How to Make a Stand-In Resume
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 casting Stand-Ins for their shows.
With the new TV season right around the corner, it’s a great time to create or polish up your Stand-In resumes.
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. On set, Stand-Ins are often referred to as the “second team.” Many people want to work as Stand-Ins 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. Here are some of the common Stand-In roles.
Single Camera Stand-In
Some popular single camera productions are films, dramas, and some 30-minute comedy series. 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.
Typically, multi-camera shows are half hour sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory, Mom, and Last Man Standing. Multi-Cam Stand-Ins will 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.
Motion Capture Stand-Ins
Motion capture is when an actor’s performance is captured using special equipment and then used to create a computer-generated character. For some productions, Stand-Ins are required to wear a motion capture suit when standing in for a CGI character.
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 to cast Stand-Ins is a Stand-In resume. This is a document you should keep updated and have a copy accessible on your computer or phone to send to Casting Directors when they’re looking for Stand-Ins. If production needs a Stand-In as soon as possible or if Casting Directors are looking for replacements, having your resume available to send quickly could make the difference in getting the job.
Here are some of the 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 cast 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.
How to find Stand-In work
When casting Stand-Ins, Casting Directors may post on our Jobs page or reach out to you directly if you fit the look they need.
If you’ve never worked as a Stand-In before, you may wonder how you can gain experience to land that first job. Taking a Central Casting University Stand-In class is a good 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 of what their responsibilities are.
For more advice on landing 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.