The Risks of Working as a Local Hire

The Risks of Working as a Local Hire

It’s tempting for actors to work as local hires in areas where they don’t reside in order to capitalize on opportunities there. The concept may sound viable, but before actors decide to present themselves as local hires, there are a few more things to consider. 

Suzy Sachs, known for casting projects such as “Goosebumps” and “Miracle on 34th Street,” as well as producing projects such as “Yesterday Today” and “Askew,” weighs in on the risks actors run when traveling to work as local hires.


What would you tell actors who want to work as local hires?

“It’s important to be honest. If actors say they live locally, production is expecting that. If a local actor’s car broke down on the way to set, production could send a car to pick that person up. But if an actor’s car breaks down on the way to the airport to fly in to be a “local hire,” he or she may hold up shooting. And that could cost production thousands of dollars. But if actors are upfront in the beginning about being willing to work as local hires even though they aren’t local to the area, they could still have a chance, depending on production’s reasons for wanting local hires. If actors don’t divulge it, though, and cost production money because of it, they might end up blacklisted.”


Is there “wiggle room” for actors who want to work as local hires in other markets?

“It depends. If the project is calling for local hires due to budget constraints, sometimes casting can work with the actor, but they have to know upfront. Because if production is getting tax incentives for using local hires, there is no wiggle room for using talent that does not reside in the shooting area. In that case, it makes casting look bad if they pass along an actor who wasn’t truthful about being a local hire. So it can negatively affect actors’ relationships with casting too if they aren’t upfront from the beginning.”


If actors decide to work as a local hire, what should they expect?

“Firstly, they need a physical address where they can receive mail because that’s where their checks will be sent. And it can’t be a P.O. Box. Actors should also expect there won’t be any reimbursement for travel. There won’t be any plane ticket, ground transportation, lodging or per diem. And if actors are SAG-AFTRA, they’re forfeiting the rate they would’ve been paid for the day they travelled. All of these things add up, and sometimes actors end up taking a loss when they work as local hires outside of where they actually live. Actors may want to work as local hires because they think that by going outside of bigger markets with lots of competition and into smaller towns, they’re gaining an advantage. But there are lots of things to think about.”

With Sachs’ words in mind, actors can be aware of the potential repercussions of misrepresenting themselves as local hires. Sachs advises that honesty is the best policy when actors audition for local-hire roles. Even if they take themselves out of the running on that particular project, actors who are upfront will preserve their relationships with both production and casting rather than burn those bridges.

Casting in LA This Week!

Casting in LA This Week!

Every day great roles are added to the Casting Billboard. Below are highlighted projects from this week!


Toothbrush Spokesperson

Rate: $1,500 | Female, All Ethnicities | Commercial

ROLES  Principal   GENDER/AGE/ETHNICITIES  Female / 27-37 / All Ethnicities

DESCRIPTION  Qualities we’re after: Girl next door feel — warm and approachable. TBD: Mom focus. Extensive commercial experience. BONUS: We could find an actor who is also an influencer in the health or fitness space for added value. NB: Improv / comedian / actress casting TBD based on direction

Boxing Glove

Rate:  $700/day | Female/Male, Caucasian | Promo

ROLES  Principal  GENDER/AGE/ETHNICITIES  Female & Male  / 18-33 / Caucasian

DESCRIPTION  Boxing gloves ad involving multiple locations such as a gym, park, and urban street. Two day shoot in Los Angeles. Mainly stills but also some video.

Major Music Video

Rate:  $500 | Female/Male, All Ethnicities | Music Video

ROLES  Featured  GENDER/AGE/ETHNICITIES  Female & Male  / 20-35 / All Ethnicities

DESCRIPTION   This project is a music video featuring two A-list Artists. The video is set in a warehouse rave environment and will highlight the edginess and style of several counter-cultures through the look and energy of its cast. This project will be filmed in a single warehouse location in DTLA.


To see all the roles available on the Casting Billboard, LOG IN OR SIGN UP HERE.

Open Call Launched for “The Good Lord Bird” Series Adaptation

Open Call Launched for “The Good Lord Bird” Series Adaptation

Blumhouse Television and Kim Coleman Casting are conducting a worldwide talent search for a series regular in the Showtime series The Good Lord Bird. The Good Lord Bird is an 8 episode limited series adaptation of the novel of the same name. It is scheduled to start production in July 2019 and will be filming for several months in Virginia.

Oscar-winner Ethan Hawke has signed on to play series regular John Brown, an abolitionist that led a raid on the Harper’s Ferry armory in 1859. The Good Lord Bird will be directed by Anthony Hemingway (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, The Wire, Shameless), and Jason Blum (Get Out, BlacKkKlansman, Whiplash), Ethan Hawke, and Ryan Hawke are executive producing.

Casting is seeking an African American male, 13-16 years old to play “Onion,” aka Henry Shackleford. Henry is a slave boy who is mistaken for a girl by abolitionist John Brown and given the nickname Onion. Onion is “freed” by Brown and involuntarily joins his army of Free Staters. Onion wants nothing more than to return to his slave owner, Dutch Henry.

The deadline to submit is April 8th, at 12pm PST. To read more about the open call and submit, click here.