Jim Calarco

 Column by Jim Calarco

The good news is your Agent and/or the Casting Director will contact you to let you know that you have been hired. Congratulations! NOW THE HARD PART BEGINS.  You will be told an approximate shoot date to ensure that you will be available.

You will be given the current script often referred to as the "white copy " and as rewrites are completed, you will then be sent other versions of the script each printed on different colour paper. It is very important he the actor must use the updated proper coloured script

The Great Christmas Switch” which was shot in North Bay, just before Action is called by the director


Once a date and time is finalized you will be informed where you will be shooting. By this time, you should have prepared your lines and possibly two or three ways of performing them just in case the Director may want to see a different version of your initial attempt. It gets even busier. Now the wardrobe and the production office will be in touch with you. Wardrobe will have contact you regarding your clothing sizes so you should always have your current measurements on hand. The Production office will want to know if you have any food allergies and food choices that you have. If you are shooting out of town you will be assigned a hotel room along with an amount of money (per diem) to cover any daily expenses. Then you will wait for your “Call Time”.

 Finally, on the day you work you will be picked up by a Driver and taken to set where a second AD (Assistant Director) will show you to your trailer and bring you coffee, tea and sometimes even breakfast.   A third AD will bring your contract for you to look over and sign. (If your Agent has not already done so).

You will be taken to the Hair and Make-up trailers to be prepped and once those tasks are completed you will return to your trailer to await your blocking call AND WAIT AND WAIT

When you are called to the set you will be once again checked by hair, make up and wardrobe. This is called Finals. Once that is done you will be shown to your filming position. This is called your mark. 

Another AD may say “Settle “which is the signal to be quiet. If there are non-speaking actors in the scene he will call “Background actors “they will start to their movements and he will say “Action “and the other actor will begin their moments or lines.


 Jim Calarco, a member of ACTRA has most recently appeared in A Masked Saint, Orah, The Captive and the TV series Hard Rock Medical. Formerly a Drama consultant with the Near North Board of Education he retired in 2000 and began working exclusively in film and TV. In 2008 he established North Star Talent with producer Brigitte Kingsley in order to represent Northern Ontario Actors. In the same year he started Real to Reel BG Agency. In 2010 he started Cast North, a film and television casting and audition agency. He is winner of the Quonta Best Actor Award and a Best Actor in a Short Film Award (Belgium) and in 2008 he was inducted into the Northern Entertainers Hall of Recognition. His two most recent shot films that he wrote and directed have won 23 awards internationally. He continues to works as both an Actor/Director and Northern Film Consultant.

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