Absolutely not! The average registration fee is around \\$25.00. Beware of advertisements that claim they can guarantee work for you. The SCAMS typically get you in the door and charge an outrageous sum of money. They claim to have lots of projects and promise to get you booked. Legitimate agencies don't advertise in the newspaper, nor do they post ads at pay phones. They also do not promise to get you work. The truth is that you either look right for a part or you don't. In other words, if you are short and very skinny, don't expect to be booked as a bodyguard.
No. When you get booked to work as a background actor, you will either work on a non-union or a union production. On a union production, they have a signed contract with the union and they are required to hire union crew and talent, but they are allowed to hire a specific number of non-union talent after the union talent has been filled.