Do’s and Don’ts for Working as a Stand-In

APRIL 10, 2023
A Stand-In working on set.

Interested in working as a Stand-In? At Central Casting, we book Stand-Ins in a variety of productions, from multi-cam comedies like The Neighborhood and Call Me Kat, to single camera shows like The Crossover and Dr. Death, to films like Creed III and We Have a Ghost. Whether you just booked your first Stand-In job or want to brush up on your skills, here are some do’s and don’ts to help you be a pro on set.

Do arrive on time

As with any job you’re cast for, it’s extremely important to show up on time for your call time. Before heading to the filming location, it’s a good idea to factor in traffic, public transportation delays, parking, and other delays that could make you late.

When you’re booked, your details message will include instructions on how to get your call time changes, which will likely be sent as a message from our casting platform or as an update to your Details Blog. Be sure to check for any changes before arriving to set.

Do take copious notes

Part of your responsibilities as a Stand-In is to relay blocking information to the actor you’re standing in for. When working on a single camera project, you will be given sides (miniaturized script pages being filmed that day) to take notes on. For multi-cam projects, you will be given the episode’s script. Bring something to write with and be prepared to take notes on where to move, when to move, and prop directions in a scene.

When working as a Stand-In, you may rehearse several scenes in a row that take place in the same location. It can be easy to confuse the details of what scene you’re working on, so the more detailed notes you take, the easier it will be to accurately relay information to the actor.

Do know who you’re working with

Always know who you’re standing in for before you start rehearsals. If you’re new to set or standing in for an actor who is new to set, ask one of the Assistant Directors to introduce you. It’s also a good idea to learn the names of the crew members, especially the director of photography, camera operator, and assistant cameras, since you’ll be working with them often.

Don’t be a distraction

We all know time is precious, and this is especially true on productions. The cast and crew have a lot they need to get done in a day; you can help them out by being aware of when you’re needed on set and where you are in the script.

Even when it seems like there’s downtime, the crew is always prepping for the next shot, actors may be rehearsing their lines, and writers may be collaborating with directors. Do what you can to keep the day running smoothly by being professional and not a distraction to those around you.

Don’t wander off

A big part of working as a Stand-In is being present when you’re needed. Always be alert and ready to work when the Assistant Director calls for you. If you do need to step away from set, be sure to let an Assistant Director or production assistant know. Production should never have to look for you.

Don’t forget to update your resume

When booking Stand-Ins, our Casting Directors may ask you to submit a Stand-In resume. Your resume should include the shows you worked on, how long you worked on those shows, the actor you stood in for, and whether it was single or multi-cam. Upload your Stand-In resume to your online profile and keep a copy on hand so you’re prepared when a Casting Director asks for one.

Now that you know what to do on set, you’re ready to get booked as a Stand-In. Want advice from the experts? Check out Assistant Director Michele Azenzer Bear’s 5 Multi-Cam Stand-In Tips and Assistant Director Molly Rodriguez’s advice for How to Become a Stand-In.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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