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Background Performance

Background Performer (EXTRA)
People choose to do Background work for many reasons; it’s a way to gain experience on a film set, no or to earn additional money or an opportunity to meet friends and other members of the community. Regardless of your reasons, you should take your participation in the production seriously and you should always conduct yourself in a professional manner. Please read the following section carefully if you are interested in doing Background work.

How Can I become a Background Performer?
The best way to get started is to contact each of the Casting Directors who handle Background on our list and inquire about getting into their database of performers. Chances are, they will require a photo and resume including details such as birth date, height, weight, current hair colour, etc. Remember, not all Background Casting Directors are the same and they may not all be looking for new people.  Here are the Casting Directors in Alberta you can contact regarding Background Performing work:

Alyson Lockwood
Box 345
#300, 8120 Beddington Blvd. NW
Calgary, AB   T3K 2A8
Ph: (403) 948-4563   Fax: (403) 948-6771

Curtis Cripps (EXTRAS CASTING) Calgary
Please only contact via email

#104, 1305 Glenmore Trail SW
Calgary, AB   T2V 4Y8
Ph: (403) 606-5989   Fax: (403) 251-7530
Submissions: Photo and Resume submissions are accepted by mail only.

Randy Hutchings (EXTRAS CASTING)
Please only contact via email

Sushibistro Casting and Production Services (COMMERCIAL, EXTRAS AND INDEPENDENT CASTING)
Sue Bristow
Ph: (403) 690-7036

Members interested in doing work may take advantage of the Background Database portion of ACTRA online. Just log in to your profile page and choose from one of the selections: willing to do all Background work, willing to do Stand-in work only, or willing to do commercial Background work only.

Can I work  for Cash as a Member or Apprentice Member?
No. It’s just that simple.  If you are a Full Member, Apprentice Member, or ACTRA Additional Background member, you must work on a voucher or you will be in violation of the ACTRA By-Laws and Constitution.

How Much Does Background Work Pay (in Film & TV)?
Check the relevant collective agreement for the most current rates.

Can I Eat with the Crew?
ACTRA members who are Background Performers have the right to eat the same meal as the crew, but do not necessarily have to eat with the crew. That decision will probably be made for you as determined by the space available on set.

What are some tips?
• Under certain circumstances (as defined by the collective agreement), production may not provide you with a meal during your lunch break, so be prepared – just in case!
• If you have a question, ask the person who is in responsible for Background Performers (generally the on-set Extras Wrangler, or the Trainee A.D.) Do not disturb the Director or others.
• Stay quiet. This is essential!
• Be responsible and use common sense.

Yes, a Background Performer does not always get as much attention as other performers. Yes, there are sometimes hundreds of you on set. But remember that you are still working on a production which requires that you behave in a conscientious and professional manner in accordance with our collective agreements, By-Laws and Constitution.

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