Tips to help your day on set go smoothly…


  • Be clear on call times, locations and wardrobe before you finish speaking with the casting director or your agent. No matter how busy that person is, if anything is unclear, ask questions.
  • Know the names of the wardrobe, hair and make-up people who are assisting you on set. Know the name of the Assistant Director (AD), Production Assistant (PA) or casting person who signs you in and out. Then direct your questions to the relevant people to save your time and theirs.
  • At the time of booking, inform the casting director if you have a commitment for other work that could limit your ability to do overtime on that day.
  • Remember — your word is your bond. If you accept a booking, you’re committed to that production for the duration of the production day. Don’t cancel! Unprofessional conduct can result in disciplinary action.
  • Arrive early. A professional always arrives prepared to work at least 10 minutes before call time. Be organized. Have your wardrobe ready to show to the wardrobe assistants.
  • Follow instructions. When you’re moved from place to place, go quickly and quietly.
  • Keep your green room (holding area) and craft service areas clean. Craft service people appreciate your help. Never eat from the crew table. If you need food, ask craft services, not an AD. If you require an aspirin ask craft services. Better yet, be prepared and bring your own.
  • Don’t bring valuables to set.
  • Don’t take food, drinks or anything that’s not part of the set onto the set. Leave these items in the holding area.
  • Respect the set and never rearrange things to suit yourself.
  • Never wear your own make-up to the set unless asked. Never rearrange your hair, make-up or wardrobe for personal comfort.
  • Do your job, remember your actions and give the same actions each time – unless directed otherwise.
  • Listen attentively. Don’t make the ADs repeat instructions.
  • Be aware of equipment and what the camera is doing. Learn to know when you’re in a frame and when you’re not.
  • Take washroom visits during slack times.
  • Don’t wander off. When you go to the washroom, or if you take a cigarette break, tell the AD, PA or casting person responsible for Background performers where you’re going. Always return immediately.
  • Conflicts: If there’s a disagreement or problem with your working situation or with anyone on set including craft services, don’t argue or hold up the production. State your point clearly and calmly, and try to understand the other person’s position. Communicate both your position and the other person’s to your agent and, if necessary, the ACTRA Business Rep. who will settle the dispute.

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