5 Tips for Getting Booked

NOVEMBER 30, 2020
High school students sitting at a table in a diner
Background Actors cast by Central Casting Los Angeles in Saved By the Bell (Peacock)

Ready to get back on set as a Background Actor? It may have been a while since you submitted for work, so here are some tips to help with getting booked by Central Casting.

1. Know the differences in the casting process

By now you’re probably aware there are changes to the casting process, including required COVID-19 testing. Each production has different protocols around the amount and frequency of testing, so it’s extremely important to pay attention to the dates listed in the job post or message. Please do not submit or reply yes unless you are available without time restrictions for all of the testing and work dates.

To help ensure the safety of the set, some projects may also opt to carry Background Actors. This means you are hired and paid for a consecutive number of days, whether you work all of the days or not. When looking for work, please pay attention to the dates you are carried to avoid becoming double booked on another project. Our article Carrying Background: What You Should Know has more details to help you understand the carry process.

You may also be booked for virtual interviews and fittings. Instead of attending these bookings in person, you will meet with production over Zoom or another video conferencing platform. Even though you may be at home, virtual meetings are still work. Please act professionally and be sure your attire and background are appropriate.

2. Read the job post/message completely

It’s exciting getting an avail message from a Casting Director and seeing new posts on the Jobs page. We know you’re eager to reply, but it’s important to read the entire message completely and carefully before you do. Aside from being available for the listed dates, be sure you also fit the description given, which may include portrayable ethnicity, portrayable age, SAG-AFTRA status, sizes, and other requirements that are needed for the role.

3. Respond as soon as possible

If you’ve worked for Central Casting before, you are aware that roles can book quickly, which is why it’s important to respond to messages as soon as possible. We know you are not able to reply to every message instantly, but we still ask that you reply when you can, even if the answer is no. This lets our Casting Directors know if you are interested or if they should reach out to other people.

4. Make sure you have current photos and measurements ready

Your appearance has likely changed since the last time you updated and your profile photo may not reflect your current look. While Re-Registration and Updates remain suspended, you will often be asked to submit a recent selfie so Casting Directors can see what you look like right now. We recommend having a set of these ready so you’re prepared when you find a role you fit.

Having your current measurements is also an important part of the background casting process. If you’re not sure how take accurate measurements, we have easy to follow how-to videos to help you get started. The process for updating measurements can differ by office, so please see your location’s Talent page for more information on how to make profile updates.

5. Be prepared for new on set procedures

If you’ve been on set recently, you know things look and function a little differently. Be sure to read your details completely and pay close attention to safety information given by production, which may include zone systems and the use of personal protective equipment. Each production will have their own safety procedures, so even if you’ve worked on a lot of shows, it’s important to understand what is expected of you on that set.

Getting booked is just the beginning. To set yourself up for a successful day on set, learn more about getting ready with our articles Hairstyle Basics for Background Actors and How to Prepare Your Makeup for Set.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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