ATLANTA - As the founder, CEO, and director of Southern Casting Associates, Jessica Yoshimura is always looking for talent.
"We still need more people applying from this area.I hate to see them having to fly in people from out in Los Angeles," she says.
Lee Thomas is the Deputy Commissioner for the Georgia Film Office. She says there are plenty of chances for you to get involved as an extra.
"Most shows need extras at some point and some need huge crowds of extras. There are a lot of casting companies out there now, and a lot of opportunity for people who want to get involved". Thomas recommends registering with the casting companies on the Film Office page. We've got a link to it near the bottom of this story.
SCA handles casting for Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, and Yoshimura says they constantly need extras for television and movie productions. She says there's plenty of opportunities to find work, but she also offers a warning.
"You never need to pay in order to play. I hate to see people getting taken advantage of," Yoshimura says. She says you should avoid anyone that says they can get you a spot in a movie or TV program for a fee. She says instead, follow the social media pages of reputable casting companies and apply for roles directly through them. And you don't need an agent.
"We don't give any preferential treatment to applications based on whether someone has an agent," she says.
Yoshimura offers these tips to help you get cast, and then get called back again.
She says right from the start, follow the directions in the casting call. Make sure you provide the pictures and information the casting company wants in the format that they request.
She says you don't have to have a professional headshot, but it can increase your chances of getting noticed and picked.
She says experience also makes a difference. Even past experience in a high school play, college production, or with community theater can help you stand out. But there are other factors that can also help you make the cut.
"If we're looking for a scene with a nurse, and we're able to cast someone who is actually a nurse, if she walks into a scene with a piece of medical equipment, she's going to be comfortable with it and immediately look like she knows what she's doing".
Once you get selected, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of getting picked for other roles in the future.
Yoshimura says be professional. Show up on time. Be flexible too.
"Some days, they may decide to shoot a few more pages of script. So you've got to have a schedule or an understanding boss". If you are easy to work with, it gets noticed, and can get you called back in the future.
Don't take pictures or ask for autographs, and don't post to social media during the production. And absolutely NEVER try to pitch story ideas to the director or anyone else working on the production. It's a quick way to guarantee you'll never get called back to work on any projects in the future.
The bottom line, with a little bit of time and professionalism you can get involved in Atlanta's TV and movie scene. And from there, Yoshimura tells the A-Scene, you never know. "We have set workers, production crew members, and there are even well-known actors that started off as extras".
You can find a list of popular casting companies on the Georgia Department of Economic Development page HERE. Just scroll to the "Popular Extras Casting Companies" section near the bottom of the page.
You can either follow those companies on social media to receive current casting calls, or you can often enter your photos and resume' directly through their website so if that if you match the role they're looking for, they can contact you. And of course, follow the A-Scene for casting call information too!