If You Like Going To The Movies, Take Your Best Shot At Appearing In One ...by Bill Knell

More than a few people dream of being in a major Hollywood movie. Most of them first considered a career in acting while watching films at their neighborhood theater. There is something exciting about the thought of seeing yourself on the big screen in a major production. Not everyone can become a Hollywood Superstar making millions of dollars for each film, but even people with no acting experience or training have a decent chance of getting paid to be in a major Hollywood movie.

Each day thousands of people are hired to appear in major Hollywood films as Extras. Those lucky individuals typically earn about fifty to seventy dollars a day, but the amount can be considerably higher as well. Those that are not hired for films still have a shot at appearing in TV shows. Welcome to the wonderful world of Central Casting. That world began in 1925 when the company was a part of the Hollywood studio system. By the 1970s Central Casting was a private company that dominated and continues to dominate the world of Film and TV Extras.

If you think it is a long and difficult process to get listed with Central Casting, think again. The primary requirements for anyone interested in working as an Extra or Stand-In is that that live or are able to work in the Los Angeles or New York City areas and are over eighteen years of age. Children are hired through separate talent agencies. You will need to visit the Central Casting locations in person and bring proper Identification, along with an I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification form) and W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate) from the Internal Revenue Service. You can get the lowdown on these forms here.

The most important thing to bring with you when you register is YOU at your best! Dress in age appropriate clothing and make sure your hair is just the way you think it should be. You will be photographed on a white background, so keep that in mind. Your photo will be shown to Casting Directors looking to fill thousands of Extra positions each day. Trying to be someone you are not will probably get you less work then just being yourself, so make sure you look the same way you would if you were going for a normal job interview.

Extra candidates who attempt to look like blue collar workers, villains, bikers, police officers or some other familiar stereotypical character will limit themselves to those roles. Most of the Casting Professionals that view your photo are looking for people to appear in background shots. Many of these roles involve playing a part that will hardly be noticed. You may be asked to just stand around, sit at a restaurant table or just walk down the street. These are the roles that most people get hired for and although they may not be speaking parts, they will earn you a pay check and the satisfaction that you have become a part of some film or television production.

Lazy people need not apply as Extras. You need a good work ethic, the ability to carefully follow directions and lots of patience. For every few minutes of what you see on a movie or television screen, there might be hundreds of hours of preparation, production and filming required to produce the desired end product. That means a lot of downtime for Extras and Stand-Ins. You will do a lot more waiting than acting, so be prepared for that. You will also be expected to listen carefully to any instructions that are shouted your way and get it right the first time. The best time to be involved with Central Casting is during the filming season which is generally considered to be between July and April each year.

If you are worried about having an agent or being a member of the SAG - AFTRA unions, do not be concerned. Central Casting hires both union and non-union performers. No agent representation is required. You can increase your chances of getting hired by using a ‘Call In Service’ or Extra management company that will help you to manage your career and take your calls while you’re working. The cost is usually around fifty or seventy dollars a month and that fee is well worth it for the services provided.

When you register with Central Casting you may be asked for information about your vehicle, so bring those documents with you along with a good photo of it. Extras are sometimes hired along with their vehicles. The same is true of pets. Your pet will not be hired independently, but people with pets are frequently hired to walk down a street or perform some other task. Bring information about and a photo of your pet. Anything to increase your chances of being hired is a good thing.

The best way to get started as an Extra or Stand-In is to become familiar with the entire Central Casting process. It does not take a brain surgeon to grasp the procedures they use, but learning what is expected of you and how to handle contact with them can easily mean the difference between working and never getting any calls. To get started, visit CentralCasting.com

As a professional writer Bill accepts various paid writing assignments. Articles on most any topic are his specialty. He is also a non-fiction ghost writer for people who have an idea or story to tell without the skills to create a submittable book manuscript. Sorry, he does not accept term paper or technical writing assignments. Bill can be contacted on FACEBOOK.

BACK to Doctor Know

Escort Radar

CookieHQ Photo Cookies


Terms Of Use