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On Set Etiquette for New Actors

If you are a beginner wondering how you should behave on set, MAX Agency has the tips for you!

 

MAX Agency is a successful model and talent management agency in Canada. MAX represents seasoned actors who have worked in the industry before while also taking on new talent. The development agents work with the new models and actors to ensure they are prepared when they start working. 

When our talent is faced with their first booking, we want to make sure they know what to expect and how to behave. That’s why this week we’re sharing the Basic On Set Etiquette for Actors!

 

Listen to the instructions given to you.

Before you attend a shoot, a list of instructions will be sent to you either from your agent or directly from a production contact. You will be told how to have your hair, makeup and what wardrobe to bring if necessary. Be sure to follow the instructions given to you to ensure no time is wasted once you get to set. If your makeup or hair need to be redone, it could effect the entire schedule for the rest of the shoot which is not a good thing.

Show up early.

Everyone is given a call time and you need to make sure you’re on set by that time or before. There are a lot of moving parts to a commercial, TV or film shoot and you being late could have negative implications for the entire day’s schedule.

Be prepared.

If you have a speaking role, memorize the script you are given before you show up to set. Knowing all of your lines and cues shows you are professional and ensures all of the scenes run smoothly. This will give you a good reputation and make more people want to work with you in the future!

Stay out of actor’s eye-lines.

This is to ensure you are not a distraction to the other performers. When you are not in the scene currently being shot, make sure to stay behind the monitor so you do not distract the other actors.

Be quiet and still when the camera’s rolling and it’s not your scene.

After you hear “action” and the cameras are rolling, you must be still and silent so you don’t disrupt the filming process. If the cameras are able to pick up the sound of you talking or moving around, the crew is not going to be happy with you for causing the retakes.

Confused about some of the acting terminology you hear? Check out this post!

Turn your cell phone off.

Another possible disruption issue could be unwelcome sounds from your cell phone. Make sure it is either turned off or on silent if you are using it during your down time.

Be polite and professional.

Once you nail the audition and book the project, that doesn’t mean you’re still not getting judged. You want to treat everyone with respect and be as courteous as possible to build a good reputation for yourself. People want to work with someone who has talent while also being a professional on set. At the end of the day, this is still a job and you could be replaced at any time.

Do not bring extra people to set.

Children, of course, are allowed to have a parent or guardian with them on set. However, if you are an adult you should not be bringing your family and friends.

Read more about the on set experience of MAX Agency’s actors and models!

Do not touch any equipment unauthorized.

This one is sort of a given, but as an actor you should not be touching any of the technical equipment you see on set such as cameras, lighting, electrical cords, etc. On a similar note, be wary of where you are stepping to ensure you don’t accidentally move or unplug anything.

Do not talk about money or payment.

Another aspect of staying professional is keeping your payment details to yourself. You could be making more than another actor or less and it’s best to avoid any drama surrounding this to ensure everyone has the best time possible on set. 

See what projects MAX talent have been booked on recently!

Be patient. 

There is most likely going to be a lot of waiting around for the crew members to do their jobs in between takes such as setting up the lighting, sound and playing back previous takes. As an actor, you will have to stay close by waiting for these things to be done before it’s time to act again. Take the time to mentally rehearse your next scene or bond with your costars.

If you do not understand a direction, ask for clarification.

It is better to ask the director a question than stay clueless and not know what to do in a scene. While you may be intimidated by someone like the director, it’s better to show that you care about your performance and want to fully understand your role.

 

Do not stop a take.

Unless you were physically hurt, do not make the decision to stop a take. Even if you feel like you made a mistake, keep doing the scene in case no one else noticed or they are still able to use the footage. It is only the director who should be deciding to cut a scene or not.

 

These are some of the most important things to remember for your first booking on a professional set, whether it’s for a smaller commercial project or larger film. If there’s anything else the new actors or models on our roster would like to learn about, let us know!

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