How to Find Paid Audience Work in Los Angeles and Hollywood

Ever think the audience work Los Angeles offers would be your next job? It’s true that people, for the most part, budding actors, get paid to sit in the studio audience for tv show tapings. The entertainment world needs live people to create the energy that comes with people seeing a show firsthand. The best part? You don’t need mad skills and there are companies offering paid audience work in Los Angeles.

How to Find Paid Audience Work in Los Angeles?

I’ve been in the audience for hundreds of shows. Starting with Deal or No Deal, The Arsenio Hall Show and even a couple of episodes of Seinfeld. Yes, I’m dating myself. I didn’t stop there, over the years I’ve been to hundreds of exciting shows and a handful of shows that made me embarrassed to clap. The last show I was at as an audience member was an episode of The Mask and I did have to sign an NDA, so I can’t tell you any details about the upcoming show.

The paid audience work is for live shows, sitcoms and even court shows. It’s a change to see live TV in action, learn about the set and even get a little bit of Hollywood buzz.  If you are living in the area or moving to Los Angeles for work, this is a great source of income.

You won’t be rich watching the shows, but you will pay the bills. I know people who are audience fillers fulltime and they pay all the bills this way (and know way too much about TV shows.)

How to Find Paid TV Audience Work

Finding paid TV audience work can be a bit more specific than finding other types of paid audience work. If you are an actor or do voice work, you have a way to find work that’s more traditional. Audience work in Los Angeles is a bit more last minute when it comes to committing to a show and you need to be ready to roll!

Start by contacting research TV production companies that produce shows with live audiences. Look for companies that specialize in producing TV shows that require a live audience, such as game shows, talk shows, or variety shows. Our list below covers the five biggest audience companies in the Los Angeles metro area.

Check the websites of TV production companies. Many TV production companies have a page on their website that explains how to become a member of the live audience for their shows. Some hire people directly and you will need to apply that way.

Paid Audience Work in Los Angeles
Paid Audience Work in Los Angeles

Look for websites that specialize in connecting audience members with TV shows.  There are small communities on Facebook and local apps that offer access to paid audience opportunities.

Follow social media accounts of TV shows. Many TV shows advertise when they need a live audience on their social media accounts, such as Twitter or Facebook.

Contact local talent agencies. Talent agencies may also be able to connect you with TV shows that need a live audience. They also can help you find work in background opportunities like crowds in movies or television shows.

When you find opportunities for paid TV audience work, make sure to read the requirements carefully, as they may have age, location, or dress code restrictions. Also, make sure you understand the compensation structure and any requirements for attendance or behavior during the taping.

Frequently Asked Questions about Audience Work

How much do audience members get paid?

Audience members get paid an hourly wage base with a required minimum number of hours provided for watching a live taping. In Los Angeles, audience work pays $70-$120 depending on the show.

Do paid audience members get free stuff?

Paid audience members have been known to get free show merchandise, candy and when the filming runs over a meal time, lunch or dinner.

Are paid audience members seen on TV?

Yes! Talk shows, game shows, and reality shows with paid audience members will pan the audience for live TV shots. People who get paid are expected to blend in with free ticket holders.

What skills are needed to be a paid audience?

Paid audience members are expected to clap, cheer and smile as requested during a live TV taping. Many people enjoy watching and are enthusiastic to see the filming and get paid too.

How do you become a paid audience member on a TV show?

Sign up to the different audience work companies, apply to the casting calls and go to the studio if you are picked to be in the live studio audience. Follow all the rules and after the show is over, the audience company will send you a check.

So where can you go to get audience work in Los Angeles?

Here are five audience companies that work in the Los Angeles area providing seat fillers and paid audience members to the studio production companies:

Standing Room Only

This is a steady working stream that many actors love to work for. You are paid well and there are a number of opportunities. This is a great place to make money as you have many options to see TV shows. Known as SRO, you need to sign up to be part of this audience company. Most actors sign up directly with this company and do audience filling when not on other gigs.

BTS Production

If you aren’t familiar with BTS, it’s not the boy band music group, that’s alright but you definitely need to be. Working with actors in the Los Angeles area Background Talent Services fill the audience of some of the most popular TV shows. Different from the typical ticket avenues, people who apply for positions at this company are screened and expected to be part of the studio audience in a very positive way. 

1iota Production

Prominent on both coasts, you can find reality shows a great way to make a few extra bucks. You can sign up here. Known to help fill audiences for cooking shows, sport shows and even talk shows, the choices here are fun (and very competitive audience work). You will have a blast! Take time to check out all the TV shows available and sign up as soon as you can.

Onset Productions

With a small selection of shows to see, you can have a great time on set. The opportunity for some great TV show live audiences is always found here, but watch carefully as Onset always saves the best for last minute. Be watchful on the emails and keep in touch with the website. Some of the most delightful TV shows I’ve sat in the audience for I was invited to at the last minute. And now the company is two separate companies (one for each coast) so if you want to apply in Los Angeles, check out OCLA and if you’re on the East Coast, you sign up at Shadow Casting.

A+ Audiences

Known for audience fillers for the talk show Dr. Phil (who is winding down his series) but has other shows under contract. Another popular show they fill is America’s Funniest Home Videos. There are a number of shows they fill, but the pay is well, under debate for some. Personally, I’ve not been paid for 2 separate occasions after working for this company (yes, you can see me on camera too, but they just won’t return your calls or emails so you will never get a penny). And there is a list of others who claim the same if you take a minute to search this company. Yet, TV shows keep hiring these folks, so if they decide to be a seat filler here, go for the fun as the pay might never come.

In Conclusion

Audience work in Los Angeles can be a rewarding and unique opportunity. Learning about the inner workings of the entertainment business while still enjoying a TV show is a big perk when it comes to living in SoCal. Make sure you sign up for the audience company you’d like to work for and be aware of all the opportunities. Then start applying! See you on set!

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