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85 Years Of Spotlight: Membership developments

26th September 2012

Spotlight as a company may have changed significantly over the past 85 years but the guiding principle remains the same – to give our members the best opportunities possible by whatever means possible.

This means we’re always working hard for our members and are always looking at ways to support actors, be it through the service, advice, help or offers. There’s so much that your Spotlight membership goes towards – here’s a little of what it covers.

Casting database and job opportunities

Most importantly, your membership gives you entry in both our online and print formats, both of which are used by casting and production professionals around the world, as well as leading agents and those within the industry.


This means you get exposure to industry professionals across all formats, be they online or print, and you or your agent can submit yourself for roles on The Spotlight Link.

We have a wide range of exceptional projects for professional performers, with around 90% of acting work in the UK cast via the Spotlight Link.

For example, in July 2012 an average of 708 individual roles went our across the Spotlight Link each week, ranging from major Hollywood and British feature films, television, theatre, musical theatre, pantomime, short films, and corporate and commercial work.

Your Spotlight CV is the best way to promote yourself online, and includes free photo uploads as well as the option to upload showreels and voice clips. We’re currently working on some major improvements to our multimedia service, which will include the option for members to upload video clips for free.

The UK’s leading casting and production professionals use both the Spotlight Link and Spotlight books on a daily basis. We constantly monitor usage of our formats to ensure our members are getting seen by as many industry professionals as possible.

Our technology changes frequently, according to the demand of our users (of which we’ll explain more later). For print, a large amount of the industry still requests and uses the books and we will continue to publish as long as that demand is there.

Extra services and career advice

As a Spotlight member, you don’t just get exposure to hundreds of job opportunities every week. We’re determined to ensure our members have all the opportunities possible to find acting work.

This includes our free advice and information services. Every week we run Spotlight Mondays – free 20 minute one-on-one career advice sessions – where members can discuss and get advice on any aspect of their career.


We also offer free advice sessions and seminars at many of the acting events around the UK over the course of the year, such as the Edinburgh and Brighton Fringes, Surviving Actors Manchester, and Perform in London.

Spotlight members can also access a wealth of advice from casting directors, agents, fellow performers and Spotlight experts in ever popular Spotlight podcasts, while our news pages regularly carry tips, advice and features aimed at helping and supporting performers.

We also work hard to secure discounts for Spotlight members throughout the year. Your Spotlight Card currently gives you discounts on theatre tickets, career development and workshops, health services, hair and beauty companies, magazines and newspapers, food and drink, and a range of non-acting employment when you need extra cash between roles and auditions.

A human face

At Spotlight, we pride ourselves on being more than just a casting database. We have an open office policy, where members can stop by Spotlight’s offices and speak to a member of our team – whether it’s for advice, support, promoting yourself or simply for a chat about the industry.

We aim to answer any queries within 24 hours and if you call Spotlight you’ll always be speaking directly to the relevant team member for your enquiry.

We’ll check and edit, where necessary, every submission made by members so you’re presented in the best possible light to the industry. Photo not quite shining online? We’ll retouch it or advise you not to use it at all. A typo in your latest credit? We’ll proofread and correct.

For members who aren’t comfortable with using the internet – or are unable to get online – our team will update your CV for you. We’re always on hand to make a quick alteration or add a credit or a headshot.

On the first floor, our multimedia team are responsible for your showreels, uploading and maintaining them, and also advising members on any form of multimedia. The team also offer showreel editing services and are often behind the camera at the castings many of you will have attended at Spotlight.


And there are many other team members who provide a valuable service for members. We work with all sectors of the industry – from agents to casting directors, broadcasters to theatres, training organisations to unions, directors to producers – so our members have access to the best opportunities and support, and also to ensure Spotlight services the industry in the best possible way.

This includes working with our partners Breakdown Services in the United States and Showcast in Australia. As part of the International Alliance of Casting Directories, our reciprocal agreements mean that our members have global exposure.

More recently, we arranged exclusive access to Spotlight for all members of the CSA (Casting Society of America). For casting directors using our website, our overseas partnerships mean they can search performer CVs from these websites and send out their casting briefs internationally.

Industry Voices

Ahead of our 85th celebrations, we asked leading actors, agents and casting directors how the industry has evolved over recent years, what an average day for them involves, the best part of their job and the part Spotlight plays in the industry.

Working for your future

There’s one area we’ve yet to mention and this is our IT and technology team, who play a vital part in the future of Spotlight – and your career.

This is the fastest growing area of Spotlight and the team has nearly doubled in the past 12 months alone. On a day to day basis, the team help our members with any technical questions about But much more than that, they are building for your future.

Whether this is improvements to your Spotlight CV, upgrading, working across new and emerging technologies and platforms, or overhauling our video and voice services, there are many big projects and improvements our team work round the clock to deliver.


Spotlight has always evolved and recent history has seen us evolve faster than ever before. Print is no longer our main focus, and the amount spent on the books is minimal – the majority of our investment today is in improving our online and tech services for members.

And we know that acting can be an expensive career, which is why we attempt to keep our costs as low as possible. We’ve not raised prices in the past two years and offer more than any other casting services for a comparable – and often cheaper – price.

So while Spotlight the business has changed, the guiding principles established over the past 85 years haven’t. We want to ensure every member has the opportunity, advice and support to showcase themselves to the industry in the best possible light and, ultimately, have a long and successful performing career. And we aim to continue to offer this to our members for the next 85 years.

If you ever need to discuss any aspect of your membership with Spotlight please email us on or call 020 7437 7631.

To learn more about Spotlight’s history, please click here.

To watch video interviews with agents, actors and casting directors on changes to the industry, click here.

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