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Advertising Yourself Online

Nick Swann from CastLink, an online casting service for entertainment professionals, discusses and gives advice on best practice when advertising yourself online.

Agents by definition benefit from your success in the form of commission, and will, from the beginning “choose” to represent you as they feel you will benefit them. In addition they will book you in for castings and jobs and receive payment on your behalf before deducting their commission and forwarding the remainder onto you. They will deal directly with the client on your behalf and deal with any negotiations involving your “booking” or “casting”. A genuine agent will take you on as they believe they will benefit financially from representing you.

An online service is entirely different and in most respects the complete opposite. In the case of an online site you represent yourself, a site has no jurisdiction as to who joins. The job of a site is essentially as an information service of current opportunities within the entertainment industry that any particular site may have to offer. Any given site will only benefit from an artists success in the form of a testimonial and not financially. An online service’s revenue stream comes entirely as a subscription payment in order for artist’s to gain access to opportunities and consequently apply for those that they fit the criteria for. All negotiations from that point are between the artist and the client with the site having no role to play whatsoever. Call times, contracts and payments are made exclusively between the artist and the client.

Advice for people advertising themselves online – remember you are marketing yourself! Casting professionals work to very tight deadlines, you must give yourself the very best chance of success:

Keep you profiles up-to-date; current phone number (casting directors, production companies, 2nd assistant directors will etc will virtually always call you if interested)

Photographs; Having clear, current images of yourself (without breaking the bank) will portray you accurately and create the “right” impression. Anyone potentially booking you for a casting/job will bin you immediately if your images are illegible. In addition if you are booked for a job directly from your images and you turn up looking 10 years older – they will not be happy.

You must be accurate with your sizes – if you are booked directly from your profile (generally in the case of background work) and you go to fitting having been economic with truth you will in most cases be sent away. This will have an adverse effect on you and quite possibly the site you originated from.

When applying for Castings and jobs online it is extremely important that you read the breakdown carefully and apply accordingly – stick to the parameters requested ie age range, ethnicity, acting ability etc. Its not a case where “if they see me, they will like me!” as many tend to assume! They want to see exactly what they have asked for. Again this is important, not only to increasing any chance of success but also to the site where the opportunity has originated from. A site will only be able to continue to provide on their platform good opportunities as long as its subscribers use the system properly.

Those new to the industry should also be aware of general industry etiquette; being on time for castings and jobs, the do’s and dont’s of being of set, casting technique etc. There are workshops out there that can advise on the above if needed.

 




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