How to Make a Stand-In Resume

MAY 31, 2021
A stand-in resume on a clipboard next to coffee and a pair of glasses.

At Central Casting, we cast Background Actors, Stand-Ins, doubles, and other roles to work in movies, TV shows, and other productions. While resumes are not needed for background work, Casting Directors may ask for a Stand-In resume when booking Stand-Ins for their shows.

If you don’t have a Stand-In resume yet or haven’t updated yours in a while, this guide will help you be prepared for the next Stand-In opportunity.

What do Stand-Ins do?

A Stand-In is someone who takes the place of a principal actor for rehearsals, lighting setups, and camera blocking. Many people want to work as a Stand-In to collaborate with principal actors and crew members and for the chance to work consistently on a project.

Depending on the type of show, Stand-Ins may need to resemble an actor as closely as possible or they may just need to have similar characteristics. These are some of the common Stand-In roles:

Single Camera Stand-In

Some popular single camera productions are films (Coming 2 America, The Little Things), dramas (Snowfall, The Resident), and some 30-minute comedy series (black-ish, Young Sheldon). Since a large part of single cam Stand-In work is about lighting, these Stand-Ins often need to match the principal actor in height, build, hair color, and complexion.

Multi-Camera Stand-In

Typically, multi-camera shows are half hour sitcoms like Bob Hearts Abishola, Call Me Kat, and The Conners. Multi-Cam Stand-Ins usually run through the entire episode in the place of the actors so the crew can block out all the movements before filming. These Stand-Ins don’t necessarily have to match the actors they’re standing in for because their role is more focused on getting the timing right.

Utility Stand-In

Utility Stand-Ins can stand in for actors of varying looks, genders, and ethnicities and may even stand in for multiple actors on the same project. On TV shows, Utility Stand-Ins can be used for guest stars and day players who only appear in a limited number of scenes.

How to create your Stand-In resume

One of the tools Casting Directors use when booking is a Stand-In resume. This is a document you should keep current and upload to your online profile so Casting Directors can determine if you’re the right fit for a role.

Details you should include in your resume:

  • The name of the project you worked on
  • How long you worked on that project
  • The actor(s) you stood in for (if you worked as a Utility Stand-In you should indicate that as well)
  • Whether the project was single or multi-camera

You can format the document like a standard resume and keep it to one page. If you have extensive Stand-In experience, you can add an additional page or only list some of the more recent or significant roles.

When making a Stand-In resume or talking with a Casting Director, it’s extremely important to be honest about your work experience. If you’re booked based on your Stand-In experience, you will be expected to perform on set. Being dishonest doesn’t help you, the Casting Director, or production.

Once your resume is ready, you should upload it to your online profile. If you haven’t claimed your profile yet, just select the “log in” button in our website menu, then choose the “claim profile” option. To add your resume, open the “casting information” section of your profile and drop the file into the upload window or click the “select files to upload” button. Also be sure to verify or update the other details in your profile, like appearance, sizes, and vehicles, so Casting Directors can consider you for the right types of roles.

How to find Stand-In work

If you’ve never worked as a Stand-In before, you may wonder how you can gain experience to land that first job. Keeping an eye on the Jobs page for Stand-In roles and replying to availability inquiries from Casting Directors is the first place to start. Another way to break into the Stand-In world is to pay attention and be professional on set. Watch how the Stand-Ins operate to get a feel for what their responsibilities are so you know what to do if there’s a Stand-In opening you fit.

For more advice on booking a Stand-In job, watch Assistant Director Molly Rodriguez and Casting Director Sara V. discuss Stand-Ins in our series AD/CD: How to Become a Stand-In.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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