What Background Actors Need to Know About Getting Paid
When you register with Central Casting, we become your employer and, for most projects, are responsible for paying you. There are times when Central Casting casts a show, but the Background Actors get paid by another payroll company. You’ll know you’re being paid by us when your voucher says Central Casting and/or Entertainment Partners.
We know you work hard and want to ensure all our Background Actors get paid accurately and on time, so we talked to our paymasters to find out what you need to know about Central Casting’s payroll process.
Always fill out your voucher completely
Background Actors get paid by filling out a voucher, which you’ll be given when you check-in on set. To help paymasters ensure you are paid correctly and on time, you must fill out your voucher completely. This includes your full legal name, Social Security number (at least the last four digits), and your complete mailing address (including the apartment number). We payroll many people with the same name, so it’s important to write your Social Security number on each voucher. Even if your name is unique or if you work a lot on the same show, always add your Social Security number so payroll can make sure your check gets to the right person.
It sounds obvious, but filling out your voucher completely means actually filling it out. It may be tempting to write “on file” instead of adding all your information, but when payroll is processing checks for two John Smiths, how do they know whose file to look up?
We know mistakes happen, especially after a long work day. Before you sign and turn in your voucher double check that you’ve filled out the in time, out time, and lunch time fields and that the base rate is the correct one you were booked with. Before you leave, be sure to give your voucher to production and that you’ve kept a copy for your records.
Work out any bumps before signing your voucher
A bump is an increase Background Actors get paid for performing beyond basic background in a scene. Bumps can include being booked with your car, having special wardrobe, or bringing special props.
Make sure you work out any bumps you receive with the Assistant Director and that they are reflected on your voucher before you sign it at the end of the day. Since payroll is not on set, they can’t verify bumps you receive unless they are written on your voucher.
Let payroll know if you change your address
If you move, you’ll need to change your address with both Central Casting and payroll. You can change your address with Central Casting during an Update session in your office. You can update your address with payroll by writing your new address on your voucher the next time you work. It helps the paymasters if you write a note on your voucher indicating this is a new address.
When can I expect my paycheck?
Paychecks are due to be mailed out on the Thursday after the week you worked, but may be mailed out earlier depending on when the production company turns in the vouchers. For example, if you worked on Tuesday, May 1, your check does not need to be mailed out until Thursday, May 10. Payroll does not consider a check lost until seven days after this period. Since payroll is processed as vouchers come in from production, you may receive checks out of work date order, so don’t worry if you’ve received a check from a later work date first.
Just like you pride yourself in your work, our paymasters pride themselves on getting your check to you as quickly and smoothly as possible. If you have questions or are concerned about a missing check, you can contact the payroll department from 8am-5pm PT Monday-Friday at 818.729.6400.
Remember, these tips and guidelines are only applicable when you are being paid by Central Casting. If you’re working on a show where payroll is being handled by a different company, you will have to contact them with any questions or concerns.
Want to know more about the payroll process? Check out the Payroll FAQs on the Talent page for more information on getting paid by Central Casting.