Watch CBS News

How To Become A Movie Extra in New York City

With the abundance of movies filmed in the Big Apple, there's never a lack of star sightings in New York City. Being an extra in a movie is a fun way to spend a day, familiarize yourself with the industry and—if you're lucky—make some money. There are plenty of movies and television shows being filmed in New York that are in need of extras, but there are usually a few steps you must go through first.

Get a Headshot & Resume

(credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

If you're more serious about your acting career and you're using extra casting as a way to break into the film industry, you're going to take a headshot and build a resume. Find a photographer in NYC who has experience taking headshots and go from there. You can start gathering experience on your resume once you register as an extra and start getting gigs.

Register As an Extra

(credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Sign up on websites such as Actingland and Moviex with information such as your age, gender, nationality and location. This way, when filmmakers are making in your area they can alert you and invite you to participate as an extra in their scenes as needed. For New York-specific movie shoots that

Check Your Resources

Craigslist Screenshot (credit: WCBS 880)

Even once after you register as an extra, you still might need to actively look for opportunities to find work. Check local newspapers and websites such as Craig's List to find filmmakers in the area looking for extras. Also get to know your local casting agencies, they could help you find additional work directly.

Extra Etiquette

Extras Waiting
(credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

When working as an extra, be prepared to sit around and definitely consider bringing some kind of entertainment, whether it's an iPod, cards or a book. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity and observe how the movie is made and how the actors and filmmakers work.

Movie Set Don'ts

Woody Allen Directing
(credit: TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

If you do get the chance to work on a movie set, take advantage and try to meet the stars, but be sure to keep your cool as to not harass any of the big name actors, directors or producers. Also make sure to follow the rules and directions of the set. Also don't bring a camera or ask for autographs—it's unprofessional!

Visit Sets

Tracy Morgan on Location for '30 Rock'
(credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Not interested in becoming an extra but still want to see what it's like to film a movie or TV show? Check out On Location Vacations, which is a website that posts where people are filming in New York City and other destinations around the country.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.