Let’s squish the rumor mill!
Extras Holding can be a caldron for stirring up and brewing up some of the most absurd rumors ever. But in an odd way I guess it can make sense. When you think about it, numerous, sometimes even hundreds of BG actors are waiting hour upon hour (usually in an excluded area away from set) to be called in to work. They sit around and talk…and talk…and talk.
I’m sure sometimes actors have left that set thinking they received the most valuable information ever, and maybe they have. But when it comes to why they are not working as much as they would like, more times then none, it’s just a rumor.
So being the “let’s get it to you straight from the horses mouth” I thought it would be informative to squish the top 5 most ridiculous rumors I have heard from BG actors.
Oh by the way, I am pretty sure I am speaking on behalf of the few legitimate booking services out there and also for all the background casting directors that use our services.
Rumor #1: I’ve heard my booking service (or calling service) only books their favorite clients.
BONK! Wrong: How would it possibly make sense that if my casting director asked to see a submission of: 25-35 African American men that could work on Thursday and I said “Oh wait, can you book so & so even though he’s Hispanic, he’s one of my favorites?
Rumor #2: I’ve heard my booking service (or calling service) only books their new faces.
BONK! Wrong: The CD will dictate what criteria they are looking for; we do not. Some shows want only new faces every time. Ever think of the fact that each scene may be different and may need all new faces? It wouldn’t make sense that if a person were in a scene in a LA bar that they would also be in the scene in a restaurant in New York during the same episode, right?
**Many shows ask for availability with a certain amount of days since they last worked. EVERY SHOW IS DIFFERENT and every criteria is met for the CD. It has nothing to do with the background actor being a new face or a veteran. If they want your look, they will book you.
**If is doesn’t make logical sense, it’s a RUMOR**
Rumor #3: I’ve heard some booking services gives money or a ‘kick back’ to the casting director when they use their clients.
BONK! Wrong: A legitimate booking service should be licensed as a service, providing services that are paid for from the client/BG actor. I have NEVER heard or seen a background casting director take money to work a client.
Rumor #4: I think my booking service only books me when service fees are due to get me to pay another month.
BONK! WAY Wrong: Really? How would that work. Let’s start by looking at it like an equation.
CD: “Please book Joe Smith & Tammy Jones on this particular job that is asking for ‘like types’ to play a young couple.”
Ridiculous answer: “Hey wait, can you book Sam Jacobs (20 years old) & Ruby Roberts (49 years old) because they owe service fees right now and I want them to stay aboard another month.”
**The casting director has NO IDEA when service fees are due, nor do they care, so how in the world would that rumor makes sense. Yet I get it ALL the time.
Rumor #5: Only younger looks get all the work out there…
BONK! Wrong: Once again, it is all about what the production is looking for. I had a scene recently that wanted all African American churchgoers ages 30-65. So in this case, it didn’t matter how young you were, they didn’t want young looks.
**Now, on the other hand…if you flip on the TV most shows have an abundance of young people working. That’s what is popular right now. So there is a demand at times for young looks, but that demand has nothing to do with your booking service.
Remember: **If is doesn’t make logical sense, it’s a RUMOR**
I will add to this list as more ridiculous rumor are brought to my attention.
I really, really hope this has helped to set the record straight. With as hard as a booking service works, there is nothing more irritating than hearing these rumors.
Lisa is squishing the rumor mill!