There are many tools you can use to get booked as a Background Actor. Submitting through email, texts, or the phone lines can all be a bit different, but there are some things that are universal. Read through these do's and don'ts from Casting Directors before submitting for your next job.
When you're scanning through job posts, it's easy to miss a few key details, like how the Casting Director would like you to submit. The submission instructions can vary by Casting Director and project, so it's important to read through them carefully.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but you should also follow directions for what you need to send in an email submission. The job post will often contain specific instructions for the subject line and what to include in the body of the email. This makes it easier for Casting Directors to sort through submissions and find exactly what they need. Attention to detail is an important trait to have if you want to be a successful Background Actor. After all, if you can't follow directions for submitting, how can Casting Directors trust that you will follow directions on set?
Submitting yourself with a car? Have your car insurance information ready in case a Casting Director calls to book you. If a post asks for you to provide additional materials or if you think a Casting Director might need documentation from you, have it easily accessible to save both of you time.
Always keep a pen and paper ready if a Casting Director calls you with details. You'll need to write down the project name, the Casting Director who booked you, when and where to report, and any wardrobe information.
Whether you're responding to a job post or replying to a text from a Casting Director, you can submit for multiple roles. If you do get booked, please contact the other Casting Directors you submitted to or text to let them know you are no longer available and to ensure you don't become double booked.
Our latest SMS messaging update gave Casting Directors the ability to ask follow up questions via text message. If you do receive additional questions, you can only respond to the last question you received. If you need to change your availability, but have received a follow up question, you can no longer change your availability by texting back "no." In that case, please call the Casting Director to let them know you are no longer available. Check out our SMS texting FAQs for more information on what to do if you get a text message from us.
Remember, communication is key!
Some productions are strict about reusing Background Actors that were clearly shown on screen. If you've played a dead body on a TV show, there's a good chance that show will not want to feature you again. You wouldn't want an eagle-eyed viewer to recognize you in the precinct when you were in the morgue an episode before!
Please pay attention to the role description in the job post before submitting and be honest with the Casting Director if they ask about your history on a show.
It can be exciting when you see a role you're perfect for on your favorite show. In your haste to submit, you might stop scrolling and miss the part where the Casting Director was looking for people with 1970s muscle cars. It helps Casting Directors, and your chances of getting booked, if you take the time to read the entire post before submitting.
Getting booked can be a challenge, but if you stay positive, keep checking job posts, and keep submitting, you can increase your chance of getting on set.
"I know it's hard when you keep calling in and are told we can't use you," said Casting Director Shannon A. "I remember you guys and I remember everybody's attitude. So keep that in mind and don't give up!"
Visiting sessions are a good resource to learn more about the submitting process and to talk to Casting Directors. Check your location's calendar for Visiting sessions in your office.