Eight Tips on How to Become an Extra

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Eight Tips on How to Become an Extra

  1. Eight Tips on How to Become an Extra
    1. Look at the end credits
    2. Follow the casting pages
    3. Sign up for their email list
    4. Have casting photos ready
    5. Know your measurements
    6. DO NOT Lie
    7. AVOID the ‘Black List’
    8. In Conclusion

As a kid, I wanted to know what it was like to be on the screen. While I don’t know if I have acting potential, I was still interested in the process of being on a set. That’s when I did research to try and figure out how to be an extra.

When you Google for extra gigs you get hit with sites asking you to sign up and join for the information or even pay to have a profile. This felt suspicious to me and I had no way of telling which site was legitimate or not.

Somehow it got into my head to just look at the credits at the end of movies and shows. I figured that the people who did the casting must be listed somewhere in there. My first tip:

Look at the end credits

Check out the credits at the end of your favorite movies and shows. Chances are the people and companies who cast it are listed there and you can use the name to follow the bread crumbs to the legitimate sites that list castings. That is exactly what I did and found places like Hylton Casting, RL Casting, CAB casting, and so many others.

Follow the casting pages

Once you find their casting page you can follow it and use that to find suggestions for other legitimate sources. They usually have a Facebook page or possibly even a group where they post castings. Make sure you are signed up for notifications so you don’t miss any calls you might fit!

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

Sign up for their email list

Why limit yourself to social media? Let the notifications go straight to your inbox. Sign up for their email list and better yet submit yourself into their database so they may even call you if you happen to fit what they need!

Have casting photos ready

On the casting pages they usually describe how they want you to take casting pictures but most often it is a headshot, 3/4 shot, and full body shot. If you Google, it will show you examples. Don’t worry about it being professionally done. Most often they just want it done with a solid background, little to no makeup, and please DO NOT use filters.

Sometimes they want photos in clothing or a look that fits the character they are casting but more often they are just wanting to see how you look. Make sure the pictures are CURRENT.

Know your measurements

Photo by Michael Burrows on Pexels.com

There will most likely be costumes worn on the set or if you wore something in your casting photo that fit what they were looking for they will ask you to wear that when you come in. It is important to know your chest, waist, hip measurements as well as shoe and clothing sizes. You will list that in your submission along with your name and contact information. They often tell you exactly what to list on the casting notice but it is good to already have the measurement ahead of time.

DO NOT Lie

Now is not the time to be hopeful with the measurements you list, be honest. If they ask for a skill for the casting like skater, bicycler, or swimmer DO NOT lie and say you can do it when you cannot. If you say you are available on a certain date, do not back out. You DO NOT want to be blacklisted. Which leads me to my last point.

AVOID the ‘Black List’

When you get on set they usually run down the ground rules or have you sign a waiver stating you understand the rules. Basically you follow any and all instructions they give you.

DO NOT randomly wander on set or other areas unless called for.

DO NOT take out your phone to take pictures of the production or actors and actresses.

And please DO NOT consider this your shot to talk up the celebrity or talent on set or to peddle your resume.

If you don’t follow rules and instructions, do not show up to your call, or violate waivers you sign you could end up on the ‘black list’ which means you will be marked down as a no hire.

In Conclusion

Have patience in applying to castings and understand you may not be called instantly. But once you are called, enjoy the experience. You get to demystify some of the production process of movies and shows while enjoying catering food and getting paid.

Follow the rules and you can look forward to continued opportunities coming your way and the possibility of seeing yourself on the screen!

©JustTalkingShep 2023

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