How to Get Paid Audience Work at Standing Room Only [SRO]

Standing Room Only is a First Step to Audience Work

Thinking about applying for an audience member gig through Standing Room Only? Better known as SRO in the entertainment world, the opportunity to see live shows, clap and get a front row seat at some of the best TV, movies and even music videos is a serious gig.

Over the years SRO has offered up hundreds (if not thousands) of opportunities for individuals to check out Hollywood entertainment. From sitcoms to award shows and everything in-between, the work of being part of the audience is one that most background actors and audience actors have been paid for at some point in their career.

Is Standing Room Only a Scam?

Standing Room Only is NOT a scam. They have been around for years and they have paid audience work actors for years as well. Yes, every once in a while you will hear stories about some outrageous situation (and we can’t say that’s not possible as we’ve seen some stuff) but the idea that this company doesn’t produce what they promise is untrue. 

SRO offers work, gets audiences into studios and they pay. And if you do your job (like no yawning and clapping as expected) you won’t have any issues….Yes, really.

Standing Room Only is an audience casting company

Standing Room Only Has Standards for Paid Audience Members

As someone who has previously done audience work for this company, I’ve got to say my opinions are my own. I’ve done over a hundred shows in a span of 10+ years and from court shows to game shows and everything in-between, I’ve seen plenty. Not just from the company employees, but also the audience members themselves. One thing that A-L-W-A-Y-S causes issues is attitudes and not following directions. Or the combination of both.

Whether you work for SRO or any other audience company, a little common sense, courtesy and maybe even a dose of patience will help you navigate this interesting job and you’ll get paid too.

SRO is the Leading Audience Work Company

Standing Room Only is the leading audience work company where dozens of people vie for work on a daily basis. If you are wondering, SRO is a casting company, but they work with all types of people for audience members. You don’t have to be in show business, but if you are, this gig helps you understand how the process works. It helps you dream big especially if you want to be in the business.

Since SRO is widely known, many people start with this company to help with bills, get a firsthand look at the entertainment business and just get paid for watching TV. They sometimes even have opportunities to be an extra or watch a premiere. It all depends on the current needs of the entertainment industry.

Wondering How to Get to be Paid Audience Members?

Well, first you need to define the job of audience member….

What is Audience Work?

If you’ve been to a school play, a dance recital or even a movie, you’ve been part of an audience. In Hollywood the audience work job is where you show up, typically sit in a seat and respond to a live taped event. Looking to share the fun with the people watching at home, I’ve always thought the audience is representative to the people at home as they watch to have fun (and so you have fun on the set too.)

Working as an Audience Member

So can you work for Standing Room Only? Or any other audience or background company? Absolutely! Following the rules of the company, you can apply to see if you can get work for upcoming shows and events that need people like you. While you might consider this gig to be similar to a background acting job, it’s not. There are some very different requirements!

Of course you need to follow all the rules, provide necessary ID documentation and then get ready to have some fun. It’s a real job with real cash. And you might even learn a thing or two about the entertainment business.

I’ve put together a few pointers in this blog post to help you to skip to the head of the line for this Hollywood gig and get paid to be in as many audiences as possible!

Read, Listen and DO the Required items for the Call Time.

I’ve always been amazed how many people don’t give a flip about reading the directions of a shoot. They confirm and then show up unprepared. If you have been invited to the studio, you’d think you’d want to be ready to work. Well, if you are not ready to work, then you might not be called into the studio.

Anyone can be pulled from a line for any reason. Lower your chances of being excluded by reading and following the directions. It’s about as simple as it comes and yet, I’ve seen hundreds of people who feel they are above these requirements and ultimately don’t get picked to be part of the project (and they don’t get paid either.)

Audience Work Requires Being on Time

Don’t be Late to Audience work. The call time is the last, very end time you must be there. Not two minutes later. In fact not a minute later. So always try to be 15 minutes early. If you are, your chances of getting on set increases substantially.

Remember, audience work from Standing Room Only and other audience companies means you have to be picked to be part of the show. People can (and will) get sent home if they don’t fit the audience’s “look”. This includes causing drama of being late.

Always Remember to Show up Camera Ready in Requested Color Clothing

Usually a barnstorm blowup includes an almost late individual who didn’t bother to wear what was requested. As much as I tell people who are new to the audience background work to wear as required, people still feel the need to do as they please. 

If you don’t wear as requested, you probably won’t get on set. A number of times I’ve seen people who don’t understand why they aren’t being picked, even though they didn’t follow the directions. Since the production company decides what people will wear and SRO enforces it, the rules are pretty clear. 

Related Article: How to be Paid Audience Members in 2022

Check Out Your Feet? No, No, No Sneakers

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen someone get sent home for wearing sneakers. Yes, they are cool, but the directions always list no sneakers and then the individuals are pulled from the line and most don’t get the work.

Wear anything but sneakers. Especially if it says no sneakers in the directions.

Don’t Smell OR at Least Don’t Sit Next to Me

For the love of God, take a shower before coming to the set. I say this as a human who has sat next to dozens of people with BO on set. After being arranged by the set director for good visual look, you are stuck at the chair you are given. If the dude next to you wants to make you vomit as they smell that bad, it’s going to be an awful show. 

So shower, don’t wear too much perfume and keep the stinky canned tuna you’ve so cleverly brought for a snack in the car. It will create chaos and it takes 10 minutes to freshen up. This kind gesture should be obvious, but it’s not. Remember you might not be able to see your smell on TV, but you will see my face gagging next to you for sure.

Audience Work is Easy….Act Like it

Audience work is easy. Simpler than riding a bike. All you need to do is pay attention, clap as expected and not yawn. Yes, that’s correct, no yawning. If you watch a show on TV or even a movie, the visual aspect of a boring thing is when a person yawns. It will ruin a whole shot. So will looking away from the action, checking the messages on your cell, playing with your fingernails and even talking to the person in the next seat over. I have seen people fall asleep during a live show and honestly, I have no idea why they even showed up.

Between segments there are downtimes, which could stretch if there are issues on set. Sometimes the boring gets a little too real and you might find yourself drifting away. Which is definitely not part of the job. So you need to be aware this is easy work, but the hard part is making sure you’re hyped for the entire segment.

The easy way to get paid for audience work is to be present. Clap, laugh, watch and do as instructed. Smile, look like you are having fun and be engaging. And while you are flashed on camera on occasion consider practicing your acting skills like create a character for the moment or use your body to offer a full expression to the people at home.

In Closing

If you decide to work with Standing Room Only for audience work or background opportunities, it’s going to bring you money if you do your job. This is an interesting, ground floor part of the entertainment world. You can see so many shows all the while you get paid. It’s a great experience and you can always work with SRO and the other audience work shows too. Branch out and see what opportunities await your audience skills. You might be surprised at what is available as audience work where you can clap and get paid.

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