What to Do When Your Minor Books a Job
Your child has booked a job as a Background Actor or photo double. What happens now? Requirements for minors working on a production are different than those for adults, so even if you’ve worked as a Background Actor yourself, you may not know what to expect when it’s your child’s turn to show up to set. Here are some important things to remember when your minor books a job with Central Casting.
Getting your minor’s booking details
All the information you need for your minor’s workday will be included in their booking details, which can come in the form of a Details Blog, details message from your Casting Director, or another type of communication. Casting Directors get these details as they come in from multiple departments within production; you will often receive your minor’s details the evening before their work date. Please respond to your details message as soon as possible to confirm that you received it. In some cases, you may receive separate communication directly from production. Read this information carefully and respond promptly if instructed.
Your minor needs to be accompanied to set by a parent or guardian who is not working on the production. The guardian will accompany the minor everywhere they go, from check-in, to wardrobe, to holding. Even during filming, the guardian will be somewhere behind the scenes, but always within eyesight of the child. Some productions have an age requirement for guardians; check with the Casting Director who booked you to see if your production requires a guardian over the age of 21.
To ensure the safety of the set, only the guardian who attended pre-employment COVID-19 testing with the child can accompany them on their workday. Other children who are not also booked on the production are not permitted on set.
How to prepare
You will usually be asked to arrive camera ready, meaning dressed in the required wardrobe with your minor’s hair styled. If production is providing wardrobe, please bring or have your child dressed in any basic pieces as instructed in your details.
The most important rule to follow when working as a Background Actor is to show up on time. It’s a good idea to factor in traffic, public transportation delays, parking, and other delays that could make you late. Be sure to check for any changes before arriving to set. By getting to work on time, you’re setting your child up for a successful day as a Background Actor.
When your minor is not filming, you both will be taken to Holding. You can bring books or other forms of entertainment to keep your child entertained.
If you work in California or New York, you will need to bring a copy of your child’s work permit with you to set. In Georgia and Louisiana, Central Casting certifies that your minor is eligible to work prior to booking them.
School on set
Some states require minors to attend school on set. Depending on your call time, your child may attend their own school first, then will report to set only for work.
If your child is required to attend school on set, they will need to bring enough homework to keep them busy throughout the day. They will work with a studio teacher separate from the parent/guardian and be provided documentation to show their school.
School hours may vary by the age of the child and whether their normal school is on break or in session. Depending on the production schedule, your child may attend school first thing when they arrive or at various times throughout their workday.
Check with your state’s labor office for more school on set requirements.
Being on set is fun! Your child will get a front row seat to see how movies, TV shows, and other productions are made. While it may seem like more play than work to them, please remind your child that being a Background Actor is a job and help them to remain professional and focused while on set.
To learn more about finding your minor background work, read our guides Ensure Your Minor is Eligible to Be Booked by Central Casting and How To Find Your Child Background Work with Central Casting.