Stand-In Work

Can you stand a silly question? (Oh, PLEASE don’t make fun of me. I have nightmare visions of you now quoting me in one of your Actors Voice columns with the precursor, “Here’s a stupid question.”) And, okay, it’s a VERY silly question.

People tell me all the time that I look like [a particular name actor]. Enough to where I had the crazy idea that I should try to investigate how to go about being her stand-in for film/TV work. I know she does mostly indies, and for all I know indies don’t have the budget for stand-ins, but still, I have to at least try to research the thing.

Where would one start? Where do productions pick their stand-ins from anyway? Any thoughts?

Oh my gosh, you are so cute and this is SO not a silly question! It’s a great one! (And am I that scary? Do I strip actors naked and point, laughing, saying “neener-neener” too often? I’ll work on that. Promise!)

I actually don’t know the answer to this question, so I’m going to put it out there to my amazingly wonderful readers who may have loads of experience in the stand-in world.

I do know that many indie films include room in the budget for stand-ins. I’ve even had to cast a couple of stand-ins on micro-budget indies, so I know it happens! But as for how to get into a groove for working regular stand-in gigs, I’m at a loss. (On the stand-in needs for projects I cast, we just went through our submissions after casting the roles and asked those remaining folks who were the nearest physical matches for the actors we cast whether they’d be open to doing paid stand-in work. That usually took care of that!) Perhaps the larger extras casting companies also maintain a stand-in file and get calls for such people all the time!

I’d recommend starting there (maybe glance through the latest Extra Work for Brain Surgeons to get some ideas) and I’ll also ask my readers to write in with their tips for stand-in work, which I’ll then share in a future Your Turn. Meanwhile, perhaps reach out to the agent or manager representing that “particular name actor” you look so much like. They may turn out to be quite a good resource for gigs you’d never otherwise hear about! You never know! (You can find out who reps her by using IMDb-Pro or contacting the Actors To Locate service at SAG.)

Good luck! I hope to get some good tips from working stand-ins to share with you soon… y’know, because this was a really great, not-silly, totally awesome question!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000757.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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