What to Know About Submitting for Stand-In Jobs

AUGUST 10, 2020
Woman on production set standing in front of a camera

At Central Casting, we book a variety of roles, including Background Actors and Stand-Ins. 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. As the entertainment industry prepares to get back on set, here are some things to keep in mind about submitting for Stand-In work.

Be honest about your experience

In many cases, Stand-Ins are cast based on their experience and professionalism. Some follow the actor they stand in for from project to project, but that doesn’t mean there’s no way to break in as a newbie. 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.

When a Casting Director reaches out via text message or posts a job 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.

Have a Stand-In resume

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 movies, TV shows, and other 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, keep a digital copy handy so you can send it when Casting Directors ask for one.

While waiting for production to resume in your location, now is a great time to look over or update a Stand-In resume you’ve already created.

Do keep us updated about your availability

This is relevant for any job you work with Central Casting. If you’re on first avail and your availability changes, please call your office as soon as possible to let the Casting Director know. If you are not on first avail and have only been sent a avail message, simply reply “no” to the message thread to change your availability. It’s ok to say “yes” to other availability checks while on first avail, just be sure to talk to the Casting Director before accepting another job. It’s your responsibility not to become double booked.

Let us know about changes in your appearance

While staying at home over the last few months, many of us have had changes in our appearances and sizes that may not be reflected in our Central Casting profiles. To help determine if your current look fits the role requirements, Casting Directors will likely ask you to send a current selfie as part of your submission. If a Casting Director contacts you directly or via text message, please be honest and let them know of any changes to your appearance. Each production can have a different idea of what they need from Stand-Ins, so even small details that you think may not matter could matter to them.

Know the lingo

If you’ve been registered with Central Casting for a while or have worked on set before, you know there are a lot of industry terms used in the filmmaking process. As a Stand-In, you’ll be expected to know what these words mean and how they relate to your job. Be sure to read through our guide 16 Terms Stand-Ins Need to Know so you’re ready for set.

Check our Jobs page

One of your best resources to find background or Stand-In jobs is 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. Don’t forget to include additional materials requested, like your Stand-In resume or selfies.

You may also receive a text message checking your availability. Remember, the first text message you receive from a Casting Director is often an avail check. This is not a guarantee of work, they are simply asking if you are available to work on a given day.

For more about what you need to know as production resumes, read our articles How to Take a Central Casting Selfie and A Background Actor’s Guide to Film Studios.

How often do you work as a Stand-In?

View Results

By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category: