Submitting for Stand-In Jobs
When you work with Central Casting, you have the opportunity to get on set in a variety of roles, including as a Background Actor or Stand-In. While Background Actors appear on camera, Stand-Ins work behind the scenes in place of principal actors for lighting, blocking, and camera setups.
We know many of our background want to work as Stand-Ins, but aren’t sure how to get their foot in the door. Stand-In jobs are often sought after due to the possibility of consistent work and the chance to be more involved with production. If you’re interested in being a Stand-In, here are some things to keep in mind when submitting.
Understand the basics of Stand-In work
Requirements for booking Stand-Ins can vary depending on the type of production and their responsibilities can change role to role. You can learn more about what Stand-Ins do in our guide 5 Stand-In Tips to Help You Be Successful, but here are the basics:
Multi-cam productions, like Bob Hearts Abishola, The Upshaws, and Call Me Kat, use multiple cameras at once to film a scene. Stand-Ins are used to establish movements of the principal actor, dialogue, and blocking while running through the entire episode in place of the actors.
For single-cam productions, Stand-Ins are mainly used for lighting and camera setups and often need match the principal actor in height, build, hair color, and complexion. Single camera is the most common technique for films (The Gray Man, Father of the Bride, Not Okay), TV dramas (9-1-1: Lone Star, Your Honor, FBI), and some half hour comedies (Hacks, Girls5eva, Grand Crew).
Utility Stand-Ins may stand in for multiple actors on the same production of varying looks, genders, and ethnicities. In this role, matching the height of an actor is more important than matching their look.
In many cases, Stand-Ins are booked based on their experience and professionalism, especially when working on multi-cam shows. Some follow the actor they stand in for from project to project, but that doesn’t mean there’s no way to break in. When a production needs to make a replacement, has a guest actor they need to match in appearance, or needs to bump a Background Actor on set, they may choose to hire someone with less experience who matches the look.
Check your messages and the Jobs page
If you fit the requirements for a Stand-In role, a Casting Director may send you an availability inquiry, which can include follow up questions or a request for a Stand-In resume. Remember, this is not an offer or guarantee of work, they are simply asking if you are available to work on a given day.
You can also look for Stand-In work on our Jobs page. Casting Directors will include all the relevant role information in their posts, like height, weight, portrayable ethnicity, and any other requirements they have. Please read this information carefully and submit according to the Casting Director’s instructions.
Be honest about your experience
When a Casting Director reaches out via our messaging platform or posts on our Jobs page, they may ask you to include any Stand-In experience in your submission. It’s extremely important to be honest, whether you’ve stood in once or twice or never have. If production is seeking someone with experience and you show up to set with no idea what to do, you’re not helping the production or yourself.
Once you do land that first Stand-In job, it’s time to make a Stand-In resume. Casting Directors will likely ask for these when casting Stand-Ins for their productions. Your resume should include the name of the project(s) you worked on, the actor you stood in for, how long you worked on that project, and whether it was single or multi-cam. Our article How to Make a Stand-In Resume has all the information you need to get started. Once you have your resume, you can upload a copy to your online profile. It’s also a good idea to keep a digital copy handy so you’re ready if a Casting Director requests one.