Get Paid to Be an Audience Member: 7+ Places That Find You Jobs
Updated on: by Olivia
I’m willing to bet that most of you would pay money to be an audience member of some of your favorite TV shows to watch them live.
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But I also bet that you didn’t know that you can actually get paid to be an audience member for some shows.
Some shows simply want to make sure that all their audience seats are filled; if not, it would look pretty dull on live TV!
To do this, they’ll use the help of casting agencies to find people just like you who want to watch the shows live.
And they’ll pay them to do it.
So not only do you get to check out a live taping of a popular TV show, but you’ll also get paid for the task.
If this sounds like something that interests you, then read on to learn more about it and how to get started.
What It’s Like to Be a Paid Audience Member
Being a paid audience member is one of the most unique gigs around, but it’s not very common.
So, it’s not likely that you’ll hear a bunch of people talking about it.
Fortunately for you, I’ve done my research and rounded up everything I found to let you know how it works and what it’s like.
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What Do Paid Audience Members Do?
The primary job of a paid audience member is to sit back and enjoy the show!
Depending on the show, a casting company may try to look for people who are more outgoing and willing to act silly or even be on the show if it’s an interactive one that picks people from the audience.
But most of the time, you’ll just watch, maybe have the opportunity to ask a question or answer a question on air, or clap.
There usually aren’t any strict requirements of audience members or experience needed to become an audience member for pay, so this isn’t something you need to train or study for.
In most cases, casting companies want to find very ordinary, average audiences for the shows they’re casting for, so they’ll take people of all colors, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds to fill the seats.
What are the Requirements to Become a Paid Audience Member?
As I mentioned, there are usually not strict requirements to become a paid audience member, although each show will have its own guidelines.
Most shows seek a general audience and want a good mix of people in their seats so that, on camera, it looks like a regular audience that wanted to watch the show.
However, there are some kinds of shows that might look for a certain type of person to fill at least some of the spots.
Talk shows, for example, might look for people who will be willing to ask questions or share their opinions about the topic on camera.
Game shows may want enthusiastic and animated people who would be a good fit for potential game show contestants to be pulled from the audience.
More radical shows designed to really engage the audience with off-the-wall topics or antics will probably look for people who aren’t scared to be dynamic in the audience with their shouting or clapping.
If you feel like you’ll fit into one end of the spectrum more than the other, then it’s important to indicate this with the casting company so they know what kind of seats you’re willing to fill.
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How Does the Casting Process Work?
First, you’ll start by signing up for the casting companies I’ve listed below.
In some cases, you can find casting information for different shows on their websites, but not all shows include that information.
When you join a casting company’s database, your information will stay in their database and they can contact you when they have a spot open for you.
You may need to answer a few questions from a casting representative just to make sure you’re a good fit for the specific show for which they’re casting.
If you’re a match, you’ll get the details about the show, when to attend, and how to get paid from the casting company.
To apply to most jobs, you’ll probably need to validate your identity with a photo ID.
Some shows may want you to adhere to a dress code, but the casting company will let you know all that before your trip.
Be prepared to pay for the cost of travel to and from the taping studio.
What Locations are Best for Finding Paid Audience Member Jobs?
Large cities that regularly tape live audience shows are the best places to find these jobs.
It’s easy to find audience work in Los Angeles, for example, or paid gigs for TV shows taping in NYC.
However, you might also be able to find work if you live near other hotspot locations, like Miami, FL, Dallas, TX, or Las Vegas, NV.
If you don’t live near the studio you’ll attend for a taping, then you may end up paying more in travel costs than you’ll get from the job, which is what you want to avoid.
It’s best if you live within a one-hour driving radius at the most from the studios you’ll need to travel to.
How Much Do Paid Audience Members Get Paid?
Your pay as an audience member can vary depending on the show, how long the show taping lasts, what the show requires of you, and how much the casting company is willing to pay.
Some places pay differently, too, with each show.
While you might get paid hourly for attending some tapings, you might get a flat rate for other show tapings.
You can expect to earn anywhere from $50 to $100 or more for a flat fee, while hourly rates usually hover in the $10-$25 range.
Remember that a show that airs for one hour may need audience members for 2-3 hours to complete the taping, so you’ll get paid accordingly for that extra time.
If you go through a casting company, it will be the casting company that pays you, so be sure to inquire about rates before you agree to attend a taping.
Do All Shows Pay Audience Members?
No, not all shows will pay their audience members.
Many of them, instead, give out free tickets to people who want to join the audience.
This is true for many of the game shows you see on the air, like The Price Is Right or Ellen’s Game of Games.
Usually, the shows that give free tickets are the ones that advertise audience member spots on their websites, but not always.
Some of the gigs you find with casting companies may be for free tickets instead of paid tickets, so just keep in mind that it’s something to look out for.
Read More: How to Get on a Gameshow: 12 Popular Shows Looking for Contestants
Places to Find Paid Audience Member Jobs
To make it easier for you to find paid audience member jobs without having to scour the internet, I’ve put together this list of casting companies that can help you:
This company’s website lets you create a profile and search for paid audience member gigs and other gigs to attend live events.
Once you create your profile, you can look through the available shows and find stuff that interests you.
Then, request your tickets!
Most of the tickets on this site will be for free to help you attend a live taping or event, but you may get lucky and find paying gigs, too.
Visit the Onset Productions website
On TV Taping, you can request tickets to your favorite shows.
The downside of this site is that it currently focuses only on shows taped in New York City.
Fortunately, that’s where many of today’s most popular tapings occur, like The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Live with Kelly & Ryan.
Most opportunities here are also for free tickets, but it’s possible to find a paid gig here and there.
Standing Room Only
Standing Room Only is a company that’s dedicated to filling those empty seats at TV tapings.
It helps shows find their audience members and it helps you become an audience member with a paycheck.
You can register for free to start browsing the open casting listings on the site.
Most of them pay $12 an hour and up for you to sit in the audience and get entertained.
Visit the Standing Room Only website
Mandy is a network for creative professionals, like actors, singers, dancers, and other artists who contract for jobs.
However, you may be able to find gigs on the site that let you become a paid audience member for your favorite TV shows.
You can browse the listings posted by casting and production companies to see what’s available, and you can create a profile on the site for free.
That way, casters can find you!
This website is a good one to use to find auditions of all types, including those for paid audience members.
You can look for new casting calls or browse all audition listings on the site.
AuditionsFree also has an alert system that you can use to be the first to know when new listings pop up that match your search criteria for paid audience member gigs.
Visit the AuditionsFree website
You can skip the casting companies if you want and search on your own, instead, for paid audience member jobs.
Craigslist is a legit place to do this, although you need to be careful to watch out for scams.
Search large cities on Craigslist for paid audience member jobs.
Cities like New York City or Los Angeles will probably have the most gigs available.
However, you can look in areas near you, too, just to see if there’s anything going on there.
Most of the time, these ads will be placed by casting companies, so you can do some research and find out if it’s a legit place you want to deal with.
If the ad sounds fishy, stay away from it.
Unfortunately, this is an area that can get hit hard by scammers who want to make money off people looking for easy gigs like these.
Job Search Websites
You can also try to search on job search websites, like Indeed or Snag-A-Job, for paid audience member gigs.
Again, it’ll be easier to find them in the big cities where live tapings are often held, but you may have luck searching in your area if you live close to a metro area.
Use a term like “paid audience” or “paid audience member” to see what results come up.
You can also set alerts for some sites to notify you when anything matching your search criteria pops up on the site.
Indeed lets you do this and sends your alerts to your email.
Conclusion: Get Paid to Be an Audience Member
Now that you know how to become a paid audience member (and that it’s a real, legitimate gig!), you can start working toward making this gig a reality for you.
Although paid audience membership isn’t likely to replace your regular job, it can be a fun way to earn extra income when you’re not working.
Have you done something like this before?
I’d love to hear from people who have had experience as a paid audience member. Let me know in a comment what it was like and how you did it.
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