to build up your looks, our wardrobe guides are a great place to start.

To stay up to date with the latest news from Central Casting, be sure to frequently check your location’s notices section.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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