How to land a role as an extra

Want three seconds of fame?

Check listings often. Casting directors and agencies sometimes post calls seeking extras for that very day. Follow companies like Extras Casting Atlanta, Casting GA, Project Casting, Cynthia Stillwell Casting, Tammy Smith Casting, and Bill Marinella Casting on social media so you can submit information as soon as a call is posted.

Keep portraits simple. Casting calls often request full-length and close-up photos. Bill Marinella, an Atlanta casting director, suggests taking photos against a solid white wall in a space with ample lighting. “Don’t wear sunglasses or hats or anything else that covers your face,” he suggests.

There’s a role for everyone. A recent local call for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 sought “men and women skinny types,” while Teen Wolf wanted “shirtless guys with athletic bodies (solid chests and abs)” between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. There’s a part for every body—it just might take a little patience to find yours. Other past calls: a Tiger Woods look-alike, Caucasian twin or triplet babies, youth soccer players, tennis players, a Rastafarian, and people with cars made from 1980 to 1993.

Expect long hours, low pay. Background actors often
arrive earlier than the cast and crew. And it’s not unusual for extras to work twelve-hour days, so bring a book. Food is usually provided. Expect to make about $100 a day or a little more if you get a job as a stand-in or work overtime.

Don’t talk to the talent. Don’t try to talk to the stars, get their autographs, or take their pictures. And don’t take pictures of the sets.

Don’t pay for the experience. Aspiring extras should be wary of companies that ask them to pay for help finding work, says Marinella.