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TELEVISION

We cast Extras, Featured Extras, Stand-Ins, & Photo Doubles for TV
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ExtraOrdinary Casting works with production companies to cast the best talent needed for film, television, commercials, print, music videos, and more. Based in Chicago, our extensive database of extras, featured extras, photo doubles, stand-ins, musicians, and other professionals, extends throughout Illinois, and the surrounding states of Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin. We are experienced in providing high volume talent as well as casting for specific parts, including some Principal Roles. We also specialize in “real” people casting for companies, brands, and commercial needs. Our solid reputation guarantees professionalism, qualified talent, and competitive rates. Our personal database offers us the ability to easily find talent based on physical appearance, personality, quality of voice, expressiveness, attitude, specialties, past performances, and availability. Through constant recruiting and maintaining, our database will always provide the most up to date information on the most qualified talent needed for each project. Working with ExtraOrdinary Casting will save you time, money, and the stress that comes with trying to find reliable talent. With our flexible hours, creativity, passion, drive, and personable approach, all your casting needs will be met beyond expectations.

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

FAQs:

Q: How do I obtain work?
A: Keep in touch with our hotline, "Follow" our Twitter, and "Like" our Facebook page for casting calls and updates. If something seems like you may fit the part, email the address given for submission (only if we state that we are accepting availability at that time). Always leave your full name and phone number.

Q: How do I ensure continued work?
A: Review the guidelines below on how to be the best talent you can be. If you follow all of them correctly, there should be no reason for us to not invite you back on other projects. We pride ourselves on having trained, smart individuals working with us. The more you prove you are dependable, the more we will call.

Q: What's the difference between available and booked?
A: If you leave your availability or we ask for it, this doesn't necessarily mean you are booked. Sometimes we just need to know who is available so we have a good pool to choose from when booking time comes. Someone must call or email you with a confirmation in order to officially be booked. From there, you will then be given directions with wardrobe, location, parking information, etc. If you are unsure, please ask before showing up to set. We will be forced to turn you away if you were not confirmed.

Q: What do I bring the day I am booked?
A: You must bring the proper forms of identification and the proper wardrobe on the day of your booking. View the Checking-Out, Food, Holding, and the Props & Wardrobe sections below for more detailed information.

Q: How does payment work?
A: Payment differs from project to project, but you are usually guaranteed at least minimum wage. You will then fill out a voucher with your information and generally be mailed a check within two to three weeks. Some projects take a bit longer to mail out payment, so hang in there. Keep in mind, ExtraOrdinary Casting is not hiring you, we are casting you. The production company hires you and is therefore responsible for payment. Keep a copy of your voucher for your records, and if you have any questions or concerns with your payment, call the number on your voucher. *Note - Most Illinois work is non-union, even if you are a union member. In Illinois you can work as a non-union-extra on TV shows and films, but not commercials.

Q: Will I have to pay for parking?
A: You will not have to pay for parking. Pay attention to the signs for extras and crew parking. If you are unsure, make sure you ask the extra's coordinator when you get to holding if you parked in the right lot. It is your responsibility to pay for all mistakes, but you should never have to pay for parking if you are parking in the correct location. Make sure to get a validation before wrapping for the day.

Q: Can I bring a guest with me when I work?
A: Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring a guest or other minors with you unless they were booked as well. Minors, however, are required to have one guardian (18 years of age or older).


HELPFUL TIPS TO REMEMBER:

Availability:
If you commit to work, you must be free the entire day and night. We never know how long the shoots will go, so you have to be prepared to stay until wrap. Arriving on time is getting there at least fifteen minutes early to guarantee you are parked and can report to holding by call time. Although we sympathize with your aches, pains, and emergencies, you must show up on time and stay until you are officially wrapped in order to receive payment.

Be Professional:
We want this to be as fun and interesting as possible for you, but please keep in mind that this is work, and you should treat it like any other job. Maintaining professionalism is key to success in this business.

Cancellations:
If it better to be there and on time than to not show up at all. If an emergency occurs, please call if you are running late or can not make the shoot, allowing us enough time to find a replacement for you. We will be much more forgiving if you do this as opposed to canceling with no notice. Not showing up or being late decreases your chances of working again.

Cars:
If your car is used in a scene, be prepared to place a note on the inside dashboard with the production company's name, your full name, your cell number, and the word "extra." Also make sure your car has enough gas and is in good working condition. Don't wash your car before the filming. It is better to have a realistic non-shine. Car bumps are usually $25 extra. Most productions will not use red, white, or black cars unless specifically asked for.

Changes:
In this business we must learn to expect changes. Call time, wardrobe, location, parking, and more can be changed last minute, so make sure to constantly be checking the hotline before you leave home and before arriving to parking/holding.

Checking In:
You must check in with the extra's coordinator as soon as you get to holding. He/She will give you a voucher that you will fill out and hang on to until wrap.

Checking Out:
After you have returned all props and wardrobe and have officially been wrapped, you will sign out with the extra's coordinator by giving him your voucher. At this point, you must present valid identification. A current passport OR a current driver's license AND social security card OR a current driver's license AND birth certificate OR a current driver's license AND a current student/work photo ID, if approved by coordinator/production assistant. Minors 15 years old and younger must have a copy of their Illinois work permit on hand (original and copy for them to show).

Food:
You will typically receive lunch six hours after work begins. Lunches are usually very generous and tasty. A breakfast is sometimes given, but make sure to bring your own snacks to hold you over in case you have to wait until lunch. Especially make sure to bring your own snacks if you are on a special diet. If the filming goes into long hours, you will also be served a dinner. Please make sure to stay away from the cast/crew food line and the craft service table. Neither, unfortunately, is for the extras. The crew must eat first so they can get back to the set and get ready for the next scene.

Holding:
This is where you will check in and check out with the Extra's Coordinator and most likely spend the majority of your day. You will have a lot of downtime so make sure to bring stuff to keep yourselves occupied; however, make sure to personally keep an eye on your items because we are not responsible for lost belongings. Also, make sure to respect the holding area as if it was your own home. Clean up all messes and do not tamper with anything that doesn't belong to you. Never leave the holding without asking first and make sure to use the restroom before you go to the set. It may be a while before you are able to break and go back to holding.

Positive Attitude:
Keeping a positive attitude is very important. Make sure to follow the "golden rule" when dealing with others. When working long hours, it is very easy to become tired and temperamental. Be aware of your actions, keep a smile on your face, and keep your held held high.

Prohibited Activities & Items:
All normal laws must be followed at all times. This means there is to be no use of drugs or alcohol, etc., and you must never show up to work under the influence. In addition, talking, cameras, cell phones, and autographs are not allowed on set. Please also remember to never look directly at the camera unless directed to. No guests are allowed on set or in holding, except for minors who are required to have one guardian (18 years of age or older).

Props & Wardrobe:
If you are borrowing from the wardrobe department, make sure to return all props and clothing before signing out and going home. Un-returned items can lead to no payment or worse. If you are bringing your own props or wardrobe, remember the following: Bring props appropriate to the scene, and as always, keep an eye on your property. If asked to bring a bike, stroller, instrument, etc., you may received a bump. As far as wardrobe, bring at least a few changes. The wardrobe department is very selective. The more options you give them, the more likely your chances are of getting on set and getting on camera. Stay away from reds, whites, blacks, bright colors, and logos, unless otherwise told beforehand. Be sure to bring different shoes and accessories as well. (Soft-soled shoes are best for stage work). We can not stress how vital it is to have options. Please make sure to dress for the appropriate season in the scene. Please do not wear any perfume or cologne.

Safety:
We value your safety first and foremost. If you or another talent is hurt on the set or in extra's holding, immediately let the Extra's Coordinator know. Also, if you have a medical condition that we should know about, please let the Extra's Coordinator know prior to filming.


HELPFUL TERMS TO REMEMBER:

Action! - The command from the director for the scene to begin. It indicates that the camera is rolling. (Extras start on "background action.")

Back to one! - The verbal cue for performers to return to the mark where they started the scene.

Blocking - The physical movement of the actors in a scene (where they are to be, where they go, etc.)

Bump - Additional money given to the talent for doing or brining something extra.

Call Time - The actual time an actor/extra is due on the set.

Continuity - A scenario giving the complete action, scenes, etc., in detail and in the order in which they are to be shown on the screen. It is important to remember your every movement and what you are wearing in order to "keep continuity." This is also why it is important for you to stay until wrapped.

Checking the gate! - A verbal command to check the lens on the camera; if the lens is OK, the cast and crew will move on to the next scene or shot.

Cut! - A verbal cue for the action of the scene to stop.

Extra's Coordinator - The person in charge of the extras in holding and sometimes on set. Make sure to follow all of his/her instructions carefully.

Extra's Holding - The designated area to which the extras report and stay while waiting to go on set.

Featured Extra - An extra that is given a prominent part in the scene (non-speaking).

Mark - A place marking or denoting where to stand. When working as a Stand-In, it is very important to remember the actor's marks and what/where they stood, sat, walked, etc.

New Deal - Ready to move on to another scene or set up.

Out Time - The actual time you are released after you have changed out of and returned wardrobe.

Photo Double - A non-speaking performer, who resembles the principal actor, in looks and movement, and is used for distance, over the shoulder, and other shots that don't show the whole face.

Pick Up - Starting a scene from a place other than the beginning.

Picture's Up! - Warning that the sequence of cues to shoot a scene is about to being and everyone on set, including the crew, needs to be absolutely quiet.

Principal Role - A part in which the performer is hired to speak on camera.

Rolling! - The verbal cue for the camera film and audio tape to start rolling. Everyone must be quiet on the set and be prepared for "action."

Set - The immediate location where the scene is being filmed.

Stand-In - A performer used as a substitute for a featured player, for the purpose of setting lights and rehearsing camera moves; also known as "second team."

Time-and-a-half - Overtime payment of 1 and 1/2 times the hourly rate.

Voucher - Time slip with all pertinent information needed for getting paid properly.

Wrap - The completion of a day's filming or of an entire production. "That's a wrap!"






ExtraOrdinary Casting was founded in 2005 by Darlene Hunt and Rachel Komar, and more than 250,000 "Real People" roles have been cast for TV Series, Films, Commercials, Music and Promotional Videos, Print and more. Darlene herself has been personally assisting in extras casting for over twenty years. Some projects prior to ExtraOrdinary include the following films: Children On Their Birthdays, Dragonfly, Driven, Joshua, Light It Up, Novocaine, On The Line, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Save The Last Dance, Soul Survivors, Unconditional Love, and What Women Want, as well as the following TV Shows: Cupid, Early Edition, Mind of the Married Man, Silent Witness, Turks, and What About Joan.

HOW TO REGISTER
To be in our system, please email a full color headshot (does not need to be professional but should show you in your best, current light), a resume (if applicable), and the following information to Lauren at: register@extraordinarycasting.net.

  • Full Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Zip Code of Residence
  • Age (view info below if under the age of 16)
  • Ethnicity & Spoken Languages
  • Height & Weight
  • Hair & Eye Color
  • Tattoo/Body Piercings (please specify)
  • Special Talents/Abilities
  • Military Experience
  • Professional Occupation


Minors under the age of 16 need to obtain a work permit with the state of Illinois. Work permits can be obtained from your local high school or federal educational facility with the proper documents. Sometimes they will request that the minor be present with parent/legal guardian when obtaining a permit. Children who live outside the state of Illinois must obtain an Illinois employment certificate, which can be obtained at some Illinois high schools and is valid in the entire state. Please do not register until you have obtained your work permit and you can submit a copy to us with your registration. Per the Illinois Board of Labor, the original work permit must be carried with minors to the set each day of work. Only one guardian is allowed on set. This is a trustworthy adult, over 18 years old. No other other children are allowed on set. Obtaining a minor's work permit is a timely process with several documents needed. Listed below are the documents needed to prepare the parent/legal guardian. Documents needed for the I-9 pay voucher:

(ALL ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS MUST BE PRESENTED TO OBTAIN THE WORK PERMIT) 1. Letter of Intention (download here) 2. Evidence of age: a) Birth Certificate; OR b) Certificate of Baptism; OR c) Passport; OR d) Bible Record 3. Signed school Principal statement of student (Statement must be on a form approved by the Dept. of Labor, which is obtained at your local high school or federal educational facility). 4. Signed letter of physical fitness (obtained through the doctor/physical physician who has examined the minor - current year). 5. Social Security Card

*All legal information was provided by the 820 ILCS 205 Child Label Laws of the Illinois Compiled Statues of the Illinois Department of Labor.