How to create a perfect self-tape audition at home

Hello there! I am Bianca, the Brand Manager at Extras Ireland and The Production People. During the last couple of months, we have received many requests from our clients for self-tape auditions from our Extras and Actors.

Therefore, we would like to give you all our best tips and tricks to create a great self-tape audition, even if you are at home. So, let’s begin!

Check what resources you have available

The first step you need to consider before starting your recordings is a prior evaluation of the place(s) where you would like to record yourself. This way you will identify if you need to make some changes in your layout, or get any additional gear, such as:

-Tripod: If you don’t have one, a stack of books would be helpful

-Camera: Either a professional camera, or your phone would work great

-Lighting: If you do not have any lighting gear, sit close and in front of a window or any other light source

-Audio: Choose a quiet room and shut down all devices that make any sounds. Do not forget about pets or children that could cause an interruption. After this, do some audio testing to identify if the microphone in your camera or phone is as good as you need it to be.

-Background: It is best to shoot your video with a background that is plain or at least is not cluttered. It would be ideal if you can self-tape yourself in-front of a plain wall.

Practice makes perfect

Read the character’s description and the scene(s) given to you with plenty of time. If you invest time in understanding the behaviour of your character and place yourself in the scene(s) context, you will have a better performance.

We strongly encourage you to memorise your lines, so you are not holding the scene papers in your hand when filming your audition. In addition, by memorising and nailing your lines, there will be a lot less useless footage for you to delete later.

Pro tip: If you have practice using a teleprompter you can definitely make use of it during your audition. Just make sure you do not get too distracted by trying to read the text correctly, so that does not affect your acting performance. Practice is important.

Do some trials

To get a better performance after doing some trials. Tape as many times and you need to re-watch your tapes to see what kind of movements look best, and if you are talking highly enough.

If you need to change anything around you, like putting a frame away, or getting closer to your source of lighting, etc. This is the moment to do so.

Pro tip: If possible, make sure that the clothing you are wearing might be similar to the clothing your character could be wearing during the film. For example, if you are auditioning for a soldier in WWII, try to wear something with an army pattern, or a green jumper/shirt. In every case avoid wearing jewelry that moves and makes noise.

Now… the big time has begun!

Once you have practiced and done some trials, it is time to film your self-tape. The first step for any kind of audition is to introduce yourself. You will typically get instructions about what information to give for your slate.

Pro tip: Introducing yourself in an audition or self-tape is called “slating” and the introduction is called a “slate”. If you’re asked to do a “tail slate” that means they want your slate at the end instead of the beginning. 

You can find the slate instructions in the email you received with all the audition details you must be aware of. Read them carefully so you will give all the information the casters/producers need to know from you.

In the case none specific instructions have been provided, you can state your name, your agency, nationality, and age. After that, you will need to mention which is the part you are auditioning for, and something specific to the role (i.e. if you speak Spanish) if needed. You can say something like this:

“Hi, my name is Bianca Vertiz and I’m represented by Extras Ireland. I am 28 years old and I come from Mexico City so I can speak Spanish fluently. I am auditioning for the role of Mariana Vergara”

Your slate is the first impression the casters/producers will have from you. So you should not slate in character. Just be yourself.

Sometimes, your slate instructions might mention Full Body or profiles. 

Profiles means they need you to turn to the left and to the right so they can see what you look like from the sides. Whereas Full Body means they want to see your whole body, jest as shown below: 

Pro tip: There are multiple ways you can go about getting your full body into the shot. Here are some techniques:

-Place your camera further away from you for the body shots.

-If somebody can help you, zoom in and out with your camera.-If somebody can help you, do some panning with the camera down and back up so you can still get all of you on camera, just not all at once. Note: some advise against this method because it’s less convenient for the viewer than seeing your whole body all at once. This should be your last resource.

After these shots, you can start filming your scene(s), just as you have practiced. If you need more tips about how to film your scenes, check our 5 tips for a great self-tape post.

Sending your tape

If possible, once you are happy with your tape, you can edit it by cutting off the extra footage that might not be necessary. Sometimes you can do this directly on your phone, or by using a very basic video editing software. There is no need to be tech savvy.

After that, make sure you saved your tape properly, and watch it completely before sending it to us/the casting agent to verify the complete scene(s) were taped.

You can either use services such as WeTransfer, share it via Drive or Dropbox, etc. In the case the producers asked you to send your tape on a specific platform, make sure to do so. If you send it using a different platform, your tape will not be viewed so all your effort would be wasted.

To Conclude…

I really hope these tips help you to create a perfect self-tape audition at home. Remember that we have other articles on the blog here for you to learn more about this industry – make sure you read them to give yourself the best possible opportunity for success.

If you have any other questions, please get in touch with us. We will be happy to assist you and get to know you!


If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 to see how we can collaborate with you.

How to work as an Extra if you are non-EEA

Hello there, my name is Bianca and I am the Brand Manager at The Production People and Extras Ireland. Coming from Mexico City, I faced all the different challenges that non-EEA migrants need to overcome to be able to live and work in this beautiful island. So believe me, I know exactly how you feel.

I am sure that all of us who decided to move to Ireland were at one point wondering the same question… “once I am there, how easy is it to get a job?!”

Well, in order to answer some of your questions and let you know how you can work in Ireland as an Extra, I gathered all the key information you need to be aware of before starting your new adventure. So let’s begin!

Ha’penny bridge, Dublin.

As non-EEA you will need to take an English course, or an advanced education course, to be eligible for a part-time working visa. Your visa will have different constraints depending on the course you are taking. Some visa types can be renewed more than others. 

Going through the visa process is always tricky, you have many questions that never seem to have an answer, but don’t worry, on the Irish Immigration Service website you will find all the information you need to apply for your visa. 

Once you have your IRP card (a.k.a visa), the next step is to get a PPS number. For any kind of job in Ireland where you are going to be paid via bank transfer (such as being an Extra), it is necessary to have a PPS number. This is your tax number, which you also need to avail of some healthcare services, so it is important to have it as soon as you get your visa sorted.

Ok, I have my visa and PPS… now what?

Well, now the time to look for a job has begun! As a non-EEA you are allowed to work part-time (this means 20 hours per week). There are some exceptions such as the Christmas season and the time-off you have from your school course, when you can legally work full-time.

For those periods, or for whenever you need to make a bit more extra money you should consider working as an Extra. The film and TV industries in Ireland have been growing during the last years, so there are many opportunities available. You can be an Extra in films, TV series, documentaries, ads, music videos, corporate videos and so much more!

The first step is to join an agency like us, Extras Ireland, where you will need to fill out a form with all your details such as: gender, nationality, body measurements, and other personal details, as well as if you have any additional skills such as playing an instrument, the languages you can speak, if you can talk in any accent, if you’re a pro in any sport etc.

The more specific you are about your abilities, the better! Sometimes we need an Extra that can talk with a Liverpool accent and knows how to drive a bus… so do not underestimate yourself.

At Extras Ireland we help you create your own CV and profile with all the information you have given us. We know what producers are looking for, so no worries you are in good hands!

Is there any other material I need apart from my CV?

Yes, as an Extra it is very important to have good pictures of yourself – they must be recent.

If you want to learn more about how to take and select the best pictures for your profile, check out our Top 5 Headshot Tips post.

In addition to this, if you have worked as an Actor, Model or Extra in your home country and you have a video reel available, do not hesitate in adding this to your profile. If a Director can see you in action you have a better chance of being hired! The more prepared you are the better.

If you have no previous experience, that is no problem at all. Many of our Extras started with no experience whatsoever and they have been hired on some wonderful projects! We all start at some point, don’t we?

Examples of the headshots you can submit

I created my profile and it looks great… When will I start working?

Well, there is no rule of thumb in how long it will take to book a job. It is all a matter of time and availability. Some of our Extras get work on the same week they registered, while it can take a bit longer for others. It all comes down to whether or not you fit the brief the Director is looking for. 

If your description is what we are searching for we will send you an Availability Enquiry with the role and fee. If you are available to work and you are interested in the job we will pass your details on to our client. This is not a job offer, we just want to see if you’re free and interested in the project. If the client wants to book you we will confirm via email. There it is! You are confirmed for your first project as an Extra.

At Extras Ireland we always aim to take care of you, so before the shoot we will send you all the details you need (call time, location and wardrobe guidelines). We are always here to answer any questions you may have!

As an additional feature, when you register with us, we will send you a leaflet with a general overview of set etiquette (the do’s and don’ts for Extras).  We will always have your back! 

To Conclude…

I really hope these tips help you to start your journey as an Extra in Ireland. Remember that we have other articles on the blog here for you to learn more about this industry – make sure you read them to give yourself the best possible opportunity for success.

If you have any other questions, please get in touch with us. We will be happy to assist you and get to know you!


If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 to see how we can collaborate with you.

7 Tips for a Top CV

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @ Extras Ireland
Connect with me on Linked in here.

If you are going to pursue a career in performance, it’s not enough to be a great performer. You also need to know how to present yourself well. In addition to wonderful headshots and some fabulous samples of your work, your CV is vital to show off what you have done and what you can do. I have seen and analysed hundreds and hundreds of CVs in my time and I know what casters are looking for. Here are 7 tips to make your CV stand out and to present yourself in the best possible way – I hope this helps you!

1 Presentation
In any industry, it’s important to present your CV as clean, clear, nicely formatted and spelled correctly. A performance CV is no different. Make sure it will look impressive when opened up by the caster and that it immediately gives off an air of professionalism. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve opened up CVs to find poor spelling, structure and lack of effort. I would highly recommend a website like Canva to construct your CV – it’s free to use (with a monthly fee for additional features) and you can access hundreds of CV / resume templates which you can use to make something really special for yourself. Keep it to one page and show off your career highlights – you don’t need to include your entire life history.

If you are sending a CV in document form, make sure you send it as a PDF to the caster. It’s the only way you can ensure that the person opening it up sees the same version of the file that you do. If you make it on Word for example and send it as a Word Doc, if the person on the other end doesn’t have Word on their device, it may not look the same as yours. If you’ve spent time making your CV look great, you want to be sure the caster is seeing the best version of it – so PDF is your safest bet. Also, be sure to label it nicely eg Aislinn Ni Uallachain Actor CV 2021 so it looks professional and whoever is saving doesn’t need to re-label it.

3 Links
If you are including links on your CV, for example a link to your website, IMDB, your showreel etc, make sure they are included at the top of your CV. Make sure they are on the document and not just in the body of your email because the caster may not save those. They will definitely save your CV somewhere but not necessarily links. Make sure the links are working and include them at the top of your CV. People don’t always have time to read all the way down to the bottom of your CV so if they are hidden away they may be lost. Put them up at the very top so the caster can’t miss them.

4 Headshot
Make sure you include your headshot at the top of your CV and not only as another attachment in your email. Again, attachments and links can get separated so you want the caster to have all your information in one place. Include everything on the document itself.

5 Training
After you include your personal information at the top, eg contact details, playing age, height, location etc, list any training you have completed. Training can be really impressive to a caster to spot your dedication and aptitude for learning more about your craft. If you are just starting out and don’t have many credits to your name, training you’ve had can override that. As well as the name of the course and the organisation that led it, you can also mention the names of teachers and skills that you developed eg improvisation, character analysis etc. Also include any awards you may have won!

6 Credits
In most industries, you would list your past experience chronologically so that employers can see where else you worked, when and for how long. They will be looking for your level of loyalty to an employer and gaps in your career. That is not the case in a performance CV. The caster will just want to see what you worked on, what your role was and who the production company / director was. Honestly, they don’t particularly care when it was so you have the luxury of listing your credits in order of impressiveness – you don’t need to list them chronologically. My advice is to put your most impressive credits at the top and work your way down. For example, if I was still acting, this is how I would lay out my credits:

Screen Credits
An Klondike | TV Series | Lilly Lamore | Abú Media / TG4 | Dir Dathaí Keane
Raw | TV Series | Helen | Octagon Pictures / RTÉ | Dir Simon Massey
1968 | TV Doc | Spirit of 1968 | RTÉ | Dir Michael Mc Cormack
Passion in the Pale | TV Doc | Mary Magdalene | RTÉ | Dir Patrick Butler
Camelot | TV Series | Stand-in for Claire Forlani | RT Productions / Starz | Dir Various

etc etc.

You can list them or put them in a grid, whichever you prefer. You can also divide your credits up into Screen / Stage / Commercial etc – however you think they best show you off. The important thing is that you give the caster your highlights. You don’t need to list every little thing you’ve ever worked on – just give them the best!

7 Skills
Finally, be sure to include your skills (and your level of competence) eg Singing (Advanced Soprano), Guitar (Beginner), Italian (Native, Fluent), etc. As well as skills that are related to performance such as singing, dancing, driving, language etc, have a think about other skills you have that make you special. Are you good with animals? Have you worked in a bar? Can you solve a Rubik’s Cube really quickly? Add in any skills that you have including other jobs that you have done such as nurse, retail, teaching, admin – you just never know what someone might be looking for.

To Conclude…
I really hope these tips help you to make an amazing CV for yourself. It’s vital to know how to present yourself and how to show yourself off. Don’t hide your light under a bushel and be proud of your achievements. There are other articles on the blog here for you such as 5 Tips for a Great Self Tape and Top 5 Headshot Tips – make sure you read them and give yourself the best possible opportunity for success!

If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help.
Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

5 Unique Projects We’ve Worked On

By Alexia Macari-Skelly
Casting Co-Ordinator @ Extras Ireland
Connect with me on Linked In here.

The best thing about working at Extras Ireland is that no job is ever the same. We’ve worked on everything from TV to Film, Commercials and Events. Every job we work on is unique, but some definitely stand out among the crowd! Here are 5 of the most unique jobs we have assisted on, and if you need help with yours, simply get in touch.

Voice Recognition
This year we were fortunate enough to collaborate on a Voice Recognition project and some of our talented Voiceover Artists took part in guided voice recordings. The purpose of this project was to collect voice data in order to assist with developing speech recognition technology. This is something that our members wouldn’t have done before and they were super excited to get stuck in. They did a great job!

Zoom Santa
It’s safe to say that COVID put a lot of things on hold last year, but it could never stop Santa! We had the exciting job of sourcing the busy man himself for various Zoom meet and greets with all the wonderful boys and girls. Although it may not have been the same as meeting in person, you could definitely feel the magic through the screen!

Medical Shoot
Another interesting project we collaborated on was various instructional videos for patients attending hospital appointments. We had a few of our fabulous Actors portray the new COVID procedures that would be in place and what the patients would expect upon arrival to their appointment. It was really rewarding for us and our members to be able to assist on this one!

Food Campaign
A really fun job that we worked on recently was a commercial for a food company. Some of our Extras were required to have various vegetables thrown (gently!) at different parts of their body. The campaign was to promote plant based products. A really interesting one and the Extras had an absolute blast! Would you be brave enough?

Automobile Study
We have a large database of people – over 3000! We generally place performers in acting or modelling based projects but because we have such a large pool of people on our books, clients will reach out to us for alternative projects such as an automobile study we are currently working on. Our Members will be required to drive a simulated vehicle testing drowsiness while driving. Their talents are endless!

So, although every project we work on is an interesting one, these are just a small bunch of some of the most recent and unique projects we have collaborated on. Never a dull moment at Extras Ireland!

If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help.
Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

Looking for Talent? 10 FAQs

Extras Ireland was founded in 2014 as a sister company to the award-winning The Production People. Over the last seven years, we have gone from strength to strength to source Ireland’s finest talent for creative and commercial projects all over the country. If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next shoot, do get in touch – we’d love to help! Here are some Frequently Asked Questions to guide you and if you have any other questions for us, please don’t hesitate to ask.

?️ Do you only source Extras?
We source Extras, Actors and Models. When we were founded in 2014, we were strictly an Extras agency. Since then, we have expanded to include a wide range of professional Actors and Models on our books.

?️ How many members do you have?
At the moment, we have over 3,500 members registered with us.

?️ Do you have a diverse range of talent available?
Absolutely – we have members of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, levels of ability and experience.

?️ What kinds of projects do you work on?
We have worked on feature films, shorts films, TV programmes, commercials, print campaigns, voiceovers and live events. If you are in need of performance talent, we’ll always try our best to help you. Click here to see some of the projects we have worked on.

?️ Do you have Irish speakers on your books?
Cinnte! Yes, plenty of our Extras, Actors and Models are Irish speakers.

?️ Do you have children on your books?
Yes, we are open to all ages and have newborn babies, toddlers, children and teens on our books.

?️ How much does it cost to use your service?
It is free for you to use our service – we will source and screen talent for you. You won’t need to pay a penny unless you make a booking with us.

?️ Do I liaise with Talent myself?
At the moment, we provide full agency service and we always act as the matchmaker between production and talent. We pride ourselves on knowing our talent so we can match them to the right work. When you let us know who you are looking for for your project, we will search our database for the best possible options. We will check their availability and send you options of suitable and available talent so that you can choose your favorites. We’ll act as your go-between up until the shoot day to ensure everything goes smoothly for you. You can find more about our team here.

?️ How much does it cost to hire an Extra, Actor or Model?
This will depend on the nature of the project, how the material will be used and where, how much performance is required from talent and how long the footage will be made available for. If you let us know a little bit about your project, we can provide you with a quote. We’ll always try our best to work within your budget.

?️ How do we pay the Talent?
Simple! After the shoot, our team will follow up with you to find out how it all went and how happy you were with our service and the talent provided. We will then invoice you for the talent fees and pay them directly ourselves through our company payroll. 


If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

Auditions: A Practical Guide

During a recent spring clean, I stumbled across my copy of ‘Auditions: A Practical Guide’ by Casting Director Richard Evans ( I bought this in 2009 when I was embarking on my acting career and it taught me a lot about auditioning. If you can find it online, I’d recommend giving it a read and in the meantime, here are ten tips that I’d love to share with you. I hope they will help you on your own acting journey!

1 “It will greatly help to make auditions just a normal part of life – like cleaning the fridge or walking the dog – rather than the be-all and end-all of your week.”

2 “Be aware of your weaker points, noting areas that need improvement and work on putting these improvements into practice for future occasions.”

3 “The director often doesn’t know what they want until that person walks through the door.”

4 “Creatives are human too and have good and bad days. Some days they are easy to please, others incredibly difficult.”

5 “Whatever you do, don’t make excuses about your lack of preparation or the shortness of time that you have had the information.”

6 “If someone else is reading with you, always respond and react to what they are saying – this is one of the great secrets of acting, yet one that many actors, even those with years of experience sometimes forget in the heat of a casting – your reactions may often be more important than the lines you actually say.”

7 “Wearing the same outfit if you are recalled will help to remind the panel of you, so make sure it is clean and well-pressed after your first audition, just in case.”

8 “However you think things have gone, always keep positive throughout the audition and after you have left the room, as there is no point in letting people know that you feel you’ve done badly.”

9 “Whether you got the job or not, it is a nice idea to send whoever got you in for the audition a card to thank them for seeing you.”

10 “So be patient, never give up hope or stop believing that whatever you want will happen and it will, when the time is right.”


If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

IWD: 10 Inspiring Female Performances

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

Today is International Women’s Day and I’ve been thinking about TV and Film performances that have inspired me over the years as both a creative and a human being. I could go on and on but here are just ten of them.

What performances by women have inspired you?

1. Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan
(Annie, 1982)

I’ve been a lover of musicals since I was tiny and one of my absolute favourites growing up was Annie. I remember we had to record it off the telly onto video tapes numerous times as I kept wearing the tapes out from overuse! You might think that as a little girl, the character of Annie was the draw for me but it was always Miss Hannigan who affected me the most. I thought she was fascinating. Carol Burnett is just amazing in it – funny, sad, terrifying, nasty and pitiful in equal measures. I’ve always loved this performance as an example of playing a realistic ‘baddie’. As she says in this interview here, baddies don’t think they’re bad – it’s everyone else that’s the problem. Great advice!

2. Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark
(American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson, 2016)

As soon as I started watching this series a couple of years ago, I was immediately blown away by Sarah Paulson. Her portrayal of District Attorney Marcia Clark during the OJ Simpson trial is one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on screen, hands down. Outwardly having to appear strong and unshakable in the courtroom while on the inside battling with a divorce, raising her two boys and unwanted media attention, she is an inspiration, as is the real Marcia Clark. Something I love in an actor’s performance is trying to hide their true feelings from those around them and Sarah Paulson is a master.

3. Jennifer Hudson as Effie White
(Dreamgirls, 2006)

Being a musical lover, I don’t know how this one slipped through the net for me as I only watched it recently for the first time. Oh my goodness, what a genuine, moving performance from Jennifer Hudson – I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days afterwards. Watch the below – it speaks for itself. No wonder she won an Oscar for it.

4. Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane
(Lois & Clark – the New Adventures of Superman, 1993-1997)

Lois and Clark was a staple in our house growing up – in fact I recently found a diary from when I was about 12 years old and I had written that it was my favourite thing! I loved (and still love) Teri Hatcher in this. I’m always impressed by seeing a woman portrayed as both professional and feminine and she is magnificent in this. Re-watching it has actually been a huge source of nostalgia and comfort to me over the last year or so during the pandemic. Funny, sweet, hopeful. Love it.

5. Ali Wong as Sasha Tran
(Always Be My Maybe, 2019)

I’m a sucker for a rom-com and one of the funniest I’ve seen of late is Always Be My Maybe. Ali Wong co-wrote and stars in this and she is just hilarious. A tale of two people who drift apart and find their way back to one another, it’s a lovely one to put on for a cosy night in. I love her complicated portrayal of Sasha – smart, ambitious, kind, emotional – very rounded and realistic.

6. Francesca Martinez as Francesca
(Extras, 2005)

Watch this Ted Talk by Francesca – she’s truly inspiring. I first came across her in Extras back in 2005 and thought she was brilliant as the hopeful, cheery sister of Ricky Gervais’ love interest. Francesca has Cerebral Palsy and maintains that it’s the secret source of all her comedy power – I loved her in Extras and her talk here on happiness and creativity is excellent.

7. Anjelica Huston as The Grand High Witch
(The Witches, 1990)

This is another one I re-watched over lockdown and Anjelica Huston is mesmerising in it. I love her poise as the Grand High Witch – she’s so classy and composed one minute and dramatic and horrifying the next. That’s always something extremely impressive to me, when an actor can go from one extreme to the other with all the nuances in between. She’s fantastic.

8. Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor
(The Office, 2005-2013)

I first came to love Mindy Kaling as Kelly on the US series of The Office – anytime she’s onscreen I’m immediately drawn to her. Also a writer on the series, she is uniquely talented and charismatic and was a huge inspiration to me when I was an actor myself. Never afraid to look silly or make a fool of herself, I realised that is the key to comedy – you can’t be too self-aware or take yourself too seriously. If you do, it will get in the way.

9. Maureen O’ Hara as Rose Muldoon
(Only the Lonely, 1991)

Only the Lonely is lovely film starring three legends – John Candy, Ally Sheedy and the late Maureen O’ Hara. I’ve always been a fan of Maureen – The Parent Trap from 1961 is another favourite – and I remember watching this with my own mother years ago on a lazy Sunday. Maureen plays the controlling mother of John Candy and finds it hard to deal with his budding relationship. Terrified of being left alone when he’s all she has, she acts out and tries to ruin his chances. A wonderful insight into motherhood, being human and the challenge of letting go of someone you love. It’s always stuck with me.

10. Dianne Wiest as Peg Boggs
(Edward Scissorhands, 1990)

I’ve never seen Dianne Wiest be bad in anything. Footloose, Hannah and her Sisters, Parenthood, The Birdcage… she’s always fantastic. I always forget that she’s acting, she’s just that good. The first time I saw her was in Edward Scissorhands and I thought she was phenomenal. I love this scene here where she meets Edward for the first time – her transitions from curiosity to fear to worry to care are beautiful. She always brings her characters and the audience on such a journey and that is a real gift I think.

If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

Extras Ireland Talent : 13 FAQs

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

I’ve been working at Extras Ireland for the past two and a half years (how time flies!) and in that time, I’ve realised that people tend to ask a lot of the same questions when signing up with us as a member. Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions and my answers to them – I hope they help you! We’d love to have you on our team of talent so after reading, click here to register – it’s absolutely free to sign up with us. We can’t wait to connect with you!

1. What kinds of projects do you work on?
Over the last seven years, just some of the projects we have sourced talent for include…
Films such as Transformers 5, The Green Knight & The Last Duel
TV Shows e.g. Into the Badlands, Fair City & Republic of Telly
Commercials for brands such as Super Valu, Ford & Sky Sports
Music Videos for artists like Westlife, Keen V & Fangclub

2. I’ve never done any performance work before – can I sign up?
Definitely – everyone has to start somewhere! We are open to members of any age, gender, ethnicity, size, look, level of ability and experience. So long as you are resident in Ireland and legally entitled to work, you are very welcome.

3. Are all your jobs Dublin based?
Most of the requests we receive are for projects shooting in Dublin and the surrounding areas, but shoots take place all over Ireland.

4. I’m based in Northern Ireland – can I sign up?
Yes. The only difference is that as you don’t possess a PPS number we’ll ask you to invoice us after a job instead of us paying you via payroll.

5. I only want to be put forward for Acting / Modelling Work. Is this possible?
Yes – Extras Ireland very much started out as an Extras Agency in 2014 but has grown since then and we have a diverse group of Actors and Models on our books. In order to be considered for acting / modelling work with us, you must have training / experience. We’ll ask you to submit your CV, headshots, showreel etc to show that you are capable of and experienced in acting / modelling work.

6. Will my information be put up on the internet?
No, your personal information will be kept by us here at Extras Ireland. We communicate exclusively internally with production companies. We do not have a database that is searchable online.

7. How much work will I get?
It’s impossible to predict how much work anyone who signs up with us will be booked for. It depends on what the client is looking for, your suitability for their project and your availability. We cannot guarantee that you will secure work with us but we will always put you forward for jobs you are suitable for.

8. How much notice will I get about a job?
This depends on the job. Sometimes you might know a week in advance but if it’s urgent we may be asking if you’re free immediately!

9. If I receive an availability check and say I’m free, does that mean I will be booked?
An availability check is just that – we are checking to see if you would be available for a specific job. It is not an offer of work. If you respond to us saying that you are available, this does not guarantee that you will be chosen. The final decision will always be made by the production company.

10. If I’m not available will this go against me in the future?
No, definitely not. We are always looking for the right people for each project so we will certainly suggest you for other jobs that you are suitable for. You are not obliged to accept work that we offer you if you are not available.

11. How long are days on set?
Depending on the job, you might be on set for 30 minutes or for a very long day of upwards of 10 hours.

12. How much will I make and how will I be paid?
This really depends on the job and how long you are out working for. Fees can vary from €50 for a couple of hours’ work to several thousands of euro for working on a commercial. After you complete the job, we will be in touch to see how it went and to organise your payment. All of our payments go through Revenue so you must have a PPS number to work with us. If based in Northern Ireland we’ll ask you to invoice us instead. We will transfer your fee directly into your bank account, usually approximately 6 weeks from the date you worked. You must have a bank account, we will never pay by cash.

13. I’m not a performer but I would love to get some work on set. Do you also provide Production Staff and Crew behind the camera?

That’s the specialty of our award-winning sister company The Production People. Visit their website at to find out more.

If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

I’m a huge fan of the TV series ‘The Office’ – both the original British version and the subsequent American remake. One of the reasons the American version became so popular (unusually so for a remake) is the talent and charm of the Actors in the cast. Jenna Fischer who plays Pam Beesly is one half of the heart of the show in her will-they-won’t-they relationship with Jim Halpert, played by John Krasinski. A really talented performer and, as I have found in her book ‘The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide’, incredibly generous with advice for both upcoming and experienced Actors.

I read her book during Ireland’s first round of Covid restrictions back in March and thought it was excellent – I wish I’d had this when I was acting! Lots of positivity and encouragement of course but also very careful to reflect the hard and challenging life of being an artist.

I did a poll on our Instagram recently (follow us here) and only 6% of people have read it. I’d highly recommend reading the whole thing (I downloaded my copy to Kindle from Amazon) but in the meantime here are 25 insights and tips that I hope you find useful!

1 Why?
“Why did I want to be an actor? At the time, I never gave it a second thought. But this is an important question, one that I think every actor should ask themselves.”

2 Lucky
“Without a little luck on your side, you can be the most talented actor in the world and not achieve success. That’s the hard truth about this profession.”

3 Self-Starter
“Being able to generate work for yourself is an essential part of the process of becoming a working actor.”

4 Practice
“Before you embark on the business end of becoming an actor – that world of headshots and agents – you need to get good.”

5 Networking
“Most actors and artists are natural hermits. We hate talking to people. We are weirdly antisocial. But you’ve got to fight the urge to spend all day alone. Get off your computer and get into a class. Volunteer as a theatre usher. Be a production assistant on someone’s short film.”

6 Support
“Create a family of weird, creative, supportive people. Sustaining work as an actor starts with the relationships you make with other artists. Everyone starts somewhere. Every big-name actor was an unknown at one point in his or her career.”

7 Employment
“You should pick a day job you can quit with no consequences. I don’t recommend working for a family member or friend unless you are willing to piss them off when you skip your shift, or miss a deadline at the last minute because you booked an acting gig.”

8 Inspiration
“If you have an annoying co-worker who’s incessantly talking about himself, turn him into a character for your improv class. If you have a painfully long daily commute, use it to practice accents or to listen to podcasts by artists you admire.”

9 Sales
“If acting is the business, you are the product, and your headshot is the packaging.”

10 Headshots
“Ask friends, relatives, your agent or even people who don’t know you very well what adjectives they would use to describe their first impression of you. Try to get a headshot that matches those adjectives.”

11 Irony
“Recently, an acting student told me that she goes on commercial auditions all the time that asks for a ‘Jenna Fischer type’. Ironic, right? When Jenna Fischer was auditioning for commercials, no one was interested.”

12 Commercials
“The actor’s job in a commercial is to be a supporting player for the real star of the spot… the product. Just act naturally and don’t put on a big show. Be there for the product. And be real. Real, real, real. That’s the mantra of commercials.”

13 Unique
“Don’t get discouraged. Everyone has a different story, a different path.”

14 Experience
“Get out there and start getting any work you can. That’s exactly what I did. The more I worked, the better I became.”

15 Success
“For me, what made the struggle even harder was the fact that my friends and family back home couldn’t understand what was taking so long. They couldn’t see the value of these small milestones. They just wanted to know when I would be on TV. Because that’s what translated as success to them.”

16 Visibility
“The very best way to advance your career is to be seen. Nobody will see you in your kitchen, except your creepy neighbour! Student films, short films, showcases, improv shows, web series, standup, YouTube videos, play readings, street performing – you never know where they’re going to lead. The more work you do, the more people see you, the more likely the right people are to find you.”

17 Proactive
“I wasn’t waiting for things to happen to me; I was out there making them happen.”

18 Monologues
“Pick material that is appropriate to how you would most likely be cast. You will have plenty of chances to show your range down the line.”

19 Improvising
“Know you can perform on your feet, as it’s common to be handed new material at a casting session or even after you’ve gotten the job on set. You can be the greatest actor in the world but if you can’t do an effective cold read, you’ll be stuck acting in your living room.”

20 Kindness
“Little did I know that bad auditions are a part of the process. If you totally bomb at an audition, try to be kind to yourself. It’s normal. Just another part of the life of an actor.”

21 Face
“Keep in mind that the casting director needs to see your face while you’re acting, You don’t want to be looking down at the sides; you want your face up and out, especially when you first begin. I recommend memorizing the first three lines of your script and identifying your character’s important emotional moments in the scene.”

22 Questions
“When I first started out, I was afraid to ask questions. I was worried it would make me look like I didn’t know what I was doing. But the truth is that questions that help inform your performance are not only acceptable, they are necessary. My success at auditions improved when I got over my fear of asking questions.”

23 Auditions
“Every audition is a chance to learn, practice and grow as an actor. The success is not always in getting the part but in the seed that is planted. So, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get all the parts. Just make sure you are learning, growing and doing your very best. That’s all you can really control.”

24 Patience
“You might wait one hour; you might wait five hours; you might wait ten. When I was working on the film Blades of Glory, there was a day I waited in my trailer for twelve hours, only to be sent home because they never got to my scene. I just sat there, all dolled up in my full hair, makeup, and wardrobe, waiting.”

25 Professional
“Imagine you’ve got a clogged toilet and you call a plumber to fix the problem. There is nothing more annoying than a plumber who arrives late, chats your ear off, slows you down and tries to sell you a new bathtub. Don’t be the actor version of that annoying plumber. Show up on time and prepared. Just fix the toilet. Everyone will love you if you just show up and fix the toilet.”

If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

5 Tips for Your First Time on Set

By Alexia Macari-Skelly
Casting Assistant @

At Extras Ireland, we’re delighted to work with Extras, Actors and Models of all levels of experience – from those just starting out in the industry to seasoned pros. For those starting out, I know your first time on set can be both exciting and nerve-wracking! Talent often ask questions about what it’s going to be like and what they should expect. Although every experience is different depending on the project, there are a lot of commonalities. These are just some of the questions I’m often asked here at Extras Ireland and the answers to them – I hope they help you!

What will happen when I arrive on set?
Before going out on set we’ll provide you with a POC or Point of Contact – they will meet you and look after you for the day. You’ll be checked for wardrobe and make-up and the Director will explain to you what you are required to do before the filming starts. Then away you go!

What do I wear?
Wardrobe will always be discussed prior to you going out on set. Sometimes production will provide wardrobe for you and sometimes they’ll ask you to bring your own clothes. If asked to bring your own, production will always specify what they’d like you to wear. It might be very specific eg. black trousers, white t-shirt or it could be more general such as ‘Day wear’ or ‘Formal wear’ or ‘Dressy-casual’. Do your best to match the description and bring some options to choose from. If you’re unsure of what you need to bring, never be afraid to ask. General advice would be to stay away from bold patterns and colours and brands / logos.

How do I make a good impression?
Lots of people ask about decorum. It can be intimidating being on set for the first time, especially on the bigger productions with a large cast and crew. One thing is to always be on time – 15 minutes early is ideal – and don’t forget to put your phone on silent. You always want to make a good impression and the best way to do that is to treat it like any other work. Respect staff, always be open to direction, if you are unsure of something, ask (not while rolling of course) and just do your best. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake – it’s all part of learning.

What will happen afterwards?
After filming, myself or Aislinn will be in touch to see how you got on and to arrange payment for you. We always follow up with production to see how you got on as well so we can give you some lovely feedback! Depending on the project, a couple of weeks post-shoot we might start to see the finished work emerging online or on TV which is always very exciting.

Anything else I should remember?
The most important thing is to go out and enjoy yourself – not everyone gets the chance to work on a set so make the most of it. However big or small your role is, you play an important part in the project, otherwise production wouldn’t have booked you. So be proud of your work as experience is priceless.

If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

5 Tips for a Great Self-Tape

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

A necessary part of being a Performer is auditioning. Love it or hate it, it’s really the only way for a Production to find their ideal Cast unless they already have a name in mind. As an Actor myself for over 10 years, it’s one of the areas that Performers often ask for advice on, whether they’re new to the business or a seasoned pro. Over the past few years (and the last few months in particular), the world of auditions has been steadily changing. More and more Productions and Casting Directors are opting for self-tapes from Actors rather than meeting them in the room. Either they’ll cast purely based on those tapes or will select their favourites for a second round, either in-person or virtually. Based on my own experience as both an Actor and Head of Casting at Extras Ireland, here are some of my tips to make your self-tape great.

1. READ READ READ the instructions. Then read them again.

The biggest piece of advice I have for self-tapes is to read all the instructions you’re given carefully. I can’t stress that enough. I know that when you get a request for a self-tape, especially if it’s a tight deadline, you want to tape as quickly as possible to get it over to your Agent or to the Casting Director in time. Whoever is sending you the instructions will give you all the information they can, telling you what to film, how to film it and how to send your video. However, many times I’ve seen people perform an incorrect part of the script, read in an incorrect accent or ignore an important directorial note – all due to not reading the instructions carefully enough. Make sure you’re not falling at the very first hurdle before you even film anything.

2. No Script in Hand.

If you’re filming a self-taped audition, even if the deadline is tight, you must know the script off by heart. Firstly, it’s very difficult for you to play a role convincingly if you have a script in your hand – it’s always going to hinder the performance. Secondly, acting for screen is all about the eyes so we need to see them – these are what you need to master in order to succeed. If you’re constantly looking down at your piece of paper, eye contact is broken and the reality of your character and the scene is spoiled for whoever is watching you. Learning lines quickly is a central part of being an Actor and if it’s something you find difficult, you’ll need to practice to get better at it. Prep is so important so make the most of the time you have.

3. Pay Attention to Transitions.

As an audience member, for me there’s nothing more satisfying than watching a character transform before my very eyes. For example, I recently re-watched Superman (1978) starring the wonderful Christopher Reeve. Despite the incredible special effects and storytelling in general, my absolute favourite part of the entire film is a moment towards the end (SPOILER ALERT!) where Superman has managed to save the day and is looking understandably proud of himself for saving millions of lives. Suddenly, the look across his face when he realises he’s forgotten to save Lois Lane is just magical. Crushing. Goosebumps. When preparing a script for a self-tape, pay close attention to moments of transition where you can make the audience feel like that and bring them on a ride.

4. Treat it as a Proper Performance.

If you’re doing a self-tape, it’s important not to play it as if it’s an audition. Imagine that this is the actual shoot and you have the part already. Show off what you can do and be confident in the choices you make when performing. Based on the script, make clear and strong choices about who this character is, where they are, what their history is, what their relationship is to the other character(s) in the scene etc. Not always easy when you’re only receiving a short section of the script but you need to think about these things to make the scene feel real. That is your job – to make the audience feel that this is really happening. The best Actors are the ones who can make any scene feel real, whether it’s shot in Hollywood on a soundstage or in a kitchen on a mobile phone.

5. Take, Take, Take.

Again, often when you’re given instructions for a self-tape, your inclination may be to get it filmed and sent off as quick as you can. You might do a couple of rehearsals and then get a take where you say all the lines perfectly. For a lot of Actors, this first take that they’re happy with is what they will send. But it’s not just about saying lines correctly. My advice is, once you get to a take that you think is good, do another couple of takes. Don’t just settle for the first good one that you do. Keep going because you may end up doing much better takes once you know you have one in the bag. Once you know you have a good take, a little bit of the pressure is off – and that’s often when performers do their very best work. Don’t just settle for second best.

So there we have it, just a few pointers on self-tapes based on my own experience of both filming and watching them. They are absolutely here to stay so if you want to act, you need to become skilled at doing them. Don’t just wait until you have to submit one for a role – always be practicing and getting better at doing them. Pick a scene from a TV show or film that you love and whip that camera out!


If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

Top 5 Headshot Tips

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

Entertainment is a tricky industry where your look is sometimes as important as (or more important than) your talent or ability. If a production company is casting a project, they’ll usually have a very clear vision in their mind of how they want the overall piece to look, including the Talent. If you’re a performer, your headshot is the first thing a caster will look at and if they like the look of you, then they’ll look further into your CV, credits, skills, showreels etc. Your headshot is what will get their attention right off the bat so it needs to be great! At Extras Ireland, I’m sent headshots every day from performers and I have some tips here to help you based on what I see.

1. Show Your True Colours.

Always make sure your headshot is in colour! Black & white is deemed extremely old-fashioned and is now pretty much obsolete in the industry. You don’t want to come across as though you don’t know what the current industry norm is. Yes, we all look glamorous in black & white but the point of your headshot isn’t to look glamorous or artsy. It’s to present yourself as YOU. As a real, living, breathing person. We want to see the colour of your hair, eyes, skin etc to get a real sense of who you are. If you have a portfolio, absolutely include it in there but it shouldn’t be your main headshot on your CV or your online profile, the first thing that people see. Make it easy for whoever is casting to get a sense of the real you.

2. It’s All in the Eyes.

What do all of these people have in common? They’re hiding their EYES. As they say, the eyes are the windows to the soul – they’re also your ticket to getting cast. As humans, eyes are mostly what we use to connect. I’m often sent headshots of people wearing shades, turned away from the camera or with their eyes closed. You might think this makes you look artistic but again, we need to see the real you. If you have a portfolio of shots, include them but it should never be your main headshot that people will see first. Make it easy for others to connect with you. If you’re someone with a visual impairment, we’d still love to see your eyes! If you wear dark glasses, always send some shots of you wearing those too. 

3. Be Yourself.

Make sure your headshot always reflects the CURRENT you, not a previous version. Don’t be ashamed of looking different or older than you used to and embrace the way you look now. Be honest with casting teams about how you look because they want to know YOU, not you from fifteen years ago. You from fifteen years ago doesn’t exist anymore. Also, in light of the tip about black and white, you can see that fifteen years ago it was the norm. Not anymore – always use colour.

4. Why So Serious?

Performers are sometimes so eager to come across as professional, ambitious and serious about their work that their Headshots end up looking angry and aggressive. If you were casting a project, who would you rather have on your set? Remember that your Headshot should reflect who you really are and encourage people to want to work with you. Don’t give them a reason to be put off.

5. Ask for Advice

Finally, it can be hard to choose your Headshot yourself – you might like how you look in a photo but it’s not necessarily the best reflection of who you are as a person or an artist. Your main Headshot (the one that Casters will see first) should represent YOU, not the characters you intend to play. If you have a portfolio, include the others there to show potential character interpretations. Ask for advice from someone who KNOWS you. They’ll be able to tell you which one represents the real you. This is the one that should always be at the top of your CV and the profile pic for any of your online profiles.

If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

5 Reasons I Love Working in Casting

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

Over the last few uncertain and challenging weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why I do what I do. As an Actor myself for years, I worked in various side jobs because they allowed me to support myself while still having the opportunity to attend auditions, rehearsals and shoots. Three years ago, I felt an overwhelming urge to step away from Acting into another area of the industry – Casting. I’d produced and directed projects in the past and it was always my favourite part of the process. Luckily for me, this led to a fantastic year with Ali Coffey Casting and two years in my current position as Head of Casting at Extras Ireland. Though it was a difficult decision to make, it’s one of the best I’ve ever made. Here are just 5 of the reasons why…

Been There, Done That
Having been an Actor myself for years and experiencing all the ups and downs of that both in terms of finance and self-esteem, I really do genuinely care about Extras, Actors and Models. I respect their ability to put themselves out there to be judged on the way they look, the way they talk, the way they walk, the way they behave – such personal things. I’m well aware from working with other agencies myself that you’re sometimes just treated as a number and not necessarily as a person, often very much pushed aside and kept in the dark about what’s going on. I want to be someone who is honest and open with Extras, Actors and Models so that they feel valued and respected. If you’re in need of some pearls of wisdom about being an Actor from my own experience, read my General Advice for Actors post – I hope it helps.

A Split Personality
My brain very much functions in two ways – very organised and logical on one side (loving a good spreadsheet!) and creative and thoughtful on the other. I feel like this kind of work caters to both sides of my brain and that my need for stability/routine is fulfilled as well as the chance to be creative, experimental and spontaneous. I don’t think I’ve experienced that in any other work I’ve done so I appreciate that hugely. Every project is a new adventure!

Making a Masterpiece
I know myself from experience that Casting can make or break a project and it’s a pity when it’s broken due to off Casting. One miscast performer can bring a whole production down even when everything else is absolutely perfect. I want to help people to make the best piece of art possible and to feel like I’ve had a part in bringing the whole thing together for them. I want to work with creative people and help to create wonderful things. Knowing that you’re a part of the Irish TV, Film and Commercial landscape is very special.

Job Satisfaction
I’ve had a LOT of jobs – admin, ushering, teaching, promotions, tourism … the list is endless! I’m an incredibly hard worker – it’s in my blood! So much so that I’ve sometimes felt unappreciated considering how much work I do on my own time and off my own bat. Not so with Extras Ireland – I feel very much appreciated by Colleagues, Clients and Talent. That’s a massive motivation for me so thank you! Also, I probably have a healthy work/life balance for the first time in my life – I spent my twenties absolutely working my fingers to the bone. While I still want to work hard, I want a life too.

Keeping it Positive
The thing that I like the most about the work I do is that essentially you’re doing a good thing and you’re making people happy – that gives me huge satisfaction. For Performers, they’re so delighted when you tell them they got a role – it’s not just about getting a job; you’re dealing with people’s hopes and dreams and that’s a very delicate thing. The best feeling in the world. And for Clients, I just love when I send over suggestions of people for their project and they come back with a response saying that the options are amazing. It makes me really happy to know that I’ve helped them find the right person and made their job that bit easier.

So there we have it – just 5 of the reasons I love working in Casting. Of course, it’s incredibly hard work and can be stressful at times trying to get everyone organised for shoots but it’s such a lovely job overall. I feel so extremely lucky to have a job I enjoy so much and I’m delighted I made the leap when I did. I’m living proof that you should never be afraid to go after what you want.

If you’re in need of Extras, Actors or Models for your next Creative or Commercial Project, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

5 Things I’ve Learned About Casting

By Alexia Macari-Skelly
Casting Assistant @

It’s been about two months now since I started working with Extras Ireland and The Production People (read my previous blog about being a Digital Intern here) – and in that short space of time I’ve learned so much. Casting is certainly an exciting and fast-paced world – sometimes a little stressful working to such tight deadlines but a good, exciting kind of stress! No two days are the same which makes for really interesting work and it’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of creating a new Film, TV show, Commercial or Music Video. I’ve been having a think this week about what I’ve learned so far and I’d love to share my thoughts with you.

1. Gift of the Gab

Communication in any job is key but especially in Casting. There are so many people you may be in touch with just for one project – Directors, Producers, Wardrobe, Extras Co-Ordinators, Photographers, Casting Directors, Actors, Extras, Models… It’s incredibly important to make sure you pass information on correctly and in a timely manner to ensure everyone is ready and confident to rock and roll!

2. Best ’til Last

One thing that I find interesting (and surprising) is how Extras, Actors and Models are often the last people to be arranged for a shoot. If you’ve ever wondered why you might receive Availability Checks with “ASAP” in the subject line that is exactly the reason. There can be so many people involved in a project from Production to Crew to Cast and as this can take time to finalize and schedule, it can sometimes be a rush to the finish line when organizing Talent. Luckily, we have lots of reliable and enthusiastic Performers on our database who we know and trust so it’s easy for us to book them at the last minute as soon as we know who our clients need.

3. Tidy House, Tidy Mind

We have over 3,000 Extras, Actors and Models on our database – so as you can imagine, that is a lot of CVs, Headshots and Showreels. These all need to be organised and ready to go for when a job comes in so we can pinpoint the right people for it. Thankfully, our Head of Casting Aislinn’s incredible organisation (and love of spreadsheets!) helps ensure that we have all the accurate info in the correct place ready to go.

4. Stay Current

Let’s be honest, we all have that one photo that we took five years ago that we can’t seem to change on our profiles. Although it may seem the best and most flattering to you, old pictures in Casting are a no-no. One thing I’ve learned is just how much a person can change even in the space of a year. Production wants to know straight away what you currently look like – they don’t want to find out the day of the shoot! So embrace your ever-changing features and always keep us in the loop.

5. Don’t Give Up

Casting is extremely competitive and a large number of people are considered for every role. As we send on our recommendations to Production of suitable Talent, we always have in mind who we would think would best suit the role. However, as our Extras, Actors and Models know, we never get to decide who gets a part unfortunately – the final decision will always rest with Production (or the brand if it’s a Commercial). It’s easier said than done I know – but not getting a part should never be taken personally. Criteria and requirements can be so specific and change so quickly, so if one job doesn’t go your way it’s important to keep your chin up and move on to the next one!

So there we have it – just 5 of the many, many things I’ve learned over the last couple of months. Of course, there’s so much more for me to learn and I’m excited to find out what’s around the corner!

If you’re in need of Cast for your next project, get in touch – we’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or give us a call on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

7 Ways Covid Has Changed Casting

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

It’s been a tough couple of months. Our team and The Production People have been working remotely and haven’t been Back to the Office since March. Thankfully, most of my own work is done via email and over the phone so I’m lucky I’ve been able to continue to help productions cast their projects despite an unsettling time. Whether getting a head start on a project shooting a few months down the road or filming in innovative ways, the kinds of Talent requests coming my way have certainly changed.

Specifically, new factors have come into play when searching for the perfect Extra, Actor or Model for a job that wouldn’t necessarily have been considered before.

Some of these factors have included:
– sourcing Actors / Models in extremely specific locations due to travel restrictions
– sourcing Voiceover Artists with a professional home studio for remote recording
– sourcing Talent capable of filming themselves (perhaps living with a filmmaker)
– sourcing Extras who are happy to have their own home used as a shoot location

It’s certainly been a challenge but I’ve tried to take it all in my stride. Yesterday, as Phase 3 of re-opening commenced, Screen Producers Ireland released an updated set of Production Guidelines to help Production Companies, Agencies and Artists to stay safe and navigate their way through a new world of work. Of course, because Production has to change, Pre-Production has to change – and that’s where Casting fits in. Below are some of SPI’s guidelines in relation to Casting and how we can uphold them.

1 Cast members and their agents should be informed and in agreement on working protocols at the earliest opportunity.
Absolutely. For any request that has come my way since restrictions were announced on Thursday 12th March, I’ve been sure to find out what safety measures will be in place on set. The safety of Cast and Crew is paramount to me and I’ll always provide clear instruction on this to our Talent.

2 Casting will require physical distancing and limiting numbers at casting sessions.
Traditional in-person Casting Sessions will take a little while to return I think. Over the past few weeks, I’ve submitted a huge amount of self-tapes for projects and have organised various virtual meetings between Talent and Production in place of them. In terms of Meetings, I know that both Productions and Actors have actually quite enjoyed these – a very different experience to a panel of people sitting behind a table and an Actor walking into the room. A virtual meeting can feel much more balanced and like you’re on equal footing.

3 Casting tapes should be viewed remotely.
Over the past few years, with the development of incredible camera-phones and online platforms such as Youtube and Vimeo, self-tapes have become a normal part of the casting process, allowing Actors in far-flung locations to be considered for top roles. Self-tapes have never been so important as they are now so Actors really need to make sure they know how to submit a good tape. Top tip – we need to be able to see you and hear you clearly!

4 Working with minors, or those in vulnerable groups should be considered on a case by case basis and limited or curtailed where possible.
I’ve seen a definite drop in requests for children and older people, understandably. Saying that, I do have two babies out on a photoshoot today, incidentally, with very strict measures and staggered call times in place. Only the client, photographer, baby and parent will attend and only the parent will have contact with the baby.

5 Extras and background artists should be limited in numbers to allow for social distancing. Where possible block booking a small group of returning extras may be useful (i.e. a returning ensemble), or booking family units.
As productions try to reduce their numbers on set, Extras are the logical way to bring numbers down. Booking family units for Acting / Extras work is absolutely a trend I’ve seen develop over the last few weeks so if you’re an Acting couple or a family of Extras, you may have a bit of an edge. I’ve been working on various shoots that call for performers from the same household – because we’re not automated and I really do know the Talent on our books, it’s not so difficult for me to co-ordinate, thankfully.

6 Looks and number of costume changes may need to be reduced/ simplified to accommodate the schedule, shoot day requirements and minimise interaction with Cast and Extras.
Over the past few weeks, Casting has sometimes revolved around wardrobe and who out of our pool of Talent has the kind of natural style that the shoot requires. It’s not unusual for Talent to be asked to bring their own wardrobe options to a shoot, but in terms of deciding who will be cast, it has definitely been an unusual part of the criteria of late.

7 If possible, all cast and crew should avoid public transport to get to work or to return home after work.
As well as specific locations, this has been a big change that I’ve seen over the last while. I’ve had a lot of requests in specifically for Talent who can drive themselves to and from shoots. Thankfully I have a huge amount of people on the books who can drive and don’t rely on trains and buses so it hasn’t been an issue.

These are just some of the ways that the Casting work I do has been affected by Covid-19 so far. It’s certainly meant additional time and research on my part into the lives of our Talent to make sure they fit new criteria for a shoot. This is never a chore, however – I adore talking to Extras, Actors and Models and finding out more about them! Extras Ireland is all about PEOPLE and I’ll always do my absolute best to help both Productions and Cast to get through this period of adjustment in any way I can. For now, we’ll all endeavour to uphold the guidelines set out by SPI to keep everyone safe on set and will hopefully be able to move forward into larger scale projects as the months go on.

If you’re in need of Cast for your next Production, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

Back to the Office

By Deirdre Ryan
CEO @ &

For the past three months, like most companies, our team have been working remotely and putting in trojan work under varying degrees of challenging circumstances to function effectively. All this while adjusting to a new work/life balance or probably more aptly, the new work/life integration. However, in taking baby steps back to ‘norm’ I popped into the offices of The Production People and Extras Ireland in Merrion Square yesterday, and although not sure what to expect, what I experienced was a very strange sensation of time standing still – a junction where the internal world of the past and the external world of the present converged.

The first thing greeting me was a pile of post in the communal hallway, and the familiar smell of the polished wood staircase leading to the top floor of number 11, where our offices are based. I didn’t see any other residents of the building on the way up but could hear some mumbled voices and keyboard activity behind closed office doors.

Just about to put the key into the latch to open up and I stop myself – realising that once I open the main door the alarm will go off. And I simply couldn’t remember the code. Panic moment as something I did automatically without thinking 3 months ago had been refiled into an internal ‘to be retrieved in the future folder’. Luckily, I had the code written into my phone so I unlocked the door and I dialled it into the keypad, still holding my breath however until the ‘disarmed’ sign appeared and the piercing screech of the expectant siren remained silent.

Beyond the door, the emptiness and silence scream louder than any alarm. Desks with no paperwork and chairs with no people. The usual banter of colleagues chatting, computers rattling, kettles boiling and phones ringing all eerily quiet, like a deserted village where all the inhabitants have left and only the buildings remain. I walk around the desks remembering the vibrancy and energy that resided here just a few short months ago. Time has stood still in our office as life and work relocated to our homes. Like our business and our industry, it had gone into unexpected hibernation.

The wall calendars display March, the office plants have dehydrated and withered (in stark contrast to the lush and vibrant greenery of the Merrion Square Park outside). I replace empty air fresheners with hand sanitisers and gel and turn on the TV to keep me company.Opening the post, I find a hidden gem among the usual utility bills, statements and reports. It’s a handwritten postcard for Aislinn in Extras Ireland from one of the people she placed in an advert earlier in the year and it was delightful to read the personal note and the sentiments expressed. A unique human touch among the throngs of standardised typed documents. Hunger hits me after a few hours of concentration and I venture outside to see if anywhere is open to grab a sandwich and a coffee. Cars are parked but the roads are still quiet.

Half empty buses zoom by but the line of tourist coaches that once graced Merrion Square North are no longer visible. Children still play in the playground but only a few. People still relax in the park but social distanced apart and Oscar Wilde still looks on from his perch with an amused grin and no doubt, a sharp-witted comment. Wandering around to a little coffee shop and restaurant called ‘il Caffe di Napoli’ beside the DART station on Pearse Street, and I’m the only one in a shop that once bragged a regular queue out the door. Today it’s four staff and one customer and the result is a leisurely chat, not possible in the past due to time and service demands.

Again, the human interaction is a welcome respite from the eerie quiet of a world taking its first tentative steps back to the ‘norm’. On my return once again to Number 11, to climb the familiar stairs, I wonder if the office could talk, what would it say to me, as the first person it has seen in three months, since forced to cocoon? In my head, I hear it say, “Welcome back, I’ve missed you. Where are all the others? I kept the fridge going, the kettle is on, the computers are ready to fire up and the phones are ready to ring …… but I’ve missed the humans. Without the humans, I’m only brick walls and infrastructure – a village with no inhabitants, a body with no soul.” No 11 Merrion Square is one office that certainly looks forward to welcoming back its humans, its management, its staff, its clients, and its candidates.

The Production People and Extras Ireland are a people business, a company ‘Passionate about People’. The fact is, our people are our brand and we genuinely look forward to a full family reunion in the not too distant future – taking tentative but reassuring steps in the meantime to make it happen. We’ll continue to work remotely for the next little while, but our office is ready to welcome us back very soon.

If you’re in need of Cast for your next Production, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

10 Tips for Extras on Set

Starting out, I spent a lot of time working as an Extra – Fair City, Raw, Primeval, Vexed, Crimecall, Penny Dreadful, What Richard Did, Camelot, Triage, Albert Nobbs, The Apprentice and Ripper Street to name a few. Now working in Casting, I have experience on both sides which is so important I think – always love passing on some of my wisdom to help others! Here are some tips (and the reasons behind them) for those out working as an Extra to help you have the best experience possible and to increase the chances of being re-booked.

Know that you are important.
As I mentioned in my previous blog ‘Extras – Increase Your Chances’, I know Extras often feel like they’re the last to know anything but I want you to know that you are extremely important. We always get specific requests at Extras Ireland so we’re searching for the perfect person/people for a job. Production won’t say – ‘I need 20 extras, it doesn’t matter who, just book whoever.’ They’ll be very particular and if they pick you, they want and need you.

Be on time.
You MUST be on time for your shoot. Remember that whatever your call time is, you’ve been given that time for a reason. You might have a tricky costume so Wardrobe need time to get you into it or if you have lots of hair (like me!), Hair and Make-up may need longer with you than other Extras. Make everyone’s job easier and arrive at the time you’re asked to. If you’re late, a note is always made by Production and you may not be booked again.

Bring everything you need.
Depending on the shoot, costume will be provided or you’ll be asked to bring your own clothes. Always bring what you’re asked to. If you don’t have something you’re asked for (eg black jeans, white runners), that’s no problem – just make sure you tell someone so that Wardrobe know they have to pick something up for you. Never arrive without something you were asked to bring specifically. If you’re asked to bring a few options, bring a few options.

Respect props and costumes.
I think a general rule of thumb is to remember that everyone on a set has worked hard to get there and wants to create something fantastic. Whatever costumes or props you’re given, be careful with them. You don’t know how long someone spent making a dress or chair or how far someone had to drive to get a specific hat or cup because it’s important to the scene. Respect hard work and if something rips or breaks, report it so it can be repaired or replaced.

Don’t make changes.
On period dramas, prepare to look dishevelled and dirty. I can’t tell you the amount of times I saw people ‘fix themselves’ – tidy their hair, apply fresh make-up, adjust costume to make it less baggy etc. Of course they were always brought back to be re-done – so terrified of not looking their best on screen. Well, guess what? You’re a beggar in Victorian London – you’re not supposed to look good! And guess what else? They were never booked again.

Don’t expect too much.
I learned so much from watching Actors. I also learned that some Extras can get strangely annoyed if Actors aren’t chatty and being good craic. ‘So-and-so isn’t very friendly’. It’s not their job to be friendly! It’s their job to do a good job. They’re trying to remember lines, what’s coming next, the previous scenes so they’re constructing the story well, and for many, worrying if this is going to be a big success or a huge flop.

Take in as much as you can.
To be honest with you, Extras generally spend a lot more time on sets than actors. I learned so much as an Extra which really helped me when I was a working Actor. The language used on set, what jobs different people do, how a day is structured, how to work with the camera, etc. So if you’re someone who is starting off as an Extra and hoping to make Acting a career, drink it all in because you’ll probably never spend so much time on sets again!

No Social Media.
It’s a big no-no to post anything online – what you’re filming, where you are, what the Actors are doing etc. Anyone who worked on Game of Thrones knows what it’s like to be sworn to secrecy (figuratively and legally) – imagine the biggest TV show in the world being ruined because an Extra posted about it. You have a glimpse into scenes, characters, locations, storylines and sometimes huge twists in a plot – you cannot post anything online.

Be positive.
You never know what you’ll be doing – in a battle, eating in a cafe, escaping an explosion… You have to be up for anything and while daunting for a first timer, experienced Extras will usually take it in their stride and help newcomers. Be positive and adopt a Can-Do attitude, not a Do-I-Have-To? one. It’ll make for a more enjoyable experience and you’re more likely to be booked again. Also, remember ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ go a long way.

Enjoy yourself!
If you’re selected as an Extra for a job, make sure you enjoy it. I know the days can be long and tiring but sets are very exciting places to be. You meet fascinating people, all the star of their own story. As someone who’s naturally shy, meeting new people every day was great for me – in fact, I met my best friend on Camelot back in 2010 – so incredibly grateful. People make great friends and I know a few who’ve even met their other half. So make the most of it!

I hope this has been helpful! Do you have any stories from being on sets? Do you have other tips that aren’t in here? Let me know, always delighted to hear about your own experiences!

If you’re in need of Cast for your next Production, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

Extras – Increase Your Chances

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

I love working at Extras Ireland and have been here for almost two years now – how time flies! Having started out as an Extra myself and then working as a professional Actor/Model for ten years I always genuinely admire and respect people who do any kind of performance work because I’ve been there myself. I’ve been chatting to and thinking a lot about Extras this week so here are a few thoughts on how to increase your chances of being selected for projects. All very simple things that are in your control.

1. Make sure your details are always up to date.

If you’re a member of a Casting Website where you can log in and update your own photos and information, make sure you do this regularly. If you’re a member of a Casting Agency (like Extras Ireland) which works internally and personally, make sure you email us regularly with updated photos, credits etc so we can add them to your file. When a request comes in for a woman in her 30’s with blonde hair for example, the Casting Team will search the database for women in their 30’s with blonde hair and then see who is available. If you’ve dyed your hair blonde in recent months and nobody knows, you won’t receive an Availability Check. So make sure your information is up to date.

2. Your photo should be clear and simple.

I get sent photos every day of people wanting to register as an Extra. The best favour you can do for yourself is to make sure you have a clear, simple photo. A simple shot of you in colour, with no filters, hats or sunglasses. No pictures of you with other people, taken from very far away, from strange angles, or with a messy room in the background. A simple photo of YOU, the way you look on a normal day. It’s the main thing that productions will use to select their Extras so make it easy for them to pick you. You don’t necessarily need expensive professional photos – great pictures can be taken on phones these days.

3. Be honest.

It’s a running joke in acting circles that some performers are using the same head shots and photos for the last ten or twenty years. Don’t be ashamed of looking different or older than you used to and try to embrace the way you look now. Be honest with Casting Teams because if you are booked for a job, arrive to set and you don’t look like your photo they may not be able to use you and may in fact send you home. I’ve seen this happen numerous times on sets over the years. Don’t lie about how you look – people are going to find out in the end anyway. Make sure your current photo represents how you look now. We want to see the real you!

4. Respond quickly.

A lot of the time, Extras are the last thing to be organised for a shoot. I know Extras often feel like they’re the last to know anything – which is the truth. But it’s not because you’re not important, it’s because before you can be booked, everything else needs to be in place and ready to go. The Director, Wardrobe and Make-up departments, Locations and Crew all need to be organised so that a shoot day goes smoothly. They need to know what scenes they’re shooting and how they’re going to be shot, which takes a huge amount of preparation. Bear in mind that because Extras are often the last piece of the puzzle, you will often be asked very near to the shoot if you’re available. Production then need to get the extras booked in quickly so the faster you respond to our Availability Check the better your odds of being selected.

5. Be aware of how you present yourself.

At Extras Ireland, myself or the fantastic Rachel Barrett will usually be your point of contact. The ethos of EI as well as our sister company The Production People is that when Production Companies ask for our help, we’ll always send them the BEST options for the job. They want to make something great and we want to help them. We’ll never just throw a load of suggestions at the wall and hope something will stick. We recommend people personally based on what the client is looking for, who is available and also who we think they’ll like having on their set. Clients come to us because we correspond with members directly and personally so we know them – they’re not a number on a website. Think about it – you’re more likely to hire a plumber who has been recommended to you than someone you don’t know from Adam. We’ll always recommend people who come back to us quickly on things, are friendly and polite in correspondence and who we know will be on time, reliable and a great addition to the set. We want production companies to have the most talented and easiest people to work with so be sure to present yourself that way.

I hope these tips have been helpful and are food for thought – next time I’ll be giving some tips for being on set. What tips do you have for extras out on sets from your own experience?

If you’re in need of Cast for your next Production, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

What Are Actors Up To?

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

It’s a very tough time for us all at the moment. We’re missing loved ones, worried about our jobs and unsure of how the situation is going to be resolved. Having been an Actor for so long, I wonder how I would have coped had this happened a few years ago. Acting is a difficult path in terms of finance and self-worth at the best of times – let alone in the current climate. I’ve been reaching out to Actors to check how they’re getting on in the midst of it all.

1. Watching Classic Movies
Lots of Actors are watching classic films that they keep meaning to watch but just never get around to it. One Actor told me they’re working their way through all the Best Picture winners right back to the beginning of the Academy Awards as a study of great film-making and acting. If you want to learn, learn from the best! Recommendations from Actors include Planet of the Apes, On the Waterfront, All About Eve, To Kill a Mockingbird, Psycho, Rocky, The Godfather and Pretty Woman.

2. Doing their Day Job
As we know, most actors have a side job – teaching, tour guiding, retail, bartending and temping to name but a few. So for many it’s not only their primary job that has gone at the moment but their side one as well – that’s proving difficult for people. Thankfully, some actors are still able to work in their other job at the moment and are very grateful to have it – even if they’re usually dreaming of Hollywood. Jobs that actors are still doing include retail, admin, social media, content creation, electrician work and deliveries.

3. Caring for their Families
For some actors that I’ve spoken to, acting is the furthest thing from their minds at the moment. Like so many, their first priority is looking after their children and family members. Some are official carers for family members so making sure they’re okay is at the top of the list. One actor who cares for their mother told me that the situation has given them some perspective. They usually spend so much time worrying about their career. None of that really matters right now.

4. Feeling Incredibly Creative
In some cases, moments of difficulty can inspire great works of art. For some actors, the last few weeks have spurred them on to spend their time creating and developing their skills as an actor. They have been writing plays, making their own shorts, reading plays, recording voiceover from home, starting podcasts, learning more about how to use their camera and taking online acting classes and workshops. Not just in preparation for when all this passes but because they have the overwhelming urge to create.

5. Enjoying the Downtime
On the other hand, an awful lot of actors are feeling the opposite – not creative at all. In fact, one actor told me that in a strange way, it’s a nice feeling not being so caught up in worrying about auditions and jobs – because there aren’t any! It can be exhausting. When things are up and running again these actors will return to immersing themselves in their art but for now, they’re appreciating a slower pace of life, the chance to recharge their batteries and to reconnect with family and friends.

If you’re in need of Cast for your next Production, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.

Audition Advice for Actors

By Aislinn Ní Uallacháin
Head of Casting @

We want you to get the part!
If you’re invited to audition for a project, the biggest thing I want you to know is that the casting team on the other side of the table are rooting for you. They would love for you to be great and are hoping you’ll get it. They won’t waste their time bringing in someone who has absolutely no chance of getting the role. So remember that getting asked into the room in the first place is a wonderful thing and a huge step above all the other actors who weren’t. Believe me – whoever is running the casting session wants to show the client / production team that they’ve done a great job of assembling the best options. It’s not a case of them sitting there just dying to judge talent all day for the sake of it. Somebody will get the job and they want it to be you!

Be Prepared.
Depending on the job, production may provide you with a section of the script (known as sides) in advance of the audition. If you have the luxury of having sides beforehand, this is brilliant! Become as familiar with them as possible. When you think about it, there’s really so little you can control in an audition situation – whether they like you or not, who else is auditioning for the same role, what direction they’ll give you etc. When I was acting, I was very aware that the only thing I could really control was my own preparation. Yes, it’s challenging when you’re given a script at short notice but if you’re going to make this your career, you need to accept that it’s part of the job. Be delighted you have a script to work on and an opportunity to perform in front of a captive audience – enjoy it!

Don’t Make Excuses.
You’d be surprised at the amount of actors who come into the room and the first thing they say is something like ‘I’m sorry I haven’t had much time to prepare’, ‘ I didn’t get any sleep last night’, ‘I only just got the script now’ or ‘I’m not feeling well today’. What do people hope this will achieve? I’ve seen it happen quite a bit and it brings the whole room down immediately. All they’re doing is starting their audition off on a negative note and preparing the casting team for a poor quality performance. Never start off with excuses – if you’re not well, say nothing. If you haven’t had much time to prepare, say nothing. Just do your audition as best you can and let the team make up their own minds. Don’t set yourself up for a fall before you even get to do any acting for them!

Be Adaptable.
As a Straight-A Student all through school, it would throw me off when I did an audition and instead of the team saying ‘Brilliant, well done’, they’d ask me to do it again in a different way. It seems so blatantly obvious to me now but as a youngster starting out I took this to mean that they didn’t like it and didn’t think I did it ‘right’. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this and letting it phase you! The casting team will more often than not ask you to try it a different way to see if you can take direction and are happy to experiment. Be prepared of course and know your script but don’t be so locked into your own interpretation that you can’t change it up when asked. They want to see how you think on your feet and how you collaborate to arrive at a great take – very important if you’re going to be on their set.

Be Willing to Play.
As I said above, if you have sides in advance make sure you’re as familiar with them as possible. As well as helping you to deliver a much better performance, the team will respect and admire the fact that you took the time to work on them. If there’s nothing to prepare in advance for the session, they’ll ask you to act out a scenario on the spot instead. Some actors love this, others don’t like it at all. In this instance, I think you need to be very on the ball so you can take in and then present what the team are asking you to do. Listen carefully. You also need to be unafraid to look silly and be willing to play around. They might ask you to do this because they’re not quite sure what they’re looking for yet – so it could be you. Enjoy having a chance to play and to use your imagination!

If you’re in need of Cast for your next Production, get in touch. We’d love to help. Simply email [email protected] or call us on (01) 634 3112 and let’s see how we can collaborate.