Always dreamed of being in the movies? You don’t need to be in Hollywood to do it. With more movies and TV show being shot than ever, production sets are filming nationwide, and that means no matter where you live in the U.S, you have an opportunity to be a movie extra. How? Many films now shot on location, so they are looking for local folks to work as extras and they pay about $100 a day. Bellow we guide you on how to get start, hot to find the gigs and the best bet to be prepared on set.

The first step is to have current and accurate photos, but they don’t need to be professional (in this case), but they should be good quality and show you realistically. It also helps to have a few different looks to show your versatility, and don’t try to be anything other than yourself.

The second step is to find the gigs, so register online with casting companies like Actors Access (ActorsAcess.com), Backstage (Backstage.com) and Casting Networks (Home.CastingNetworks.com). Also smart is to hit the social media and follow local casting agencies and directors, who use Facebook to announce casting calls. You can find them at the Casting Society of America’s website (CastingSociety.com).

When you are applying its important to read and follow the instructions exactly. If the casting call is in person, bring the photos. If it is via email, make sure your email contact is correct and updated. If they ask you to include specific words in the subject line, do so. Directors view hundreds of submissions at a time. Don’t give them a reason to eliminate you.

The third step is to be prepared on set doing the best possible job once you are hired. So, show up on time and ready to work, that means dressed and groomed. Extras on current-day TV shows and movies are often required to bring their own wardrobe. A good tip is to remove valuables and keep your car gassed up, so if the show needs to use an extra car, you can earn extra cash. Sometimes they just need to park the car on the set, other times you may driving it.

The last step is to be professional! Tempted to chat with Brad Pitt or Jennifer Lopez? Refrain from approaching the star as well as the rest of the cast and crew. And don’t take pictures of the set and post on social medias! You can be banned for doing so. The best plan?  Pay heed to the production assistant, who is in charge of extras, and follow their instructions exactly.

Professional actors belong to three unions: Actors Equity Association (AEA or just “Equity), Screen Actors Guide (SAG), and the American Federation of Television (AFTRA). These, in turn, are members of an umbrella organization, the Association Actors and Artistes of America, known as the “Four As”, chartered by the AFL-CIO. In simplest terms, Equity has jurisdiction over performances and stage managers in live theater. SAG covers performances on film, some areas of tape, and in emerging area of the new media. AFTRA’s jurisdiction includes live and taped television, show, soap operas, commercials, radio, and recordings, as well as emerging areas of the new media. In addition to actors, singers, and dancers, its membership includes announcers, DJs, talk-show hosts, stunt people, sportscasters, and news persons.

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