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Essential Guide to Registering with Central Casting

MEGHAN DUBITSKY
BY MEGHAN DUBITSKY  |  SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
Central Casting is the leading background casting agency

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. Central Casting has been the leading background casting agency since we were founded in 1925. If you want to get to set, registering with Central Casting is your first step.

What is Central Casting?

The Central Casting Corporation was founded in 1925 by Will Hays, president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) to fix the employment issues and exploitation Background Actors faced in the burgeoning film industry. The creation of Central Casting gave Background Actors a clear path to finding work and gave studios and producers a trusted casting agency to find background.

Background Actors were referred to as extras until the early 1990s when Background Actors pushed for a change in terminology because they felt this term encompassed more of their responsibilities on set than just being the “extra” people who filled out a scene. Background Actor is the predominant term within the industry, but you may also hear them referred to as extras, background talent, background artist, and atmosphere.

At Central Casting, we cast hundreds of Background Actors, Stand-Ins, and doubles every day in movies, TV shows, and other productions.

How do I become a Background Actor?

Becoming a Background Actor with Central Casting is free and easy to get started. To register, you’ll need to complete all three steps of our online registration process to be eligible to work on our movies, TV shows, and other productions.

  1. First, create a profile to use during the online registration process.
  2. Once you make a profile, you will be taken to the online portion of registration. Complete this step by filling out the necessary information.
  3. Then make a reservation to come to our office with your required documentation for your new hire orientation and onboarding to finish paperwork and take a photo for our casting system.
Each location only schedules reservations a set time in advance. If you don’t see available sessions, keep checking back as spots can open at any time due to cancellations. Here is when reservations open up in each office:
  • Los Angeles: 3 days
  • New York: 14 days
  • Georgia: 7 days
  • Louisiana: 7 days

Documentation

Everyone who registers with Central Casting must fill out an I-9 form and present the required I-9 form documentation. This is a crucial step in the registration process and you will not be allowed to register if you don’t bring the original unexpired documents. Please be sure to read over the Lists of Acceptable Documents before you come to register.

Here are some resources to read through on required I-9 documentation:

Registering your child

Central Casting registers minors from 15 days old to 17 years old to work on our productions. Currently, minors are not part of the online registration process and can register by coming to a registration session. All minors 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian as the Department of Homeland Security permits only the parent or legal guardian to fill out the I-9 form. To find out when minors registration is held in your location, check out our Kids page.

Don’t forget to bring your child’s required documentation with you to registration. Minors must meet the same I-9 requirements as adults in order to register and become a Background Actor with Central Casting.

For those who want to register minors in our Georgia office, there is an additional step to take so we can acquire a work permit for your child. Please obtain a certification number by visiting the Georgia DOL website and fill out the short form. Once completed, you will receive an email with your child’s certificate number (consists of one letter and four numbers) within one business day. Bring this number when you register your minor at Central Casting. If already registered, please email us your child’s name and certificate number at georgiainfo@centralcasting.com and put GDOL Certificate in the subject line. This process only applies to children working in our Georgia office. If your child works in Los Angeles, New York, or Louisiana you can find detailed information on obtaining a work permit in our article How to Get Your Child on TV and Movies.

Now that you’re ready to come in and register, learn how to determine your look so you have a better chance of getting cast in our productions.

Categories: Industry Essentials

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