"Several Short Topics"
Being Prepared - What does it mean to be prepared? Many of
you have seen this before, but I will run through it again.
Having current multiple photos posted on all the casting
sites is the first step, along with a complete online
profile and resume. Casting directors are now writing and
telling us they will not even consider someone who only has
a photo or two posted. And when it comes to resumes,
Casting Frontier now has a policy that anyone without a
resume posted will go into a separate category yhat will
not be seen by casting directors.
Please read the following from Casting Frontier:
Directors have explained that their core responsibility is
to understand and address talent strengths and abilities;
therefore, a comprehensive resume including experience and
special skills is paramount to this service. Casting
Directors are passing on otherwise qualified talent simply
because they have incomplete profiles on Casting Frontier.
Actors who have accounts with headshots and COMPLETED
RESUMES will be considered for roles when submitted through
clear. No resume and online profile = you won't even be
looked at by casting.
And here are a few 'Tweets' regarding photos from one of
the busiest casting directors in town:
*"8 pictures are
great 20 is too much. show us what you look like
today..not what you looked like in the past.
Keep it real." (what she is also saying here is to remove
the older pictures)
*"Pictures can get expensive.. but you change your hair color you change
*"Make sure we have the option of seeing different
headshots so we can
make the decision if you are right for the project"
*"CD's need options"
Try to cover all of your bases when it comes to online
photos, videos and information. There are soooooo many jobs
that many of you cannot be submitted for simply because of
a lack of these items.
Let me put it this way.......being an actor of any age
nowadays means that you have to have an open mind about
what can get you an audition. Unless you have been doing
this for some time and have a solid resume and casting
knows you very well, you are going to miss numerous
opportunities. Sometimes it's all about talent. Other
times, it is simply a 'look' or 'type' or 'skill'. But to
truly have all of your options available, an actor needs to
look at everything he/she can bring to the table. Many of
these 'extra' photos do not require a professional shoot.
Everyone has access to a digital camera nowadays. Just step
outside and take a few.
Here is a short list of some ideas:
1. You have a family - put up a picture - don't forget
grandma, grandpa, uncles, aunts, etc.
2. You have a pet - post a picture of the two of you
3. You have a significant other, a spouse, a best friend or
friends - post photos
4. You have a nice house - post a picture of you and/or
family, friends, love ones, pets in front of the house
(production may want to shoot the job at your home = more
5. You ride a motorcycle or drive a classic car - post
6. Do you have a job that requires wearing some kind of
uniform? - post a photo
7. You have an unusual/interesting voice - post an mp3
audio with your accounts
8. Do you have nice looking hands? Post a nice
photo...applies to kids and adults
Note - your family members or loved ones or friends or pets
do not have to be experienced actors. Casting is looking
for the real thing. If they want real actors to portray a
family, they will do what is called a 'mix and match'
casting session - in other words, create a family from a
pool of actors. So Uncle Joe or your friend Laurie does not
have to worry about being an actor. Just show up and smile
Here are a few more examples of 'real' things casting looks
for......just to give you an idea that their requests can
be all over the map. These were pulled from the breakdowns
over a two day period:
while riding a unicycle - provide online video
Must be 7 months pregnant
Must have a military background or be currently serving
Must be taking Celebrix
Must be a cancer survivor
Must be a singing, cowgirl accordion player with video
Must have really gone to college
Must have a culinary background
Must be a real grad student
Must be real flyfishermen/women
Must be a beautiful caucasian scandinavian woman that
speaks cambodian with a european accent (seriously, this is
Must currently be on a team (pick a sport) - please provide
video link with submissions
Must be this tall
Must wear this size
Must have played high school/college sports
Must be Direct tv customers
Must be home schooled
Must have a current passport
Obviously, an actor cannot be right for all jobs. The point
is to have everything available so that you can be
submitted for as many jobs that you are right for.
When I first began suggesting that actors post extra
pictures and video links a few years ago, it was mostly as
an addition to the actors overall profile...for those rare,
every now and then times when something comes up. It would
give my actors a bit of an edge as to who gets called in.
But now, those extra photos, videos, mp3's, youtube links,
etc. are not just a nice addition - they are a necessity.
They are requested day in and day out. Without them, the
actor is being left behind. Here is a typical request from
a casting director - "MUST INCLUDE LINKS ON SUBMISSIONS TO
VIDEOS OF TALENT. NO LINK= NO AUDITION"
SAG and Non Union Work:
If you are in
the union, you cannot go out on non union jobs.
If you are not in the union, you can go out on both SAG and
non union jobs, but in many cases you will not be seen for
SAG jobs because they will only see SAG members.
Ideally, you are SAG eligible - that means you have been
invited to join the union but have not done so. In this
case, you can be seen for non union work and if you are
right, can be brought in for SAG jobs.
Self submissions......most of you are familiar with this.
Once you have signed on to the casting sites, you can
submit yourself for many jobs. Most of these pay very
little or nothing at all. Every now and then, you may have
the opportunity to submit yourself for a 'real' job....a
SAG job or a non union job that pays very well. I encourage
you to do so, but choose them carefully. Don't waste your
time doing something that pays nothing and only shows you
in the background. If you see a good, high paying non union
job or a SAG job, go ahead and submit yourself for those.
Even if you've already been submitted by your agent or
manager for the same project, you never know where that
audition will come from. Of course, it's not always about
how much they are paying. If you also see something that
will give you good experience on camera, but does not pay,
you can submit for that job also.
Call backs and Avails - most of you understand these terms, but
for those who don't....
A callback means that you have made the first cut. You are
being brought back for another look. It means you are in
the running, but does not mean you are going to get the
job. Callbacks are a very good indicator as to how someone
Being put on 'Avail' means that casting is checking for
your availability on the shoot dates. It does not mean you
have booked the job, but once again is a very good
indicator as to how someone is doing. Getting an 'Avail' is
close to booking the job.
Audition information - when you receive the audition notice,
read everything. Read every follow up notice/message that
comes in regarding an audition. There may be changes that
you need to know about. In most cases, if there is a
script, it is attached to the audition notice itself. You
do not have to look for it anywhere else. Notice if there
is a time frame. Read over the wardrobe they are looking
for. Look at the photo that was submitted so that you will
have an idea of the look that got you the audition. Make
sure you are going to the correct
You have to confirm your
auditions with as soon as possible....not several hours
later, not the next day. Casting is getting tougher and
tougher about these confirmations and are canceling
auditions very quickly if they do not see a confirmation.
If you can't get online to confirm yourself, just let your
agent or manager know. They'll take care of it. Leave a
message, send a text, write an email.
Current information - many, many jobs ask for a specific size
or weight or height. It is the actor's job to keep that
information current online. This is where your agent and
manager look to see if someone fits the specs. If your
information is outdated, you will probably not be
submitted, or (even worse) you could be submitted for
something that no longer applies to you.
Skills and sports - if
you are good at something....skateboarding, playing the
tuba, stand up comedian, yoga, talking backwards, etc.
etc., you need to have a minute or two of video. You can
post it with your online accounts or give your agent or
manager a youtube link. There are many people who do this
in the biz and they are the ones who get those kind of
calls. You may have a very special ability or skill, but if
it's not online, odds are you won't be seen.
For the kids.
Jobs are lost because work
permits are not current. Clients go to all the trouble to
go to the audition, then to the callback, then get the
great news they booked the job, only to lose it because it
was shooting right away and the work permits were not
current. Remember: no work permit = no work.
It's a really tough way for a young actor to lose a
job and perhaps thousands of
Rising Stars Talent