Essential Guide to Onboarding with Central Casting
If you’re interested in working in the entertainment industry or just want to see what it’s like on set, becoming a Background Actor is a great way to see how your favorite movies and TV shows get made. Here’s everything you need to know about attending Talent Onboarding and becoming a Background Actor with Central Casting.
What is Central Casting?
Central Casting is the leading background casting company in the entertainment industry. Every week we book hundreds of Background Actors, Stand-Ins, and doubles in feature films (The Gray Man, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Father of the Bride), TV dramas (NCIS, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, FBI), comedies (The Neighborhood, Hacks, The Wonder Years), children’s shows (Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion, That Girl Lay Lay, Bunk’d), and a variety of other projects.
We onboard adults, teenagers, children, and babies (must be at least 15 days old) to work on our productions.
Required Form I-9 documentation
The first step to onboarding with Central Casting in our Los Angeles, New York, Georgia, or Louisiana offices is to gather your required Form I-9 documentation. Everyone, including minors of all ages, must bring their original unexpired documentation with them to Talent Onboarding. Per federal law, we cannot onboard anyone without these documents and you will be turned away without exception.
Please read the Lists of Acceptable Documents to learn more about Form I-9 requirements. If you’re onboarding a minor, see your location’s Kids page for additional information about required documentation for minors.
Make a reservation
Once you’ve gathered your documentation, the next step is to make a reservation to attend a Talent Onboarding session at your local office. Reservations open exactly three days in advance from the time the event starts. For example, if you want to make a reservation for Monday at 9:15am, sessions will become available the previous Friday at 9:15am. Reservations can fill very quickly; check the countdown timer above the reservation calendar so you’re prepared when the next event opens.
If you are unable to make it to your Talent Onboarding session, please cancel your reservation as soon as possible to allow someone else to attend.
Complete online application
After successfully making a reservation, you will receive a confirmation email with all the information you need to onboard at Central Casting. It’s extremely important to read this email fully and carefully to make sure you complete required tasks prior to your reservation and understand the onboarding process.
This confirmation email will also include a link to complete your online application. The information you fill out will be used to create your casting profile, which our Casting Directors use when booking their projects. While you should fill out the entire application completely to help Casting Directors find you in searches, there are required fields marked with a red asterisk that must be filled out before attending your Talent Onboarding session.
One of these required sections are your measurements. Casting Directors use your sizes regularly when determining the types of roles you can portray, like when booking photo doubles who must match the sizes of the principal actor and when production provides wardrobe. Knowing your accurate sizes is a key part of working as a Background Actor with Central Casting. Not sure how to take your measurements? You can find easy-to-follow video tutorials on our Measurements page.
Anyone arriving to their Talent Onboarding session without completing the measurements section of their online application will be turned away and unable to onboard.
While Central Casting will take photos during your Talent Onboarding session, you must also take a headshot and full body shot to upload with your online application. Casting Directors use your self-uploaded photos, including additional photos you upload of different looks you can portray, when booking their projects.
Photos you upload to your online profile should be only of you, well lit, in focus, unedited, and taken against a white or solid background. Photos that include other people, are dark or blurry, or taken on busy backgrounds (like outside or at a club) cannot be used when considering you for background work. Be sure to read through our photo guide to learn more about what we’re looking for in profile photos.
Attending Talent Onboarding
During your Talent Onboarding session, you will fill out paperwork, take a headshot and full body shot, and we will review your required Form I-9 documentation. After attending Talent Onboarding, keep an eye out for availability inquiries from Casting Directors or you can proactively submit for work on our Jobs page.
Be sure to read through our articles on submitting for work and responding to casting messages for all you need to know about getting booked by Central Casting.