Frequently Asked Questions
Casting Directors use multiple tools to book Background Actors, including seeking submissions on our Jobs page and sending availability messages through our messaging platform.
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.
What do I do if I’m going to be late or need to cancel?
- Los Angeles: If you are working on a non-union voucher call 818.562.2799. If you are working on a SAG-AFTRA voucher call 818.562.2700.
- New York: Call 646.205.8244 ext. 4
- Georgia: Call 404.920.8011
- Louisiana: Call 504.684.2550
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 availability” mean?
“Checking your availability” means that a Casting Director is preparing the look for a show for a future date and is checking if you are available to work that day. When Central Casting checks your availability, we are not offering or guaranteeing work, we are only asking if you can work without time restrictions on a specific date or date range. “Without time restrictions” means that there are no possible conflicts that would prevent you from working that day. When preparing for and booking their shows, Casting Directors may not know call times until they get additional information from production and those call times often change through the night and early morning. That’s why you need to have all day availability when responding as avail to these messages.
What does “first avail” mean?
“First avail” means that you have confirmed your availability, but the Casting Director cannot book you right away. You are not booked unless you accept an offer for work and receive details. So when you are on first avail, you are not officially booked and are still able to look for other work. If you are offered another job or put on first avail for another job, please call the initial Casting Director you are on first avail for before accepting the offer; your first avail show may choose to hire you first. Also, if your availability changes while on first avail, please call our office as soon as possible to let us know you are no longer available to work.
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. 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)
When a Casting Director contacts you for work, you will often receive an alert in your profile and an email through our online self-service platform. We recommend setting up email alerts so you never miss a message from Central Casting. To learn how to set up email alerts on your device, read these instructions.
To learn more about check avail, first avail, and other booking terminology, see our article First Avail: Everything You Need to Know.
How do I submit for work?
Casting Directors will contact you directly when you fit the look or requirements for a role. Be sure to completely fill out your online profile and add additional photos in different looks so Casting Directors can consider you for a variety of roles.
How do I know the message came from Central Casting?
Emails will always come from DoNot-Reply@centralcasting.com and include a link to reply to the message via your online profile. SMS text messages can come from a variety of numbers, but will always include a link to reply via our online self-service platform. These inquiries will also appear in your online profile.
What happens after I respond to a message?
Our Casting Directors will review their responses then reach out if they intend to book you. If you are not selected, you may not hear from anyone. Remember, you’re booked when you accept an offer for work and receive details.
What does the phrase “without time restrictions” mean?
When booking, Casting Directors may not know the call time (which can often change before the shoot), so they need you to have completely open availability on the date in question. For example, if you cannot work between 3-4pm, you are not available without time restrictions.
I didn’t see the message until later. Can I still respond?
Yes, always respond as soon as you can. Some messages will expire after a certain amount of time. When this happens, you will see a notification that submissions are closed. We recommend enabling alerts for Central Casting through your email provider so you can always respond to job inquiries on time.
Can I respond to multiple avail messages?
Yes, you are responsible for letting Central Casting know when you are available to work. Once you are booked, you are also responsible for not becoming double booked. If you are on first avail, please let that Casting Director know before accepting another offer.
How do I know you received my response?
After you respond to a message, you will be sent a notification detailing your response and confirmation we received it.
Why am I unable to reply to an availability message?
Casting Directors may only accept responses for a certain period of time and your message may have expired. If the message has expired and we’re no longer accepting submissions for the role for which you were contacted, you will see a page that explains this when you try to respond.
What if I don’t hear back from a Casting Director?
If you don’t hear back with an offer for work and 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.
What are my booking details?
Once you have accepted an offer for work, the Casting Director will let you know how to access your details, which will likely be in the form of a Details Blog. To access your details, enter the show name and passcode given to you in the My Details section of our website. Casting Directors get booking information as it comes in from production, so you likely will not receive your details until the evening before the shoot.
If I receive a message, does that mean I’m officially booked?
You are not booked unless you accept an offer for work and receive details.
What if I respond to a message then never hear back from the Casting Director?
Thank you for replying. Your response lets the Casting Director know you are interested and available to work, but does not guarantee you will be booked. Depending on the casting volume, you may not hear back.
Can I reply directly to a text message?
No, our texting numbers are only formatted to send outbound text messages from our online self-service platform. When you respond to a text message directly, you will get a message indicating that you can only reply “Stop” to end text communication. We do not accept “yes,” “no,” or any other response through text message.
Can I call the number I received the text message from?
No, our texting numbers are only formatted to send outbound text messages from our online self-service platform. Please call our main line at 818.562.2700.
Why was there a link in my message?
While you may receive an email or text message, all communication with Casting Directors happens through our online self-service platform. Each communication will include a link to your online profile where you can reply to the message.
Can I get 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.
Can I change my response?
If your availability has changed after responding to a message, please call our office at 818.562.2700.
I’m not signed up with Central Casting. Why am I getting these messages?
We apologize for the inconvenience. Most likely your phone number was previously owned by someone signed up with us or provided to us in error.
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 reply “STOP” to the text message you received.
How do I set up email alerts on an iPhone?
Adding Central Casting as a VIP sender ensures you don’t miss out on job inquiries and other communications. If you have an iPhone, follow these steps. If you have another device, please check your email app settings.
- Open an email from Central Casting
- Tap on Central Casting in the “from” field at the top of the page
- Select “add to VIP” below Central Casting’s contact information
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?
Your Details Blog will contain information on how to get call time changes. Be sure to check your details before you go to bed and when you wake up for possible updates.
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:
- A Valid Louisiana Driver’s License or State ID Card
- A current Louisiana Voter Registration Card
- 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.
SmartVoucher is Central Casting’s digital voucher platform. If you have not yet logged in to our online self-service platform, visit our Log In page to learn how to access your profile. You will need to log in to your online profile to access SmartVoucher if used on the production you are booked to work.
What do I need to do at my call time?
You do not need to take any actions with your SmartVoucher prior to or at your call time.
Do I need to complete the forms sent to me/appearing in my dashboard every day I work?
Yes, as some of the forms are project/work date specific.
Do I need to upload my ID documents before a work date?
No. Central Casting has already obtained and validated your start paperwork. If not, you will be asked to complete on paper on set.
I don’t have a login for my online profile. How can I review my SmartVoucher?
First, you must claim your profile by clicking the “log in” button in our website menu and choosing the “claim profile” option. Once claimed, you will be able to log in to review your SmartVoucher.
How do I change my tax withholding information?
Please visit myEP for more information on updating any payroll information.
Do I need to add my meal/allowances/adjustments to my voucher?
No, production will input this information as the day progresses.
Do I have to e-sign my SmartVoucher while on set?
We suggest you review your SmartVoucher while still on set, so you have the opportunity to raise any questions in person with the production staff that completed your voucher.
How do I access my SmartVoucher without going through the email link?
Log in to your Central Casting online profile and select the “Job Review” option in the blue toolbar on top.
How can I access forms after I’ve e-signed them?
Upon request, Central Casting can provide you the signed copy of a form.
Can I undo the e-sign checkbox?
Once the e-sign checkbox is selected, it cannot be undone.
Will I be emailed a copy of my SmartVoucher?
No. For your security, you will always be required to use your unique login to view your SmartVoucher. You can print a copy at any time by selecting the “Export” button.
How do I access my past SmartVouchers?
Log in to your Central Casting online profile and select the “Job Review” option in the blue toolbar on top.
Can I access copies of my paper vouchers through my online profile?
No. Your online profile will only contain copies of SmartVouchers. Paper copies are not uploaded.
How can I track any changes made to my SmartVoucher?
Once you have received a SmartVoucher for review on a job, any changes made will create an updated version. You can view all versions from the dropdown menu within a job review.
What if something is missing or incorrect on my voucher?
We suggest you review and raise these concerns while on set for the quickest remedy. If you are unable to review until you get home, select “raise a query” from the review page and you may type your question for production there.
Do I get paid right away when using SmartVoucher?
No, your payment will continue to be processed through payroll and your check will be sent as per normal schedule.
My login isn’t working. How can I get help?
When you sign up 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. Payroll and casting are handled separately, so if you have questions about your paycheck, contact our payroll department directly.
For payroll updates, read our article Your Paycheck and Other Payroll Questions Answered.
(select option #3 when prompted)
To change your address, view your pay history, compare paychecks, and more, log in or sign up with myEP. When signing up for the first time, please use the same email address you have on file with Central Casting. To learn more, visit Entertainment Partners’ myEP information page.
How soon after I work can I expect my paycheck?
Payroll is processed as vouchers come in from production, which means you may receive checks out of work date order. You can learn more about your pay history by logging in to myEP.
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.
What do I do if I think a check is missing?
To inquire about a missing check, please contact payroll at 800.562.2718. Be sure to have the name of the project you worked on, the date you worked, and your voucher information. You can also check your pay history on myEP.
To request a stop payment, fill out and follow the instructions on our Stop Pay/Reissue Form. A stop payment can be placed no sooner than one calendar week after the check has been mailed.
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.
Payroll and casting are handled separately. Our Casting Directors do not have access to your pay information. Please contact payroll for paycheck related questions and be prepared with the name of the project you worked on, the date you worked, and your voucher information.
How do I sign up with myEP?
To create an account, please go to my.EP.com and sign up using the same email address you have on file with Central Casting.
Once you have created and logged in to your account, you will need to link myEP to your EP payroll profile. To do this, select the “update profile” option under “manage account” and click the “connect payroll profile” button. You will then be prompted to enter your Social Security number and verify your employment by providing net pay, check, or gross pay information.
Now that your payment profile is linked, you will be able to change your address, view your pay history, and compare paychecks. Be sure to review your contact information to make sure everything is current.
How do I change my address with payroll?
To change your address with payroll, please log in or sign up with myEP. If signing up for the first time, please use the email address you have on file with Central Casting.
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?
You can access your pay history by signing up or logging in to your myEP account. If you need records to join SAG-AFTRA, please call 818.955.6313. 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.
SAG-AFTRA members will need to present their current SAG-AFTRA card every time they come to Updates.
We are temporarily suspending all 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?
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?
You can update your minor’s sizes by logging in to their online profile.