Background Extras

(To become part of our background casting database, please visit our companion website,

Not everyone has the time or frankly desire, to attempt making acting a full-time job. As with any other “job”, lead and supporting actors dedicate incredible amounts of time to workshops, auditions, memorization and marketing themselves. But what about all of those other people in films who are running away from the aliens while the Avengers are running toward them? Those actors are called background actors, and CCF Casting is creating a database for productions to use when they come to film in Northern California.

What is a Background Actor?

(From Central Casting’s definition) A Background Actor is someone who performs in a nonspeaking role, usually in the background. Background Actors help make movies, TV shows, and other productions look and feel more authentic. After all, hospitals, concerts, and city streets would just look like movie sets without Background Actors to give them life.

Background Actors on the set of The Talking Tree

What do Background Actors do?

There’s no universal Background Actors job description because your role can change from booking to booking. One day you may be portraying a 1980s high school teacher and the next a DJ working with your own equipment. As a Background Actor, you’ll spend most of your time in holding or on set. While filming, you’ll mainly interact with the Assistant Director, who will direct you where and when to move in a scene.

Whether you’re interested in advancing your career in the entertainment industry or just want an opportunity to see how your favorite movies and TV shows are made, working as background gives you a unique opportunity to be behind the scenes on a variety of productions.