The major ongoing expense for actors today is online profiles on casting services.
Every day, someone says I can’t afford this one or that one.
I get that.
Life as an actor is tough. Your income is rarely guaranteed and some years many will not earn at all. You may have a great year this year and nothing for 2 years. It happens.
However, the adage “advertise always and especially in adverse times” applies here. There are thousands of casting directors, directors, young film makers and their teams, scouring the internet every day.
Casting Services give the industry professionals two very valuable tools.
• Access to a lot of talent in one place
• Freedom to browse anonymously
Why can’t they just go to the agents’ websites?
Because they’d have to go to hundreds, even thousands of different sites depending on the country and region. Also, many agents have stopped listing their clients on their website because of security concerns. It’s costly and an ongoing daily process to stay abreast of security online. Casting services have the resources to do this. Most agents do not.
Why do they want to browse anonymously?
Maybe their script isn’t fully developed yet and they are fleshing out their characters and looking for ideas.
For sure they will have concerns around confidentiality. Most projects including their synopsis and script are very confidential right up to release but even more so when in the ideas stage.
So how can you use the casting services to enhance your career?
First you have to understand the purpose of the online profile.
Your online profiles are there to promote you by making your resume, photos and reels easily available, in an approved industry format, to verified industry professionals, in a secure place.
But most of all your online profiles allow you to tell your story.
Most actors just throw up a photo or two, a reel or a clip and some credits. And they only update their profile when reminded. If that’s how you look at your online profiles then you are missing opportunities.
Your profile is a reflection of you.
A casually put together, out of date profile indicates a casual, unprofessional, perhaps disinterested or uneducated actor.
A professionally put together profile contains just the right amount of information to get people interested and then tells your story.
The story of an actor who has attended relevant courses and workshops, invested in quality photos and clips or scenes and who has proactively sought out quality work.
It also tells the viewer that you are a rounded individual who has interests outside of acting; sports, dance, music, languages, home based skills like cooking or knitting; extreme sports like mountain climbing or base jumping – whatever you do.
It’s not so much about what but that you do it. That you do not sit at home waiting for the phone to ring; you are out in the world gaining life experience and skills and embracing life.
It makes you interested and interesting.
Which casting services should you be on?
That is up to your agent. In Australia, America and the UK I recommend two, sometimes three. In New Zealand, I recommend one sometimes two.
Choosing the right casting services is as important as having the right information on your profile so get advice from your agent.
Put up interesting, professional profiles on the right casting services and make them a work in progress. Check them and update them, tweak and change them at least every month – more if you can. Show that you are interested and interesting. You will be surprised how things may change for you. Certainly, your credibility in the industry will be improved.
Trust me, when you look at hundreds, if not thousands of online profiles every week as many casting directors do, you soon sort out which actors understand and treasure their online profiles as a valuable resource in their career and which actors don’t.
If an actor is prepared to invest in themselves, then I am happy to invest time and resources in them and that tells the casting director that the actor is worth investing their precious audition time in.