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How to take part in a TV show or Hollywood blockbuster9 min read

London is an exciting place and there’s always something to do but every now and again we need to sit down and take it easy. To do that some of us decide to sit our lazy bum in front of TV (sometimes a la Homer Simpson with a beer in one hand and our ‘one pack’ hanging out hiding our trousers’ belt).

But… what if instead of being in front of the TV screen you were (for once) behind it?

Well, that’s what we are going to explore. We are going to share with you some cool ways you can be part of the audience of a TV show like the Jonathan Ross show, Lip Sync and some other great ones! And even better, how to take part in a Hollywood Blockbuster!!!!

So drop that remote and read on!

Live at the Apollo
With its array of stand up comedians, Live at the Apollo provides such a fun night!

TAKE PART IN A TV SHOW

Would you like to be in the audience of a TV show for free and spend a great night out? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Sign up to SRO Audiences who are the main audience supplier for TV shows. They work on well-known TV shows such as: Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, Graham Norton, Jonathan Ross and many more.

Register with SRO Audiences

Register to the SRO website by filling in their online form.

Once that’s done, you will have to wait (between a few minutes to a few weeks) to see which show you’ve been accepted for (they will send you a confirmation by email). The email will provide you with a lot of information about everything you need to know to enjoy your evening. Here’s the type of information you will receive:

  • Start and end times
  • Directions to the TV studio and meeting point at the TV studio
  • Dress code
  • Bar and refreshments
  • What time should people arrive? And what happens if you don’t get in?
  • Access, Security and ID
  • Toilets: don’t laugh, this is important matter because you can go (discreetly) to the toilet once the show has started but you might have to wait for a suitable break before being admitted back in (which means you might miss a chunk of the show). Not laughing anymore…
  • Mobile phone rules: actually that rule is simple. The mobile phones must be switched off. Really?! You’re asking why?…

On the day

You will be welcomed and taken care of by the SRO Audiences staff that will explain what you need to do and where you need to go. You will then take a seat. But, you won’t be just sitting and being bored. You will have a comedian who cracks up some jokes so you can be entertained before the beginning of the show.

Things will then start and you will… enjoy the show!

Once the show recording is over, everybody will go home with a smile on their face.

Catering

Depending on the show there might or might not be any catering services. Also, if there is one, you might have to pay for it. Yes life as an audience member can be tough sometimes.

Word of caution

Since you get to attend top notch TV shows for free, there are a few drawbacks worth mentioning.

You are there as free audience for the show and as such, there will be many more people like you in the queue. SRO need to ensure they supply enough people, so they usually recruit more than necessary. That means that people at the end of the queue stand a serious chance of not getting in. So you must ensure you get there at least 45min before the doors open.

Usually, all/most people in the queue get in. However, if you do not manage to secure a seat and are turned back, you get a compensation. SRO will issue you a Priority ticket for any show of your choice in the future. That means next time you attend, you will have to queue for a very short time and your seat is (almost surely) guaranteed!

Invisible Woman (2) copy
For the Invisible Woman we had to wear tight corsets. Everything had to be very realistic! I had two ladies tightening my corset and two more arranging the 5 layers of fabric that are underneath the dress. Going to the loo wasn’t easy!
Invisible woman poster
IMDB: Click on this poster

FANCY BEING IN A MOVIE SET?

If being part in a TV show doesn’t sound amazing enough and you would like to impress your mates or do something that sounds even greater, then you might want to take part in a movie or even a Hollywood Blockbuster!

Register with an agency

If you want to be an extra in a movie, first you will need to register with a specialised agency.

But be careful as there are many fake agencies out there so do your due diligence or stick to the following ones: The Casting Network, Ray Knight Casting, 2020 Casting, Universal Extras, The Casting Collective and Mad Dog Casting. One thing you need to know is that several agencies only open their books once a year (= you can sign up once a year). So make sure you know when you can register with them.

 

To sign up you need to provide the following:

  • a head photo of yourself: it has to be clear headshots on white/grey background (you MUST look natural as most productions are interested in natural looks)
  • a body photo: full body (fully clothed!!) on white/grey background
  • your body measurements
  • your availability: so they know when you can work

Tip: often you don’t need to have professional pictures to apply as these agencies are looking for natural looks.

Added bonus, some of these agencies will keep your details and may call you for video adverts as well.

If you are really lucky and have a specific (and needed) talent, you may be asked to travel abroad for filming (all expenses will be covered).

On the day:

  • Make sure you are there on time, not 1 minute late. This would not be good for your image, you might lose money and might not be contacted again for future jobs
  • Find your contact and make sure you collect a chit sheet (= salary voucher, this is not the same as a cheat sheet). This is proof of your attendance on that day. Keep it safe as at the end of the day, they will sign you out on the sheet and this will determine how much you will be paid
  • If you have worked more hours than required, you will get paid for overtime which is usually a generous fee (sometimes double the standard fee)
  • If you skip your lunch (due to unforeseen circumstances or rescheduling), you will be paid compensation
  • If you use public transport or your car, you might be able to expense that
  • There is a lot of wait so make sure you bring a book or your tablet or anything that can keep you entertained
Captain America The First Avenger poster
IMDB: Click on this poster
Captain America Sept. 2010 (2)
On set at Captain America The First Avenger. The day went calmly. We were mostly occupied by reading and eating. We filmed the scene where Chris Evans defeats Hitler on stage in London. I met so many interesting people there.

Plan ahead

If the filming takes place during the summer, make sure you bring some sun lotion with you. True it’s the UK and it rains too much but trust us you will burn and turn into a prawn if you’re not careful! Nobody is interested in a prawn on a movie set, they have props for that!

If the filming takes place during the winter, wear some thick legging and thermal wear as you might be asked to film in a nighty (this is not some twisted idea, this has happened to us!). And nobody is interested in a frozen stick that has turned purple on a movie set!

 

 

A few things to remember

You will meet a lot of nice people on set. It’s great fun so just relax and most importantly enjoy yourself!

Also, you might see/meet some celebrities too! It goes without saying that you should behave yourself professionally when you see those celebrities though. As tempting as this might be, do not ask for a selfie! You might not get it or in the unlikely event you do, you might end up with a grumpy celebrity face on your picture + you won’t be called again by the agency = not what you want!

Brighton rock
Brighton Rock: this British production was filming in December, in an old hospital with only 3 walls. And all I was given were a nightie, socks, thin shoes and a wig. That’s it! It was freezing, but it was fun. They treated us all like stars, putting something on us between the shots. We were also given hand warmers. This scene is in the last 7min of the movie, where Rose receives a record player and listens to her lover’s last message.
Brighton Rock poster
IMDB: Click on this poster

Catering

Extras are well taken care of. There will be breakfast, lunch and possibly afternoon tea and coffee. You get a great choice of tasty food.

On your way out

You will be exhausted but make sure you get the chit sheet signed otherwise you will not get paid.

Salary

You should receive your pay within the next 6 weeks so check your bank account.

 

 

 

We hope you will register to take part in a TV show or a movie.

It’s a great experience and we guarantee you will enjoy yourself and will remember it for years to come. Don’t just take our word for it. Even J.K. Rowling did some undercover work as an extra and loved it.

And hey!…..if by some kind of weird coincidence you become famous after participating in a show or movie, don’t forget London Undiscovered gave you those tips in the first place 🙂

 

Recent Comments

2 Comments

  1. Catherine Walsh Catherine Walsh

    This is so inspiring, thank you.

    • London Undiscovered London Undiscovered

      We are glad that you find it helpful, Catherine! 🙂

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