So you want to be in the movies? Here’s how!

Hollywood is calling, and becoming an extra on a film shooting in Louisiana is attainable, if you know what to do. You don’t need a fancy talent agent if you want to be an extra, on camera, walking through a crowd scene, delivering food to a restaurant table or fighting in a Civil War battle scene, for example.

Any role which is considered nonspeaking is up for grabs, and you can audition for any one of a record number of productions shooting in the state if you register to get notifications of which productions are hiring and when.

Apart from looking for notifications of films which are coming to town in The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate/, or in trade publications, there is a surefire way to get notifications: Sign up for free on a casting agency website.

The site, founded by a local casting director, is used by 35 casting agencies hunting for talent.

“Anyone who wishes to be a part of the extra community can go to, where instructions will ask that you upload a clear facial photo, as well as a full body picture,” said Ryan Glorioso, casting director and founder of Glorioso Casting in New Orleans.

“We have 300,000 actors registered on the site throughout the Southeast, and even as far away as northern California. And we are continually expanding.”

Coulon Casting, Inc. also uses the website. 

Some casting agencies in town have their own websites as well. Central Casting Louisiana ( has a registration page of their own, at

The gigs can be profitable. Most Hollywood productions are guided by union pay scales, and a single day of background work can fetch $361 and up, depending upon the film. 

The one thing you should never do is contact or show up at any of the studios in town where production is ongoing. Studios do not hire talent. That’s the role of casting directors, who are brought in by the big Hollywood studios to cast both smaller speaking roles and background roles.

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