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How to be an extra in a Movie or TV show!

A step by step list of tips and tricks to be an extra for movies or TV!

If there is a particular list of guidelines that is posted on the Casting Company's Casting Call, Read and Follow thoroughly!

If not, here are some of the things that you MUST submit to a Background Casting call.

  1. Subject Line in email: NAME, BG for ________ Project

  2. Quickly introduce yourself: "Hello! My name is _____ . I am submitting to be considered as an extra for _____ project!"

  3. What to include:

  • Your name

  • contact number

  • Sizes (W- height, weight, bust x waist x hips, dress, shoe. M- height, weight, Suit jacket size, neck x sleeve, waist x inseam, Shoe) *

  • Your headshot (photo example below)

  • A recent Selfie (clear photo, no filters, hats or sunglasses) (photo example below)

  • A full body photo (one clear photo of your whole body) (photo example below)

  • Union Status **

* While casting may not need to know all these sizes now, it does show you are professional and knowledgeable about what sizes you need. PLEASE PLEASE BE ACCURATE ABOUT YOUR SIZES. Don't guesstimate. Period piece shows often rely on accurate sizing and they end up being a factor in you being cast.

** For films, 85 SAG AFTRA members are able to be hired per day without going over the SAG AFTRA count, for TV, 25 SAG AFTRA members are able to be hired per day without going over the SAG AFTRA count. (These numbers can and sometimes do change based off of the needs of the show, but this is the standard count according to the SAG AFTRA Handbook)

Please note: Consistent with the COVID-19 Return to Work Agreement, most shows have a mandatory vaccine and booster policy for individuals working in Zone A, which includes actors and background actors. These productions may make limited accommodations as required by law for individuals that cannot be vaccinated because they are minors, have a disability and/or a sincerely held religious belief.

You are within your rights to ask about the options for exemption if you are not vaccinated, however, at that point, it is up to the Covid team and production (not casting) to determine if you can work on their show.


The purpose of the selfie is to show what you currently look like without too much makeup, filters and recent hairstyle changes. The full body photo is to show what your general body proportions are. The headshot shows your professional actor's headshot and what you look like with full hair and makeup.

End your email showing your interest in the show and signing off with your name!

DISCLAIMER: This is a specific guide based off of my experience working on the casting team for a Background Casting company. This guide is FOR EXTRAS ROLES.

If you would like to learn more about other types of casting calls to navigate, please take the KO Consultations DMV Casting Calls Course!

Book Here:

Stay tuned for the next blog post... what to expect for your day on set as a Background Actor.

Thanks for stopping in,


KO Consultations

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