As you read Stand-In Central, it would probably be helpful for you to think about the instructions on the site for standing in more as principles than as rules.

In my book Long-Form Improv, I make a distinction between rules and principles that is just as valid for the actor-improviser as it is for the stand-in.  A rule is an instruction that always applies.  If it’s a rule, whatever it is, you follow it always.  A principle is slightly different.  A principle is an instruction that applies in general but not necessarily always.  That means if it’s a principle, whatever it is, there are exceptions, so follow it usually but look out for times when there’s a better option.

Some sets are strict, while others are laid back.  Some require color cover while some don’t.  Some sets will learn your name, while some sets won’t bother to learn your name.  Given that every set is a little different, the implication is that the instructions on Stand-In Central don’t always apply, and sometimes different instructions will apply.  Keep that in mind as you read about standing in on this website.

While the instructions are better seen as principles than as rules, it would be a great idea to learn the instructions for standing in more as rules than as principles so that you are best prepared for what you come up against on your first days of standing in.  Scan the Stand-In Central website or download The Stand-In Handbook which organizes the information into a PDF file.  Armed with the knowledge of how professional stand-ins do their job, you’ll be battle-ready for the challenges you’ll face on your first ever stand-in gig.

Have you put the instruction on Stand-In Central to good use?  Share your experiences below!