Frequently Asked Questions

Being Booked

You are booked when you accept an offer for work and receive details. It’s important to write down your work information so you’re prepared when you head to set.

If you work in Georgia or Louisiana, please see our Georgia and Louisiana FAQs for more information on being booked.

  • What do I do if I’m going to be late or need to cancel?

    If you cancel, we ask that you give us enough notice to replace you. Please note: You may not cancel via text message. You must call our office.


  • Is there a guarantee of work?

    No, there is no guarantee of work because the needs of productions change every day. Due to the nature of background acting jobs, Central Casting can never offer full-time employment to any of the talent (i.e., you) it employs.


  • What does “checking your avail” and “first avail” mean?

    This means casting is prepping a scene for a future date and is checking your availability. If you do confirm availability, please mark your calendar to limit conflicts. You become “first avail” (first available) for that show. Typically in these situations, casting will not be able to hire you until the show looks at your picture submission and approves the look. After that, they will usually not release any booking until late afternoon the day before the shoot.

    If you are offered another booking on the same day, we ask for you to give us the courtesy of the “first right of refusal.” Just let us know so we can inform our show. They may option to offer to hire you first. You are still able to be hired elsewhere if we are unable to confirm a booking for you.


  • How do I get my details?

    You will receive a show name and 4-digit passcode from a Casting Director to access your Details Blog via our Details page. If you receive details via a SMS text message you must reply YES to the booking text message. Your Details Blog will include a Call Time Change Box number for you to call to for call time changes and booking updates. Please review all provided information to ensure you are ready for work when you arrive to set.


  • What happens if I miss a call from Central Casting?

    Always check your voicemail. Do not call back until you have checked your voicemail to ensure the Casting Director did not leave specific instructions. If no message was left, wait and see if you receive a call back. If you do not receive a call back, assume you are no longer needed.


  • What is a rush call?

    Rush calls are for immediate same-day work. This is usually to replace a “no show.” When you respond to a rush call, you may be required to get to the set location within an hour or less after being booked.


  • Where can I view the New York Anti-Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Policy? (New York ONLY)

    You can view the New York Anti-Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Policy here and the Sexual Harassment Complaint Form here.

SMS Texting

  • What’s the SMS messaging feature all about?

    Casting Directors may choose to reach out to you via SMS messaging. In addition to checking availability, Casting Directors will now be able to send follow up messages, and in some cases, details through text message.


  • How do I know the message came from Central Casting?

    All messages from Central Casting will be personalized with your name (as it appears in our system), reference the project name, and all replies will appear in the same thread.


  • Why did I receive a text message from Central Casting?

    Central Casting is now using SMS text messages to check availability, ask questions related to the call or booking and/or provide preliminary details. The message format may look like this:

    David, Richard from Central Casting asks: Are you available to Work on CBS Cop Show, without time restrictions, on Wednesday (01/17/2018) in Los Angeles? Role: Waiter. Possible night shoot. Please reply YES or NO. ** We are only checking availability **

  • What happens after I respond to a text message?

    Our Casting Directors will review the responses and then reach out to any Background Actor selected to be booked. If you are not selected, you may not hear from anyone. As always, you know you are booked when you accept an offer for work and receive details.


  • What does “without time restrictions” mean?

    When a Casting Director asks if you are available without time restrictions, they want to know if you are available to work the whole day, even if the location or time were to change. For example, if you know you are not available between 1-2pm, you would answer: No.


  • I was on set and didn’t see the message until later, can I still respond?

    Yes, please respond as soon as you can.


  • Can I respond to multiple requests?

    Yes, you are responsible for finding work and letting Central Casting know when you are available to work. Casting Directors work independently to meet the needs of their productions, so once you are booked, you are also responsible for not becoming double booked.


  • If I receive multiple requests, should I reply to all of them?

    Yes, please respond to each request you receive. If a Casting Director books you for a specific role, it is your responsibility to decline any other offers to ensure you’re not double booked for the same day.


  • Did you get my response?

    When we receive your message, we send you a quick confirmation text message, like the following:

    • “(Your Name), Your “YES” response has been received. Thank you. Remember, you are not booked unless you receive your details.”
    • “(Your Name), Your “NO” response has been received. Thank you.”
    • “(Your Name), Please respond only Yes or No.”
    • “(Your Name), Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting submissions for this role.”

    If you didn’t receive a confirmation response, please send your response again. Please note: the system is engineered to only accept a YES or NO response.


  • What if I don’t hear back?

    If you don’t hear back from a Casting Director with an offer for work and booking details, you are not booked. However, given the volume of roles they are booking, please be patient as it may take them some time to respond.


  • Can I change my response?

    Yes, simply reply to the original message with either a Yes or No response. If you receive multiple messages in the course of a conversation with a Casting Director, you will only be able to change your response to the most recent message. Please note: after you have received your details and are booked, you must follow the appropriate procedure if you need to cancel. You can not cancel via text message.


  • What are the role details?

    Role details may or may not be communicated via SMS text message depending on the production. If you are booked, you will be notified where you should go to learn your full booking, wardrobe, and location instructions. These instructions might include a Details Blog and Call Time Change Box number.


  • Do I still have to call the Call Time Change Box?

    Yes. Though your details may be provided to you as a Details Blog via SMS text message, you will still need to call the Call Time Change Box at the number given by the Casting Director for call time changes and booking updates. Please review all materials to ensure that you understand what will be expected when you arrive to set.


  • If I receive a text message, does that mean I’m booked?

    You are not booked unless you accept an offer for work and receive details.


  • What if I respond to a text message and never hear back?

    Thank you for your response. Sending a “Yes” response tells the Casting Directors that you are interested and available to work, but does not guarantee that you will be booked. Depending on the casting volume, you may not hear back.


  • What if I don’t get a confirmation message?

    Please send your response again.


  • What number will Central Casting text me from?

    Central Casting will use a variety of numbers to reach you. Once you receive a message from a Casting Director about a specific project, all follow up questions and replies will appear in the same thread.


  • Can I call the number I received a text from?

    Unfortunately, our texting numbers are only formatted to send outbound text messages and receive a Yes or No response.


  • Can I respond with something other than Yes or No?

    In order for our system to read your response and provide it to the Casting Directors, we need to limit the text to only Yes or No.


  • What if I am only available part of the day?

    Casting Directors sometimes don’t receive call times until the last minute, so we are asking you if you are available for the full day. If you are only available for part of the day, please reply No.


  • Why was there a link in my text message?

    Casting Directors may provide booking details through a Details Blog. Some Casting Directors and productions may provide additional instructions with a wardrobe blog or similar resource. Please review any materials provided to ensure that you will be ready for work.


  • There’s a link in my text message that doesn’t work. What do I do?

    If for whatever reason a URL isn’t working, write down the URL and attempt to enter it directly into a web browser.


  • Why was my message split?

    Not all carriers and phone service providers handle SMS messages in the same way. Some carriers, like Sprint for example, may split long messages. Unfortunately, when this happens, there is no guarantee the split message will arrive in a predictable order.


  • Can I get text messages in a language other than English?

    No, the messages are only in English.


  • I’m not getting text messages. Does T-Mobile’s business message “opt-out” feature prevent me from receiving text messages from Central Casting?

    Yes. T-Mobile has released a feature that allows their customers to “opt-out” of business messages. In order to receive text messages from Central Casting, T-Mobile users will need to contact T-Mobile support at 1-800-866-2453 and ask for this feature to be turned off. Once the opt-out is removed, you will be able to receive messages from Central Casting. Even if you are a T-Mobile customer who has received text messages from Central Casting in the past, please check with T-Mobile to ensure you do not have the opt-out feature enabled.


  • I’m not registered with Central Casting. Why am I getting these texts?

    We are sorry for the inconvenience. Most likely your mobile number was previously owned by someone registered with us, or provided to us inadvertently.


  • Can I opt out of SMS messaging?

    As an employee of Central Casting you provided your mobile number to us so that we can contact you about jobs for which you would be a potential match. However, if you no longer want us to reach out to you via text message, please call Central Casting and request that your number no longer be used for text messaging.

On Set

Your time on set will vary, but a typical day lasts up to 12 hours. You are an important part of the production, please be professional and have a good attitude on set.

  • What if I forget or lose my work information?

    It is critical that you write down your work information. If you lose your information or if you have any questions regarding your work information call:


  • What do I do if I’m going to be late or need to cancel?


  • How will I know if my call time changes?

    Call the Call Time Change Box number listed in your Details Blog or given to you by the Casting Director. It is your responsibility to get call time changes for each booking.


  • What Louisiana residency documents do I need to bring to set? (Louisiana ONLY)

    You must bring two of these three documents with you to set:

    1. A Valid Louisiana Driver’s License or State ID Card
    2. A current Louisiana Voter Registration Card
    3. A copy of last year’s Federal and/or Louisiana personal income tax return

  • How do I get to set? (Los Angeles ONLY)

    Our Studio and Parking Guide has information on studio locations and parking options.


  • What do I need to bring to set?

    Come to set camera ready. Bring your ID and any additional wardrobe or props requested by production.


  • Who do I report to on set?

    Roles change from set to set, but often a Background Actor’s main contact is the 2nd Assistant Director (2nd AD) and Production Assistants (PAs).


  • What do I do when I’m not filming on set?

    When you are not required on set, you will be taken to a holding area. You can bring items to the holding area to keep busy while you are not working.


  • What if a parent cannot accompany the minor to set?

    Another guardian must accompany the minor.


  • What happens if I get booked on the same show as my minor?

    Another guardian who is not working on the show must accompany the minor.


  • Where will I be when my minor is filming?

    You will be on set with them, behind the scenes. Please stay within your designated area and do not interfere with production. Be prepared to accompany your minor when they go to wardrobe, set, and to school (if applicable).


  • Can I bring a guest to set?

    Do not bring guests or other children who are not working to the set with you.


  • What happens if I get hurt on set?

    If you are injured on set, you must report it to the Assistant Director and/or medic immediately.


  • There are a lot of unfamiliar terms used on set. What do they mean?

    Our Definition of Terms explains many phrases and terms commonly used on set.

Payroll

Central Casting handles both casting and payroll services. When you register with Central Casting, we become your employer and, in most cases, are responsible for paying you. You’ll know you are paid by us if your voucher says Central Casting and/or Entertainment Partners.

Contact payroll
800.562.2718
(select option #3 when prompted)

  • How soon after I work can I expect my paycheck?

    Checks are due to be mailed on the Thursday after the week you worked. They may be mailed out earlier depending on when the production company turns in the complete and accurate vouchers.


  • Can I pick up my paycheck?

    No. At this time, we do not have the resources for checks to be picked up. Paychecks are handled in a security area with 24-hour surveillance and delivered by our bonded driver to the post office directly. Paymasters do not have access to your paychecks.


  • How long does it take for me to receive my check after it’s mailed?

    The checks are sent first class mail. While you will receive most checks within 2-3 business days after they are mailed, there are times when it could take longer through the federal mail system, particularly during holiday periods.


  • Why do I sometimes receive my paychecks out of work date order?

    Checks are not mailed out in order of work date. Before we can cut a check, the production reviews and completes the voucher, and production companies vary on how often they process and send in the vouchers.


  • Do I need to write my Social Security number on my voucher each time I work?

    Yes, there are many people we payroll with the same or similar names. You will need to put your Social Security number on each voucher so we can correctly identify who we should pay. Your voucher will either be delayed or not processed if we are unable to identify who worked.


  • What is the best way to contact the payroll department?

    For payroll inquiries, please call 800.562.2718 and select option #3 when prompted. Representatives are available Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm PT.


  • How do I change my address with payroll?

    Please fill out our Address Change Form to update your address with payroll. To update your address with casting, please make a reservation for a Re-Registration and Updates session.


  • How do I place a stop payment on a check?

    You can email or mail a stop payment request by filling out a Stop Pay/Reissue Form. A stop payment can be placed no sooner than one calendar week after the check has been mailed.


  • How long does it take to reissue a check after I request a stop payment?

    Five business days for current year checks, longer if the check was cut in a prior year. We are unable to reissue a check that has been stop paid until after we have received confirmation from the bank that the stop payment was successful.


  • How do I request a work history?

    Call 818.955.6313 or send your request in writing to our payroll department either by fax or through the mail. Be sure to include your name, Social Security number, address, and the year(s) you worked. You will also need to state whether the request is for your own personal records or to enable you to join SAG-AFTRA. SAG-AFTRA will only accept faxes sent directly from our payroll department certified by our manager.


  • How do I get my W-2?

    To access your W-2, visit EP’s W-2 page.


  • How can I submit an inquiry or correction to my tax form?

    To submit an inquiry or correction to your tax form, please fill out and sign our inquires and corrections form.


  • How can I verify my employment with Central Casting?

    For employment verification, call 818.955.6313. This is an Entertainment Partners line; they will be able to provide employment verification.

Re-Registration and Updates

SAG-AFTRA members will need to present their current SAG-AFTRA card every time they come to Re-Registration and Updates.

We are temporarily suspending all Re-Registration and Updates sessions due to COVID-19.

If you work in Georgia or Louisiana, please see our Georgia and Louisiana FAQs for more information on Updates.

  • How do I change my status from Non-Union to SAG-AFTRA? (Los Angeles and New York ONLY)

    You can change your status by filling out our online SAG-AFTRA update form.


  • My look has changed since I last updated, what do I do?

    If a Casting Director contacts you, please let them know if you no longer fit the desired look or of any changes to your appearance. They will often ask you to submit a recent selfie, so we recommend keeping a folder of recent selfies handy so you can submit when needed.


  • How can I update my minor’s sizes? (Los Angeles ONLY)

    You can update your minor’s sizes through our online minor’s size form.