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What does Call Time mean?

What is a Call Time? Call Time is an industry term that is the actual time your child is due at an audition or on the set. There’s a saying that goes: If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re fired!  So please, don’t be pulling into the parking lot when it’s your child’s call time. You should arrive to the location a good 15 minutes early all the time, every time! This way you have enough time to get everything out of the car and find exactly where you need to be. But don’t expect filming to start right away!

When you and your child arrive at his or her call time on location, you will probably be greeted by a 1st AD. Depending on the morning’s events and work of the crew, the 1st AD might be a little stressed. It’s your job to keep your cool and stay relaxed! Your child will most likely be taken to have their hair and make up done and then to wardrobe. Then you wait and wait some more. The mood is usually: hurry, hurry get here! And then, you wait.

Below is an example of a Call Sheet. Upon booking a role, the production crew will email you a call sheet that specifies what time you’re working, what location you’ll be working at, contact information for the cast and crew, as well as other information that may apply for the day of the shoot.

CALL SHEET from a Skittles Television Commercial shoot.

So although your call time may be for 7:00 am, it might be a couple hours later that the set, camera, and lights are ready. This is a good time to study the script a little more! If you’re on a commercial shoot, the script might have even changed since your child’s callback. So be sure to read it through and look for any changes. Even if you have the script down pat, it’s a good idea to stay absorbed in a good book or some homework because you need to stay out of the way of the crew. There are very strict rules on set about who can touch what and offering to help the crew is nice but really it’s not very helpful!  It’s not your union!! So just wait patiently until it’s time to perform.

Then remember to be CONFIDENT, professional, LISTEN, and have a lot of fun!

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