How to Get Cast on ‘Gotham’

Photo Source: Jessica Miglio/Fox

“Gotham” has really come into its own since its premiere in 2014. The Bruno Heller–created origin story follows Det. James Gordon through a rundown Gotham in the years before Batman’s rise to prominence and includes a colorful array of lead, guest star, and background characters!

So far, the show’s featured performances from the likes of Ben McKenzie as Gordon, Jada Pinkett Smith as mob boss Fish Mooney, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot (aka Penguin), Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, child actor David Mazouz as a young Bruce Wayne, and hundreds of New York City’s working actors including Tonya Pinkins, Raúl Castillo, and more just like you. Want to get in on the fun? Check out our comprehensive list of tips for getting cast on the hit drama series, as well as first steps, and what you can expect once you do!

Submit
The first step to getting cast in anything is submitting yourself for selection, and the easiest way to get on a major television series is to take a role as a background actor. For “Gotham,” Grant Wilfley Casting handles the extras and background casting on the New York–based Fox show, and is constantly seeking new actors to fill out their scenes. Make a profile on Backstage.com, upload your headshot, reel, and résumé to make submitting yourself for any position a cinch.

APPLY: BACKGROUND/EXTRA TALENT ON “GOTHAM”

Know Your Measurements
Often casting directors will want to know your measurements before they bring you in to determine whether or not you’ll fit into the costumes they already have or are able to stand in for another actor. GWC is kind enough to provide instructions on how to measure oneself on their website. For men, be ready to size up your neck, chest, waist, neck-to-waist length, sleeve length, and inseam. Women must measure bust, waist, and hips. Depending on the scene, hat size might also be required, and the casting agency has also provided a handy hat size chart, along with more specific measurement instructions on their FAQ page!

Be Professional
Should you get called in for a role, always be respectful. People’s time and resources are valuable, so be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there. Dress appropriately and bring whatever was requested of you. (A photo ID is usually a good idea and of course any props or wardrobe needed to shoot that day’s scene.) Never leave set without letting the AD know. Don’t speak when camera is rolling (and sometimes do not between takes, either). Turn off your cell phone; aside from the obvious ringing, it can also interfere with sound equipment.

READ: “Robin Lord Taylor on ‘Gotham’ and How to Win the Audition Room”

Follow Instructions
GWC will give you very specific instructions on what to wear the day of the shoot; follow those instructions to a tee. If you’re playing a nightclub patron, don’t come dressed like you’re spending the day in the park. If they don’t provide wardrobe and you’re not willing to go shopping for what’s needed, be honest with casting directors about what you do and don’t have in your closet. According to the casting agency, one should generally avoid clashing or busy patterns, bright colors, logos, and wrinkled clothing.

Be Patient
Much of working as a background actor on any set involves waiting—waiting for the cameras to be set up; waiting for the lighting team to get ready; waiting for the talent to finish makeup—so bring something to do in the meantime. Whether it’s a script for your next gig, a book, or your Twitter feed, be prepared to keep yourself occupied during the down time, and expect there to be a lot of it.

Don’t Break the Rules
Speaking of social media: Taking pictures in general is an on-set faux pas. Some shows will allow you to take pictures of the set itself but putting them online is grounds for blacklisting. If you want to be considered for future projects, don’t do it. General rule of thumb says avoid taking pictures of the talent.

Make Connections
Networking shouldn’t be your primary concern on set but if the opportunity presents itself, it doesn’t hurt to try and get to know the AD, PA, or director for that episode. They generally have access to other shows and might be able to call on you later!

Have Fun
From the costumes to the storylines to the settings, “Gotham” stars New York City as one of its main characters and you get to be part of the fun! Keep checking Backstage’s casting notices for more opportunities to get on this show and others!

Ready to get to work? Check out our television audition listings! And for more on-set tips, check out the video below!