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7 Casting Tips From Our Night Casting Directors

MEGHAN DUBITSKY
BY MEGHAN DUBITSKY  |  SEPTEMBER 2, 2019
Woman using her phone to find casting tips at night

Did you know Central Casting books Background Actors to work in movies, TV shows, and other productions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Our night Casting Directors are available throughout the night and early morning to fill rush calls, make replacements, and to answer questions about booking information. Here are seven casting tips from our night staff to help you find work overnight.

1. Be available without time restrictions

Our night Casting Directors may pull from the After Hours Availability List, post a notice on our Jobs page, send a text message, or call you directly. When you submit for a job or the Availability List, it’s important that you are able to work without time restrictions for the following day. Without time restrictions means that there are no possible conflicts that would prevent you from working.

Remember, the After Hours Availability List is for our Casting Directors to use while making replacements and filling rush calls, it is not a general list to let us know you want to work. So if you’re not willing or able to make early call times or rush calls, please do not submit for these jobs.

2. Let us know if you are no longer available

Did you get booked for the perfect role after adding your name to the Availability List? Wake up in the middle of the night with a sore throat? We understand that things come up and your availability can change. If you added your name to the list, but are no longer available to work, please leave a message on your office’s emergency line and ask that your name be taken off the Availability List. This saves our Casting Directors from calling people who can no longer work.

If you have been booked on a project, but need to cancel, you must call the emergency line as soon as possible to inform our staff. You cannot cancel a booking through text message.

3. Read the entire job post carefully before submitting

When you scroll through our Jobs page, you’ll see posts for all types of roles. In some cases, Casting Directors will be looking for a broad range of Background Actors and in others they are seeking very specific types. Please read the entire post carefully to make sure you fit the requirements before submitting. This is true every time you submit for a job, but especially true when you submit for rush calls. If a Casting Director is looking for someone to get to set as soon as possible and you submit for a role you don’t fit, you are only wasting their time and yours.

4. Keep your phone on and near you

In order to be booked, Central Casting needs to be able to contact you. Seems like one of the more obvious casting tips, right? But there are often times when Casting Directors call a Background Actor on the Availability List or who submitted for a rush call and their phones go straight to voicemail. If you want to get cast overnight, please keep your phone near you with the volume on so you’ll hear it if a Casting Director calls in the middle of the night. It’s also a good idea to double check that you don’t have a “do not disturb” setting turned on or add an exception so you’ll still receive calls from Central Casting. Here are instructions on how to use do not disturb features for Apple and Android devices.

5. Have pen and paper nearby

As a Background Actor, you should always keep a pen and paper on hand in case you receive a call from a Casting Director. That’s true whether you’re looking for work during the day or if you want to get cast overnight. Since our night Casting Directors are making replacements and filling rush calls, they often need to get information to you quickly and may have details when they call to book you. Please be prepared to write this information down so you have everything you need to get to set on time and camera ready.

6. Read your entire Details Blog

When you’re booked, you’ll likely be given a Details Blog show name, 4-digit passcode, and/or Call Time Change Box number. Your Details Blog will include all the necessary information for your booking, like make-up, hair, and wardrobe instructions and call location information. Please read your entire Details Blog carefully to ensure you show up to set as expected.

Your call time changes will be updated on the Call Time Change Box. Call times can (and frequently do) change overnight, so it’s important to check the Call Time Change Box before you go to bed, when you wake up in the morning, and before you leave for set. Productions have a lot of moving pieces, so even if you were cast overnight, the call time you were given can still change.

7. Keep your photo and file updated

To put yourself in the best position to get booked and to ensure Casting Directors always have your correct information, please keep your photo and file up to date. We recommend updating your photo every six months or anytime your look changes. This gives Casting Directors confidence that your current look fits the roles they are casting. Your sizes and file information, like cars you own, are also used regularly in the casting process. So if you’ve changed your look, sold a car that you have on file, or have new sizes, please come to one of your office’s Re-Registration and Updates sessions to update your information.

Now that you’ve read these casting tips from our night Casting Directors, you’ll be prepared the next time you add your name to the After Hours Availability List or submit for a rush call. Want to know more ways to be successful? Learn everything you need to know about first avail and what to do when you get a text from Central Casting.

Categories: Casting Directors

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