Background Acting Roles Easy To Obtain In Los Angeles
We advise any aspiring actors considering a move to LA to first visit LA for a 7-10 day trip and do Background actor (Extra) jobs.
Why extra work? Because aspiring actors (who permanently move to LA) almost always go on a lot of extra jobs when they first arrive in LA. After a week of experiencing background work, an actor who lives in Michigan, Tuscon, etc, will be a semi-pro and be light-years of other new actors. It is a sure-fire way to get a 3-month jump-start (by familiarizing oneself about the film industry) before the big move to LA. By talking to other "Background actors" on the set, they get referrals to acting classes and roles, make contacts, and hear about the best apartments, nightlife, acting rip-offs and scams, life in LA, hear the downside about LA. Actors will also learn where the highways, streets and neighborhoods are located in LA - by driving to jobs.
You will earn at least $75 per day. Plus, the food, which is free, is phenomenal. Meals are called "craft services" on the set.
Taking the knowledge you learn while doing background roles during a 10 days in LA back home offers you a smart way to make long term plans for a move to LA. This helps you to avoid failing after the real "move", and returning to your hometown after 2 months broke and unsuccessful.
There is always time to party. Just because you are traveling to LA for 10 days does not mean this is a vacation. You are in LA to work. If you are dedicated, you can make this crash course introduction to acting in LA work.
Start by phoning Central Casting's telephone hotline (818-260-6120) several days/weeks before you leave for your trip (while in your hometown) to listen to the currently available jobs. This is important: Central Casting changes its jobs hourly and are not listed on their website. You must phone their telephone hotline to listen to available jobs. If you only phone once per day, you will miss out on jobs. Expect to phone 5-7 times throughout the day. A job may be added to the line at 2:30pm. If you phoned at Noon and then not again until the next day, you will not hear the job that was posted at 2:30pm..
By listening to the recorded jobs while still in your hometown, you will get a "taste" of what type of jobs are currently casting. Central Casting does not list their background jobs on their website. You MUST phone their job telephone line to hear roles. Although you cannot sign up for any jobs until you regiter, do not wait until arriving in LA to call the line. Familiarize yourself with a "taste" while back home.
You can only register in person, not on their website. If they allowed people to register through their website, every idiot in America who "kinda, sorta" wanted to be an actor - would register, and their time would be wasted.
Central Casting is the biggest extra casting agency in Southern California. There are many other extra casting agencies who advertise for actors, but they are a waste of time and charge fees.
Plan your flight arrival early enough in the day so you can get to Central Casting that day, by 10AM. It is critical to register on the first day to get the ball rolling!
Central Casting is located in Burbank. Burbank is in the "Valley". The airport is located south of the Valley, on the cost by the beaches.
It takes at least one hour to drive from LAX to Burbank.
You can only register Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:30AM to 11:30. It will cost $20.
They will take your photo when you register. They will also shoot a "mug shot" of you when you register. Download and complete the registration forms and bring them with you when you register. This saves time and allows you to network with other registrants while waiting. Please measure your body, hat size, etc. before arriving and take a pen and headshots if you have them.
After you register in person, you can phone a recorded job line and respond to jobs that you are qualified for by phoning a number for the casting agent for that specific job. Availability of jobs changes from hour ro hour throughout the day and more jobs are added to the line at 11AM PST and 4 PST. After registering, go on as many "extra" jobs as possible during your visit - aiming at one background role per day.
A car is available for $99/week by bidding on Priceline.com. You will need a a Thomas Guide ($19), and a local mailing address. Actors can have Central Casting mail checks mailed to the actor's hometown address later. A Thomas Guide is a book of maps. Central casting will give you a code that correlates to a page in the Thomas Guide, which shows you exactly where you must show up for your background role. Remember, you will likely not be able to look upo addresses on Mapquest.com once you arive in LA - so you will need a Thomas Guide - which you can buy in almost any store in LA.
Here is a page about Central Casting (the largest background- actor casting agency)