If you’re looking to get your feet wet in entertainment by becoming a professional background actor, there are a few things you must do to be successful according to Central Casting. You can’t expect to show up on the first day of filming and be invited onto the set. As with any other gig, there is a process to working background.
The first thing you should do is ensure your marketing materials are up-to-date. This means, you should have an updated resume and headshot, and your materials should include your current contact information. Prepare in advance and have everything ready prior to registering.
Then, register. Get online and sign up to receive listings sent by casting companies that book extras. This way, you’ll constantly be in the know regarding upcoming projects seeking talent and just how to get involved. These sites post information regarding all kinds of projects in your area and offer all relevant casting information.
Make sure to follow directions. You don’t want to be turned away before you’re given a chance just because you missed an important detail. If a director is hosting an open call, you can show up and take your best shot at getting booked. However, many times, you must submit your materials ahead of time to a specific person who will review them and determine if you’re a good fit for the project to which you’ll need to be invited. Make sure you read through all of the information provided and do as instructed.
Stay in the know about projects that will potentially be casting in your area. What television shows are prepping for a new season? Have you heard rumors about a hit movie filming nearby? Stay active in your market and always keep your eyes and ears open. If you know about a potential opportunity, you can search specifically for that project online and see what the requirements are.
One thing you must remember when you are booked as background is that you should never interrupt a star on the set, asking for an autograph. This is a big no-no and you will likely be asked to leave without an invitation to return. Production crews take this offense very seriously. Everyone on set has a job to do, including you, and there is simply no time for distractions.
Take background acting as seriously as you would any other gig. Stay professional at all times and be known for your work ethic. You never know who’s watching and waiting to see if you’re the next big thing!