Tips for Becoming a Movie Extra

While being a movie extra is not glamorous, it does get you closer to the stars. There are many great reasons to want to be an extra. First of all, there is no audition process. You won’t be asked to sing, dance, or read lines. This is because extras usually just stand around and act like normal people. This means you don’t need to know how to act. Most people work as extras as a hobby, but others use it to network and get an opening into the show business world. Finally, some people do it because it pays a decent wage. Most extras make around $200 a day after they qualify for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Below are some tips that can help you easily get movie extra jobs:

  1. Find an Agency in your Area: If you live in L.A. or New York, then you are in luck. Central Casting is the largest casting agency in the world. Don’t fret if you live in another part of the country, though. Just search ‘casting agencies in [your city]‘ on Google and you will find numerous options. check out their resumes online to find out which movies they’ve worked on. Find out when the agencies hold casting calls and plan on attending.
  2. Register with the Agency: Be prepared to fill out a lot of paperwork. There’s the application, tax forms, insurance forms, and they’ll ask you for a registration fee. They will also take your picture and ask for some proof of citizenship. If this amount is more than $30, then you definitely should look elsewhere as this company is probably trying to run a scam on you.
  3. Be Patient: They will definitely call you, so don’t sit by the phone waiting. They will usually call within a week at most. Be sure to get the location of the shoot, how you need to dress, and how much they are offering as payment.
  4. Go Have Fun and Get Paid: Now comes the part you’ve been waiting for! All you need to do is show up, do what you’re told and look decent. Make sure you find the Extras Casting Director or the extras check in area. You’ll probably even get some catered food at lunch time. The hours can be long, but the process is fun and entertaining for the most part. Wait to be dismissed by the Assistant Director or Extras Casting Director. Your pay will be mailed to you after the day is done. If you get lucky you’ll get a movie extra gig that lasts longer than one day. Even if it is a low paying gig because you don’t have your SAG card yet, you still get the satisfaction of knowing you get to be in a movie.

If you arrive on time and act like a professional, chances are you’ll get asked back by the casting company. Being a movie extra is not a full time job, but you can make some supplemental cash and have a lot of fun at the same time. If you’re lucky maybe you’ll even pick up some acting jobs.

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