Tips on Using Zoom for Background Work

OCTOBER 26, 2020
Brunette woman in front of a computer on a Zoom call.

As we all continue to navigate changes to production, you may find yourself booked for virtual fittings, interviews, and other meetings that previously would have taken place in person. We know our Background Actors strive to be professional, so here are some tips to help you have a successful Zoom meeting.

While Zoom is the most popular platform, there are a variety of video conferencing apps that may be used. If you are unsure how to use another program, YouTube has helpful tutorials to answer any questions.

Zoom basics

When you're booked for a virtual meeting, you will most often access your session via a link in your Details Blog, details text message, or sent directly from production. If you are participating on a mobile device or tablet, you will first need to install the Zoom app. If you are on a laptop or desktop computer, you have the option to join in the browser or to download the app. If you click the link and nothing happens, try disabling a popup or ad blocker.

Depending on the settings the host used to create the meeting, you will either click the link and be taken directly to the meeting or may be required to enter the meeting ID and passcode included in your details. Some meetings will not begin until the host has started the session or until the host has admitted you into the room. In these cases, follow any instructions given on the notification screen.

If you have not configured your Zoom audio settings, every time you join a meeting you will be asked how you would like to join the audio, usually either by computer audio or internet audio (mobile). You must make a selection in order to hear and speak during the meeting.

Here are some tutorials to help get you set up:


If you are using a laptop or desktop computer, be sure it has a webcam before joining the meeting. If it does, but you've never used it before, you may need to enable the camera in order to use it. If your computer does not have a webcam, you will need to use a mobile device, preferably one with a front-facing camera, for others to see you during the meeting.

If you have successfully joined a Zoom meeting, but are having audio or video issues, first make sure your microphone is activated and your camera is on. In both desktop and mobile versions, you can find these controls in the bottom left of your screen.

These tutorials can help you troubleshoot other issues:

Zoom etiquette

While you may be at home, Zoom meetings are a part of work. Please act professionally and be sure your attire and background are appropriate.

Unless you are in a one-on-one or small group meeting, it's customary to mute your microphone until you need to speak so ambient noise around you does not disrupt the speaker and other attendees. To ensure others can see you properly, try to set yourself up in a well-lit area or face a light source, like a lamp or a window.

Remember, treat Zoom meetings as if you were there in person. You are still expected to keep production related information confidential. If you have to take the meeting in a room with others or somewhere public, please wear headphones so others are not privy to the contents of the meeting.

To learn more about Zoom etiquette and best practices, check out these resources 7 Tips to Ensure a Great Attendee Experience and Zoom Meeting Etiquette.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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