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I found this young performers glossary while on the Screen Actors Guild website.  Whether you’re brand new or you just want to test your knowledge, you may find the list below pretty interesting.

If you haven’t been on SAG’s website, I encourage you to check it out.  Enjoy!




Action: The cue that is shouted when the camera starts rolling

A.D.: Assistant Director

Ad Lib: made up dialogue that is not scripted; a form of improvisation


Art Director: Person who creates and designs sets

Avail: a courtesy situation extended by an agent to a producer indicating that a performer is available to work a certain job. Avails have no legal or contractual status

Background Talent: Also known as extras

Best Boy: In films, the assistant to the electrician

Billing: The order of the names in the titles or opening credits of a film or television show

Bio: (or biography) A resume in narrative form usually for a printed program or press release

Blocking: The physical movements used by actors in a scene

Booking: A firm commitment to a performer to do a specific job

Boom: An overhead microphone, often used on-set, usually mounted on an extended pole

Breakdown: A detailed listing and description of roles available for casting in a production

Buyout: An offer of full payment in lieu of residuals, when the contract permits

Callback: A follow-up audition

Call sheet: Production term for daily listing of shooting schedule, scenes and cast involved

Call time: The time you are due on a set

Cattle call: often known as an “open call”, a large open audition

Close-up (CU): Camera term for a tight shot of the shoulders and face

Cold reading: An unrehearsed reading of a scene, usually at auditions

Commissions: Percentage of a performer’s earnings paid to an agent’s managers for their services

Composite: A one-sheet of photos representing an actor’s different “looks”

Conflict: Status of being paid for services in a commercial for one advertiser, thereby contractually preventing performing services in a commercial for a competitor

Copy: The script for a commercial or voice-over

Craft services: On-set catering

Dailies: Screening of footage before it is edited

Day-player: A performer hired on a day-to-day basis, rather than under a long term contract

Downgrade: Reduction of a performer’s on-camera role from principal to extra

D.P.: Director of Photography of Cinematographer

Dress the set: To add items/props to the set

Drive-on pass: A pass to drive on and park at a studio

Emancipated minor: A minor under 18 who has been given the status of a legal adult by a judge

Employer of Record (EOR): The company responsible for employment taxes and unemployment benefits

Executive Producer: The person responsible for funding a production

EXT. (Exterior): A scene shot outside

Field rep: SAG staff member who ensures contractual compliance on a set

Forced call: A call to work less than 12 hours after dismissal of the previous day

FX (Effects): Special Effects

Gaffer: A crew member who places lighting instruments

GED: General Equivalency Diploma

Gofer: An errand runner

Golden time: Overtime after the 16th hour

Grip: A crew member who moves set pieces or props

Hiatus: Time when a TV series is in between production

Hold: A contractual obligation for a performer to be available for work

Holding fee: Set payment by an advertiser to retain the right to use a performer’s services, images or likeness on an exclusive basis

Industrial: Non-broadcast, often educational films

INT. (Interior): A scene shot indoors

In time: The actual call time or start time; also refers to return time from a break

Looping: An in-studio technique matching voice to picture (Also known as ADR)

Meal Penalty: A set fee paid by the producer for failure to provide meals as set by the contract

Monologue: A solo performance by an actor

Out time: The actual time after which you have changed out of wardrobe and are released

Overtime (OT): Work extending beyond the contractual workday

P.A.: Production Assistant

Pan: A camera shot which sweeps from side to side

Pick-up: an added take because of a problem with a shot

Pilot: The first show introducing the characters and situations for a potential series

Popping: A vocal term used to describe the sudden release of blocked air into a microphone causing a popping sound

POV shot: A point of view shot; camera angle from the perspective of one actor

Principal: A performer with lines or special business which advances the storyline

Producer: (or Line Producer) The person responsible for the day-to-day decision making on a production

Re-write: Changes in the scripts; often made using color-coded pages

Scale: Minimum payment for services under Union contracts

Scale+ 10: Minimum payment + 10% to cover agent’s commission

Script Supervisor: The crew member assigned to record all changes or actions as the production proceeds

Sides: Pages or scenes from a script used for auditions

Sight-and-sound: Parent’s right’s under Union contracts to be within the sight of the child performer at all times

Signatory: An employer who has agreed to produce under the terms of a union contract

Slate: A small chalkboard and clapper device, used to mark and identify shots for editing; also the verbal identification by a performer in a taped audition (i.e. “Slate your name.”)

Stage Manager: The person who oversees the technical aspects of an in-studio production

Station 12: At SAG, the office responsible for clearing SAG members to work

Studio Teacher: Set teacher or tutor, hired to provide education to working with young performers; also responsible for enforcing Child Labor Law

Stunt Coordinator: The persons in charge of designing and supervising the performance of stunts and hazardous activities

Submission: An agent’s suggestion to a casting director for a role in a certain production

Taft-Hartley: A federal statute which allows 30 days after first employment before being required to join a Union

Take: The clapboard indication of a shot “taken” or printed

Take 5: The announcement of a periodic five minute breaks

Waivers: Board-approved permission for deviation from the terms of a contract

Walk-on: A very brief role

Wardrobe: The clothing a performer wears on camera

Work Permit: A legal document required to allow a child to work, issued by various state or local agencies

Wrap: finishing a production

~Kia Riddick-Taylor