Models and Actors- What Agents and Casting Directors need to get you booked.

Posted by Liza Elliott-Ramirez March - 29 - 2013
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As talent we all know the change that’s occurred in the entertainment industry over the past couple of years. Models and Actors are expected to do more for lower rates and pay upfront costs to be on different casting platforms and agency websites.

Although it may feel like a rip-off, and more than it’s worth, let’s take a look at what was expected of models and actors over a decade ago.

Fashion, Runway, Lifestyle and commercial print agents used printed hard copy books which cost talent anywhere between $750-$1500 a year. Portfolio’s and head-shots would be sent via messenger for clients to view and directly book talent from portfolios. As a result, models and commercial print actors would end up with a lump sum of money deducted by their agents for these services. All delivery costs would be considered agency deductions that would come out of the model/actor earnings.

Nowadays, it’s uncommon for casting directors or agents to even accept your hard copy head-shot or Zed/Composite Card at a casting or audition. The call time you’ve received is from an electronic submission. The advent of the web has changed everything.

Agent and Casting Director requestsMany models and actors are falling short and not getting call times because they are behind the times. If talent profiles on agency and casting websites are lacking materials when being submitted, they are less likely to get the call time. Agents and Casting need to see different dynamics from each talent. Models should have profiles that display a range of looks and actors should always have their resume uploaded to on-line platforms where breakdowns are listed. The Video reel is also extremely important as this will show casting directors and producers your recent work.

Another important aspect of an actor’s resume is training. This applies especially for actor’s who have not booked yet or haven’t worked in a while. Casting Directors would like to see the ways in which you are perfecting and working on your craft. Additionally, many casting directors are looking for talent who have improvisation and comedy experience listed on their resume. They are not always asking for stand-up comedians or people who have a solid comedy background, but they do like to see some attempt at improved skills on your resume.

More mature models and actors can no longer rely on a 6-year-old Zed/Composite card that appear dated. Black and white head-shots just don’t cut it anymore. Quite frankly, they haven’t for years now.

Having old photos is misrepresentation and trust me, your profile will go to the bottom of the list. Agents, casting directors and producers are setting their preference to move talent with the most current material to the top of their list.

This applies to all types of performers including Maternity Models, Model Mom’s with babies, Real Families, Actors and Child Performers.

As an agent, I’m always rooting for you. I would not take on talent if I did not feel you wouldn’t work. However, agents can only do so much for you. It’s up to you to keep your end of the bargain. Updating photos, updating pregnancy digitals, Head-shots and uploading resumes is your job.

In addition, showing up on auditions with clean hair, nails, and proper makeup and wardrobe requests is imperative. This proves you’re in the game to win it.

So put your best face forward, show up prepared, on time and with proper materials.

It can only be a win-win for all!

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