Background Extras: How to start …

We began our quest to be ‘background extras’ by signing up with ‘On Location Casting’ at their webpage www.onlocationcasting.us under ‘Talent’.  You have to fill in all the logical details about yourself, and if you have any prior experience in this field, fill out a ‘resume’ on the site. Include one ‘headshot’ photo, and one ‘whole body’ photo and you’re done! We did that and now when we ‘log on’ to the website, we click on ‘Talent’, enter our name and password (don’t forget to remember that!) and we can go in and update our photos, add to our resumes and change vital information such as our phone number or email address.

Then we began to watch OLC’s Facebook page for postings of jobs which were available.
Some jobs we qualified for, and we applied and got. Some we qualified for and applied, but were not chosen. Some we never even were in the ballpark for!  But it is a fun experience, and we love getting to see the backside of some of the projects we’ve worked on.

As a rule, once a job is posted, and you’ve sent an email to apply, then you have to wait for a response back, either an ‘I’m sorry but…’ letter or a ‘YOU ARE BOOKED!’ letter… Then you keep a watch on the OLC Facebook page for the call time information and where to go, what clothing/costumes to bring, etc.

Sometimes you may have an early ‘call time. Other times you may have a late ‘call time’ and it doesn’t matter to us, most of the times. You get your directions from the posting OLC gives and put it into your GPS if you have one. Otherwise, you can get online with one of the map companies and print it out if it is not familiar to you.

You don’t want to be late for your call time, and should plan to arrive there about 15 minutes or so early. Usually there will be plenty of signs posted to mark the spots to park  and enter the building. You go where they send you, go in, log in or sign in with the crew who are waiting for you.  After you have signed in, you will usually be directed to a place to sit (also known as the ‘holding area’). If you are early you can usually have a seat until they call you to ‘go to wardrobe’, which consists of the wardrobe crew checking what you have on, and checking the clothing/costumes you brought with you (as per the instructions given to you online the day or night before). Once ‘wardrobe’ checks you out, and okays your outfit, or perhaps choosing something else for you to wear, you can have a seat usually then, until you are called ‘on set’.  Snacks and drinks are usually furnished, but depending on the time of day you arrive, it can be breakfast foods and drinks or lunch or simply snacks.

Now you’re going to be waiting in ‘holding’ until you are called to do what you came here for – which is to ACT!

More next time!

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