HOW JOBS ARE CAST IN THE INDUSTRY.
THREE KEY PLAYERS:
A talent agent is someone who represents professional actors, writers, performers, musicians, artists and athletes. Talent agents work on behalf of their clients to promote and represent their interests, and will typically handle the majority of all interactions between their client and the employer.
In simplest terms, the job of a talent manager is to organize and advance the career of a talented individual. Clients may include actors, artists, musicians, or athletes. You are responsible for seeking job opportunities for clients and representing your clients’ interests during the negotiation of contracts.
- CASTING DIRECTOR
Casting Directors organize and facilitate the casting of actors for all the roles in a film. This involves working closely with the director and producer to understand their requirements, and suggesting ideal artists for each role, as well as arranging and conducting interviews and auditions.
Agents and Managers, get a casting call from a Casting Director, Advertising Exec. Photographers, etc. with a breakdown. This can be very specific (age, hair color, etc. or very general all types in an age range). At this time most of what we submit is digital via email, although we do submit photos. We must have good quality photos on file, minimum of 50 copies. (Please see photo description)
The Casting Director typically decides whom they want to see. A GOOD Agent and
especially a GOOD Manager will PITCH talent to a CD. I have been able to book talent
right off their photo by ‘pitching’ them, and even gotten a part changed from gender or age! When you get a call from your Agent or Manager, the information talent should get regarding the audition is: date, time, location, directions (they should also have a map in their car) shoot date, (don’t go to an audition if not available to shoot) look or type wanted. Take a photo and resume on the audition, do not be late and do not skip an audition if you are committed. Most all auditions are scheduled at the last minute, we have sometimes less than 2 hours to submit photos, and less than 24 hours to schedule auditions. Auditions can take a while (2-3 hours) so be patient.
This is when the field has been narrowed down; the talent is now a finalist! Follow the same procedure as in the audition. Go looking exactly the same, (unless your agent tells you otherwise) even wearing the same outfit. The casting process may have several
call backs, each one narrowing down the number of talent called back. If you get a call
back that means you are doing something right.
Make sure you get the date, time, location, and directions (don’t forget your map). Make certain you know wardrobe and prop information. Pick up a voucher from the agency office, have the client sign it on set for verification of work. Turn agency copy immediately for billing. Always be professional, considerate, and cooperative when on set. You may be used again in the future, if you do a good job. Sometimes you will be on hold, or dates will be tentative for shooting, so you must be flexible. Also, it can take 12 hours or two or three days to shoot a 30 second spot, so be patient.
Checks not given to the talent until we receive payment form the client which can take up to 90 days for billing (a lot of which is out of state, and goes through several channels of approval) Have checks sent to the agency office, we can better track them. Anything you sign on the set, get a copy for your agent. You are advised NOT to call the client for any reason. This makes you look unprofessional and a pest. Clients will not hire pests. Any problems or questions you may have, call your agent to handle it.
This business revolves around photos. Photos will MAKE OR BREAK your career. Since you are seen 9 times out of 10 by photo, they should not just be good, they should be GREAT! RELY ON YOUR AGENT TO ADVISE YOU ON PHOTO SELECTION, INCLUDING THE PHOTOGRAPHER TO USE. TOP CASTING DIRECTOR AL ONORATO GIVES THIS ADVICE, “TWO THINGS YOU NEVER SKIM ON, TRAINING AND PHOTOS, THAT SAYS IT ALL.”
8×10 color lasers or lithographs are standard for actors; with resume on the back (paper should be cut to 8×10) 8×10 composites are also for actors to show variety, although the trend in L.A. is to have Theatrical Head Shots. 2-3 different looks duplicated with resumes that your agent will determine which one to submit. L.A. trend is head and shoulders some on location, with a wide border. LA Talent Showcase offers a resume service- call for details.
Zed cards are a smaller size (4×6) with up to 4 photos front and back (no resume but all stats are printed). Will run, color $180 for 100 copies. Laser copies are also being used especially for models, but can be expensive.
Always get photos and resumes approved by your agent before having them printed, and make sure your agency info is on all promotional pieces. Only have your Agent/Manager address and phone # for your safety. If you do not yet have
an Agent or Manager use only a phone # and email address.