10 Things You Can Do to Be a Successful Background Actor in 2018

JANUARY 18, 2018
Background Actors at Central Casting Los Angeles

Every January many people make new year’s resolutions to get healthier, be happier, and to become an all-around better person. While our intentions are good, sometimes the goals we set for ourselves are hard to attain. Here are ten easy ways you can up your game as a Background Actor in 2018.

1. Register

The first step to getting on set and seeing yourself on screen is to register with Central Casting. Prepare your I-9 form documentation and bring it down to one of our offices in Los Angeles, New York, Georgia, or Louisiana. You’ll fill out paperwork, listen to an orientation, and take your casting photo for our database. Our Sign Up page has all the information you need to get started.

2. Update your file

The new year is the perfect time to make sure your file is current. Come into your nearest office and check to make sure your address, phone number, and measurements are up to date. This helps Casting Directors know they have the right information when casting you.

3. Update your photo

We recommend updating your photo every six months or any time your look changes. The more recent your photo, the more confident Casting Directors are that you have the right look for their scene. If you have different looks, notable wardrobe, or just bought a car, come in to your office during Updates to update your photo.

4. Take new selfies

Many of our Casting Directors ask for selfies in their casting calls when they need to know what you look like right now or if they need to see you in specific wardrobe. These photos often get shown to directors and producers on our productions.

“Have a gallery of commonly asked for looks on your phone ready for when it’s time to submit,” said Casting Director Claire B. “If you have a fancy dress, put a fancy dress on, do your hair and makeup and snap a picture. It doesn’t have to be professional at all.”

5. Update your Stand-In resume

When Casting Directors put out a casting notice for a Stand-In, they’ll often ask for a resume. A Stand-In resume should be one page and formatted like a standard resume, with the show you worked on, how long you worked on that show, the actor you stood in for, and whether it was single or multi-cam. Save your resume as a Word document or PDF and have it accessible to send out when Casting Directors ask for it.

6. Take a little extra time to read casting notices

Read the entire post or the entire text to make sure you fit the description before submitting. Also, make sure you submit the way the post instructs. If you’re asked to submit via email, don’t call in to submit yourself.

“Please read the entire post,” said Casting Director Kristan B. “When we’re trying to cast a scene and keep getting submissions that don’t fit the category it just wastes our time. It doesn’t do either of us any good if you have a car from 2013 and we are looking for one from 1976.”

7. Come to Visiting

Visiting sessions are a great opportunity to meet with Casting Directors. You can ask them questions about the projects they’re working on and get advice on how to make the most of your time on set.

Check your location’s calendar for upcoming Visiting sessions.

8. Take a Central Casting University class

Central Casting University offers Background Actors the chance to learn from top industry professionals. Our two classes, The Professional Background Actor and The Stand-In, help you be ahead of the curve when you get to set.

Keep an eye on the notices section and calendar for Central Casting University announcements.

9. Know what we’re working on

Having a variety of wardrobe options is a must for a successful Background Actor. Knowing the shows you might work on gives you more time to get your wardrobe together to ensure you show up with the desired look.

“It’s really important to know what shows we’re working on and where they take place,” said Casting Director Nikki H. “A lot of shows take place in New York, but film in Los Angeles. If you don’t know the show is supposed to be New York and show up for a winter scene in a denim jacket, that’s not going to work.”

Head over to our Credits section to see what shows we’ve cast.

10. Make a habit of checking the calendar and notices

Our notices section and calendars have all the latest closures, open calls, and special events. Be sure to check if we’re open before you make the trip to one of our offices.

We also use the notices section to post special announcements, like where to find FAQs about our SMS texting system and minor I-9 identification requirements.

What are you going to do to be a more successful Background Actor in 2018?

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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