Ever wish that you could spend money and have it boomerang right back to you? Sure, it sounds like a dream but NYCastings.com helps turn that dream into a reality. By offering so many sweet extras listings, members tend to make their dough back in no time.
The Top Booker of 2014, Ashely Blankenship, earned $36,559 through NYCastings. She landed solid gigs, including background work, and many members share similar success stories.
Tiffany Bank who says, thanks to NYCastings I was able to work 6 days on Sex and the City 2! It was a dream of mine to be able to be apart of that movie and I am so thankful to have had that amazing experience! Thank you NYCastings!
And David Strauss shares that he, signed on with NYCastings about a yr ago andIt’s been crazy for me. First job I was featured background in the movie Salt, did a music video, a Z-Rock episode, a PC Richards Commercial, two movies that I was featured in that are coming out in dvd this year. I met somebody thru NY Castings that led to me doing a play in the Strawberry 1 Act festival, was featured background in many shows. It seems like every week I’m going for an audition for some role. NYCastings has been great for me!!!
The success stories go on and on… (you can read over 1,000 more here)
However, you only need to land one background gig in order to earn your membership fee back. To help you get the most out of your investment, NYCastings asked a couple of background companies to give advice on landing that Extra paycheck…
Central Casting (CC) – currently casting Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Gossip Girl,” “Mercy,” How to Make it in America, “Nurse Jackie,” Louie, and White Collar
Sylvia Fay / Lee Genick Casting (SFC) – currently casting Bored to Death, Damages, “Sherri” and “Delocated”
Q: Who gets background work? Is it about the speed of response? Being at your phone?
CC: Combination of who is appropriate and who gets back to you first.
SFC: The speed does not count as much as the actor being right for the part. The most important aspect of an actor being chosen and cast is the actor fitting the vision of the film dictated by the director. During the meetings that lead up to the filming of a movie and at times hours before the scenes are to be shot, we at casting are told what the director would like to see in specific scenes. It is imperative we maintain that artistic vision and try and cast the correct people for the specific scene.
Q: What do you look for in submitted pictures/ Do you want headshots or full lengths?
CC: We take them all – if appropriate for scene even better: model shots, cops, easier for you to imagine if you see them in that picture.
SFC: The more diverse the pictures the better. We are able to see the different looks an actor possesses and be confident he is right for the part.
Q: Should actors postcard you to stay top of mind?
CC: Once in a blue moon. It’s best to submit.
SFC: Postcards are the best way for actors to communicate with us. Fleet at our office treats the mail with the care that one would have for precious jewels and family heirlooms. We read each letter or postcard and make updates to the sender’s info on our database if needed. It is also a great way for us to know if an actor is leaving town for a prolonged time or has changed his look or headshot.
Q: Do you tend to invite the same crew back?
CC: We try to use different people all the time but if someone has a really good look we’ll use them again.
SFC: Unless an actor is established in a reoccurring role in the film, to maintain the continuity of the film we can not re-cast an actor that has worked a certain film.
Q: Is there a shortage of SAG versus non-union?
CC: Right now casting mostly AFTRA
SFC: We are currently doing 3 AFTRA shows and due to rise of AFTRA shows there does seem to be a slight lack of AFTRA actors, a trend I see leveling off if AFTRA projects continue to come in and actors make a decision to join.
Q: Do directors, ADs (Assistant Directors), etc report back from the set about people?
CC: Of course if someone does something wrong they’re going to hear about it.
SFC: We get that a lot, the background PA will let us know if someone is late and the DA will call us after they are warped to either rave about an actor or mention that he does not take direction well.
Q: Do you ever visit a set?
CC: Sure. We go down especially if problem. If it’s a big day, special, mtgs. Sometimes actors don’t even know where are there.
SFC: We visit set often and are on set on the large days helping to check everyone in and then inevitably tracking down the ones who are tardy. I can not stress enough how important it to be on time, on many sets the AD’s will start asking the Background PA if everyone is there at call, just like any other job, being on time in the min. an actor can do.
Q: Advice on what actors should say in submissions
CC: Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
SFC: The best way is to be a professional. Though it is the entertainment business, one must remember that afilm set is still a work place, and should always be treated that way.
~Thank you very much to Ali Merhi from Central Casting and Ronen Gevint from Sylvia Fay / Lee Genick Casting for contributing to this article!