Production only sees two types of talent. One talent type is always early . . . while the other talent type is always late. Surprisingly, both quandaries cause issues for production.
Obviously, we all know that being late ruffles feathers in the casting room and on set, but what qualifies "late" exactly? If your call time is 10:20 and you arrive at 10:19, you're late. It may sound harsh, but call times are the hard and fast dial on the clock when you are expected to be entering the casting room. What will cause you to be late walking in the door at 10:19 is administrative - paperwork, snapshots, signing in, etc.
The stuff that most talent enjoy the least, right? But consider if you don't take time to sign in, fill out your paperwork, and submit your headshots/snapshots, what might happen a few hours later. Without that administrative step, the director(s) and producer(s) and/or ad agent(s) aren't able to communicate about who they want to book -- it might have been you! But you would never know because you wouldn't get the job. I make a ridiculous point because you know you have to help everyone stay organized, but don't make the mistake of undervaluing it's purpose.
What some talent don't realize, is that showing up early is a big problem as well! A call time is set for a reason -- to keep the day flowing smoothly and everyone on task. Executing a flawless casting or production is nearly impossible! When a talent shows up to a casting or a set 30-45 minutes early, some of the same challenging problems arise. They create a distraction for those talent who are trying to stay focused. They take up space that is too limited in everyone's world, cramping those who are trying to stay focused. They blow their agents phones up because no one is there yet or they interrupt something important because no one is expecting the extra body, noise, presence, distraction.
On time is tricky, but not impossible. A wise talent knows that arriving early is never a problem. Where they convince everyone else they are a professional is by not entering the call space until 10 minutes before their call time. They sit in their car and read a book, play a game on their iphone, listen to music, and use the time to focus on their character. They don't make their presence known until it's time to do administrative tasks that will prepare them to do their job as a professional.
So the blog begs to ask the question -- are you a professional?