How to be an extra in a movie or TV show in Chicago?

If you’re interested in becoming an extra in a movie or TV show in Chicago, there are a few steps you can take to get started. First, you’ll need to create a profile on casting websites that cater to extras, such as and These platforms allow casting directors to find and hire extras for their productions. Make sure to complete your profile with accurate information and upload clear, recent photos of yourself. This will increase your chances of being selected for roles that match your appearance.

How to find movie extra jobs in Chicago?

Finding movie extra jobs in Chicago requires a proactive approach. Besides registering on casting websites, it’s essential to stay informed about casting calls and auditions in the area. Follow casting agencies and production companies on social media, as they often post opportunities for extras. Additionally, join local acting and film-related groups to network with industry professionals who may have insider information about upcoming projects. Being proactive and staying connected to the local film community can open doors to exciting extra roles in Chicago.

How much do extras get paid?

The payment for extras can vary depending on several factors, such as the production budget, the type of project, and the duration of the role. In Chicago, the average pay for extras ranges from $75 to $150 per day. However, keep in mind that this is a general estimate, and rates can vary for different projects. Some productions may offer higher pay for specialized roles or if you have specific skills or experience that are in demand. It’s important to note that being an extra is not typically a full-time job, and the pay may fluctuate depending on the availability of projects.

A day in the life of an extra in Chicago

Being an extra on set in Chicago can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Your day as an extra may start early, as call times are usually scheduled well in advance. Arriving on time is crucial, as productions operate on tight schedules. Once on set, you’ll receive instructions from the assistant director or casting team regarding your role and specific scenes. It’s essential to follow directions and be adaptable to changes that may occur during filming. As an extra, you’ll often be part of crowd scenes, creating a realistic background for the main actors. Throughout the day, you may have breaks between scenes, during which you can interact with other extras, explore the set, or simply relax. Filming days can be long, ranging from 8 to 12 hours or more, so it’s important to be prepared for the physical and mental demands of the job.

Dos and don’ts of being an extra on set in Chicago

When working as an extra on set in Chicago, there are certain guidelines and etiquette to follow to ensure a smooth and positive experience. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Do:
    • Arrive on time and be prepared for a full day of filming.
    • Follow instructions from the assistant director and production team.
    • Maintain professionalism and a positive attitude on set.
    • Respect the confidentiality of the production and avoid sharing sensitive information on social media.
  • Don’t:
    • Bring unnecessary distractions, such as personal electronic devices, to the set.
    • Interfere with the work of the main actors or the crew.
    • Engage in gossip or spread rumors on set.
    • Expect special treatment or preferential treatment on set.

Should I put extra work on my acting résumé or demo reel?

When it comes to including extra work on your acting résumé or demo reel, it’s important to approach it strategically. While being an extra can provide valuable on-set experience, it’s generally not considered significant acting experience. Therefore, it’s recommended to focus on showcasing your main acting roles, training, and relevant skills on your résumé and demo reel. However, if you have had featured or speaking roles as an extra, or if the production was high-profile or notable, you may consider including that experience on your résumé or demo reel. Ultimately, it’s important to tailor your materials to highlight your strongest and most relevant work as an actor.

Becoming an extra in a movie or TV show in Chicago can be an exciting opportunity to gain on-set experience, network with industry professionals, and earn some extra income. By following the steps to get started, staying informed about casting opportunities, understanding the payment structure, and adhering to set etiquette, you can make the most of your experience as an extra in Chicago. Remember to focus on your main acting goals and prioritize showcasing your strongest work when building your acting résumé and demo reel. With dedication and persistence, being an extra can serve as a stepping stone towards achieving your acting aspirations in the vibrant Chicago entertainment industry.