How to get a job as a seat filler
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A seat filler is a person that is hired to hold a celebrity's seat for events, both high-profile (think the Academy Awards) and more obscure events. Once the celebrity arrives, the seat filler leaves and holds another seat.
The jobs are not paid, but people are drawn to the profession because of the access they gain to their favourite stars and the entrée to very expensive and exclusive events.
- A seat filler is a person that is hired to hold a celebrity's seat for events, both high-profile (think the Academy Awards) and more obscure events.
Register with a seat filler company. There are only a few agencies that provide seat fillers for various entertainment events, including seatfiller.com and audiencesunlimited.com. Visit their Web pages and complete the application. The application will likely ask for basic demographic questions (like your address and phone number), along with a recent photo and brief statement on why you'd like to be a seat filler. Beyond established agencies like the ones listed above, it can be difficult to find agencies, particularly if you live outside of Los Angeles. Your local Film Commission, the government agency that provides filming permits for all kinds of shoots and events, is a good place to start. They keep records of most entertainment-related businesses and can point you in the right direction. Also, talent agents in your area might provide seat fillers or be able to tell you who does. National talent agencies like John Robert Powers and Barbizon Modeling are good resources.
Prepare for an assignment. If there is a match for your gender, experience and area (most assignments take place in the Los Angeles area), then you will be assigned an event. Most events have strict dress codes, so you will need to be sure that you have the proper attire. Many events are very formal, but not all, so you should be 100 per cent clear on the dress. You will also need to arrange your own transportation to and from the venue.
Observe the rules of seat filling. It's important to adhere the rules if you'd like to be called back for future assignments. The big rule is do not speak to talent (celebrities), ask for autographs or pictures. Depending on the company that you work with, you may not even be able to bring a camera to the venue. Other rules include only moving around in designated areas of the venue (so you can't go exploring while on assignment) and you must show up on time.
- Prepare for an assignment.
- Other rules include only moving around in designated areas of the venue (so you can't go exploring while on assignment) and you must show up on time.
Work your way up. The first assignment you do may not be a high-profile event, but if you observe the rules and express interest in more assignments, you may be able to work your way up to more exclusive events.
Whitney Elaine is a freelance writer in the Washington, D.C. area. Besides contributing to Web sites like BusinessWeek.com, AOL and Parents.com, she's worked for magazines like "Essence," "Heart & Soul" and "Sister 2 Sister." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in print/online journalism from Howard University and has been writing for since 2004.