3 Things to Know About Changing Your Look

FEBRUARY 4, 2019
A man shaving and changing his look

Do you want to work as a Background Actor, Stand-In, or double in one of Central Casting’s productions? If so, you should know there’s more to getting cast than submitting an email or replying to a text message. One of the ways to be successful is to know your look and what roles you’re right for. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of changing your look.

1. What is my look?

In casting terms, your look refers to your appearance and your ability to portray a role without the help of wardrobe. Your look can depend on a lot of factors, like hair style, facial hair, piercings, and whether or not you have tattoos. Even seemingly small changes, like getting a haircut, can change your look and the roles you can portray.

So how do you determine your look? Ask friends, family, or someone you trust to be honest about the looks you can portray. Casting Directors cast their projects based off the aesthetic of the production, so even if you think you’re straight out of Central Casting as a detective, you may not have the specific look that production is going for.

2. What roles do I fit?

Once you know your look, you’re ready to submit for jobs. On our Jobs page, Casting Directors will leave specific instructions on what they are looking for, like information on look, sizes, portrayable age, and portrayable ethnicity. Please read this information carefully before submitting to determine if you fit the role. We know the idea of getting on set is exciting, but submitting for roles you don’t fit doesn’t help you or the Casting Director.

In some cases, Casting Directors may ask you to send a current selfie with your submission. This may be because they need to confirm what you look like right now or they need to see you in specific wardrobe. Remember, wardrobe can enhance your look and as a Background Actor, you’re often tasked with bringing your own wardrobe to set. Need some help putting an outfit together? Check out our article, Wardrobe Basics for the Best Set Looks.

3. Have I updated my file and photo?

It’s important to keep your photo and file up to date as Casting Directors rely on these to determine if you’re right for the roles they’re casting. To help ensure your headshot in our casting system is accurate, we recommend updating your photo every six months or anytime your look changes. Changes that seem small to you, like trimming or dyeing your hair, can make a big difference to Casting Directors. This is especially true when casting Stand-Ins and doubles that may need to match a principal actor exactly.

If you’re coming in to update your photo, don’t forget to check that your file information is correct. If your look has changed, your sizes may have changed as well, which Casting Directors need if production is providing wardrobe. They are often given specific sizes from production, so if you don’t have the correct sizes listed in your file, you may be missing out on roles you’re perfect for. You can update your photo and file at a Re-Registration and Updates session. Don’t forget to re-register when you come in to do updates. You must re-register with your local office every three years to remain eligible to work on our productions. Be sure to check your location’s calendar before visiting our office, as some locations require reservations for these sessions.

If you have unique and distinct looks, you can also add photos of these during Updates. Adding these photos not only help Casting Directors visualize you in a role, but shows them your ability to change your look.

Knowing your look is one of the ways to increase your chances of getting booked. Here are nine ways to be a successful Background Actor in 2019.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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