How to Read a Central Casting Job Post

OCTOBER 4, 2018
Job posts are vital to background casting

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or have just registered, knowing how to read a Central Casting job post is vital to your success. To help you be successful, we put together a guide on what to look for and the common background casting terms you may see when you scroll through our Jobs page. Knowing what roles you fit and how to submit will help you get booked and on set.

Background casting terms

There are a lot of industry terms and shorthand used in job posts. If you’re new it may seem hard to read, but once you know these terms, you’ll be submitting like a pro.

Union and non-union

In each job post, the Casting Director will specify if they are looking for SAG-AFTRA or non-union Background Actors. If you are not a member of SAG-AFTRA, please do not submit for union roles.


Eighteen to look younger. This means the Casting Director is looking for someone who is at least 18 years old, but can portray a younger age.

Subject/Sub line

This refers to the subject line of an email. If asking for email submissions, Casting Directors will give a specific subject line for you to use. It’s important that you use this exact subject line for your submissions because Casting Directors are often casting for different roles.

First five

If the job post asks you to submit via a phone number, you should have your first five ready to give the Casting Director. Your first five are the first five digits of your Social Security number. This information is used to look you up in our casting platform. Our Casting Directors will never ask you to send your first five in an email.


Your look is your ability to portray a role without the help of wardrobe. If Casting Directors are looking for a specific look, they will include that information in the job post. Please don’t submit for a role if you don’t fit the look. You can find out more about looks in our article How to Determine Your Look.

Rush call

A rush call is a booking for same day work and may often call for you to get to set as soon as possible.


This is short for availability. Casting Directors may use this in a job post to let you know what days you need to be available for in order to get booked.

What to look for in a job post

In the posts on our Jobs page, Casting Directors will leave specific instructions for what they’re looking for, including union status, portrayable age, portrayable ethnicity, sizes, and any other specific information they have. It’s important to read through the post carefully to make sure you fit the role before submitting. If you don’t see a role you fit, keep checking back as Casting Directors post new jobs throughout the day and night. Remember, submitting for roles you don’t fit doesn’t help you or the Casting Director.

How to submit

Another key detail Casting Directors include in their job posts is how they would like you to submit. If you’re asked to call a number, make sure you have a pen and paper ready to write down any information the Casting Director has for you. If you are booked and given details over the phone, make sure you write down your Details Blog show name and 4-digit passcode.

If asked to send an email, include all the information requested, like your phone number or additional photos. They use this information to look you up in our casting platform and to make sure you’re right for the role. Never send any part of your Social Security number in an email.

Please only use the submission line numbers and email addresses when instructed to. If a Casting Director asks for emails, don’t call their line and vice versa. Remember, part of being a Background Actor is being able to follow directions.

Knowing these common background casting terms and how to submit will help you book your next (or first!) job with Central Casting. For more ways to succeed, learn how to prepare for your first day on set and wardrobe basics you should know.

Which background casting term is new to you?

View Results

By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category:

Industry Essentials