Becoming a background actor is a great way to get your foot in the door of the entertainment industry and get some initial experience in acting without having to go to acting school right away. It can be a highly rewarding experience and an excellent opportunity for aspiring actors to make contacts, learn about the industry, and gain on-set experience. Here are some tips for getting started.
GET YOUR PAPERWORK DONE
A Screen Actors Guild (SAG) membership or other similar union affiliation may be required depending on the production or your geographical location. Depending on where you live, there should be some databases where you can create an account to receive notifications about upcoming background acting opportunities. You’ll need to have all your paperwork done before you even consider going out for parts. Research what organizations you must belong to and complete everything that is necessary for membership as soon as possible.
CREATE A STELLAR RESUME
Whether it’s online or on paper paper, have a resume ready to submit. Make sure your contact information is up to date, and be sure to include any relevant background acting experience you may have had in the past (even if it was not professional).
FIND CASTINGS NEAR YOU
There are many ways to find background actor castings. Websites like BCF Casting provide great information for background actors. Additionally, some local clubs/organizations may keep track of casting calls or offer other resources as well. BCF will not charge you for creating a profile or finding opportunities through them, but other databases might, so make sure you look into a few first.
ALWAYS BE PROFESSIONAL
Once you get started and arrive at a casting call, be on time and dress appropriately for the role you will be playing. If you receive directions from someone on set, follow them to the letter, and be polite and courteous at all times. These tips may seem simple, but they will make a big difference in your experience as a background actor. If you arrive to a background job late or do not follow instructions, you might not be asked to come back, and this could negatively impact your ability to secure future opportunities, so come prepared, be on time, and be ready for a long day.
MAKE SURE YOU NETWORK WHEN POSSIBLE
Use your time on set to meet people who are already working in the industry. Introduce yourself to everyone you can, and get their contact information if possible. You never know who might prove useful later down the line when it comes to future job opportunities. However, only take the time to do this when it is appropriate and won’t interfere with whatever else is going on.
Becoming a background actor can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the entertainment industry. Make sure you have all the proper paperwork and documentation, prepare a stellar resume, find casting calls near you, always be professional on set, and network when possible. With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to getting started as a background actor! Good luck!