For any newbie actor, work as an actor's stand-in is an excellent way to get some acting experience under your belt while paying the bills. While the job may not be the best paid job on the market, it is still a great way to do what you love, and there is always the chance you could get a paid job.
Stand-ins are those who are hired to replace actors in different situations. Actors will usually only be on set when they are filming specific shots that require their presence, and the rest of the time stand-ins take the place for them. Stand-ins can either take the physical place of other actors, or they can feed lines to the other actors to help them perform their lines properly.
In order to be hired as a stand-in that replaces the actor in shots that don't require his presence, it is important that you look a lot like the actor. Some shots require a profile that is similar to the main actor, while some just require that you are of roughly the same height and build as the actor. A number of roles may require the proper hairstyle or hair color, or some roles require nothing at all from the stand in. In order to increase your chances of being hired as a stand-in, you should make yourself look as much like a particular actor as you can. If you resemble the actor for whom you want to be hired as a stand-in, your chances of being hired increase dramatically.
Sometimes the stand in actor will need to be a stunt or body double for the lead actor. A stunt double does the stunts in place of the lead actor, and the body double has a body part that resembles the same body part on the lead actor.
You should look in the classifieds section of your newspaper, or do an internet search to find the name of local talent agencies. Sometimes newspapers will feature ads for movies or TV shows being shot in your city, and you should contact the phone number featured in the advertisement.
You can also sign up with a local casting agency, which will inform you of any stand-in work that could be available. You will need to register with the agency, but it can be a good way to be informed of work.
If you are hired as a stand-in, it is of utmost importance that you do exactly as the director says. If you are easy to work with, you stand a better chance of being hired again in the future. If you can establish a rapport with the casting director, you may even be able to talk him into hiring you for a paying gig.
It may be tiring to be a stand-in, but it is a good start to a burgeoning acting career. It can also provide you with a number of networking opportunities that can help you find steady acting work.
For actors that make the pilgrimage to Los Angeles, getting a job as a stand-in can really take some of the pressure off to pay living expenses before booking steady acting work. It's a good idea to enroll in a top acting school in Hollywood, CA in order to connect with other like minded actors, and learn the business.