Casting directors - better choice than agents?

  • User Deleted

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    Hi guys,

    I've been trying to reach to agents but it seems they are too busy or, as one told me, just hit too hard by the credit crunch to be able to take on any more clients. I was wondering maybe if the option is to invite casting directors to showcases. Has anyone tried this? Who have you invited in the past? Was it worth it?

    thank you as always

    Constanza

    • 7th Jul 2009
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  • User Deleted

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    i've just seen that no-one has replied to your post, and so thought i would!

    i'm fairly new to the acting game, and although i have an agent, am swiftly finding out that they are not the be all and end all in this industry! most agencies scour the same websites that you are probably already registered on and paying more than enough to in monthly fees. yes, they have more industry contacts, and recieve casting calls from casting directors that are not posted publicly - but there is work out there, ready for the picking, for those who don't have full time representation.

    inviting casting directors is a great idea, after all, you have nothing to lose. have you done a mass 'letter-drop' of your headshot/CV or been to see any local casting directors in person? people cannot consider you for work if they don't know who you are - so get out promoting and networking...

    good luck!

    • 18th May 2009
    • 1
  • Law Ballard

    Actor

    I am in a show thats doing really well at the moment and has been extended. I sent about 40-50 emails with details to casting agents, the follow up emails some of the cast also did follow up calls and so far had no response. But i figure I will keep trying with everything I am involved in, they will have my details and headshot and one day may remember my face! No publicity... n'all that.

    • 18th May 2009
    • 2
  • User Deleted

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    I'd definitely invite them. There is no 'harm' done in promoting yourself also in this way. However, someone told me recently that some agents, casting directors and directors can only be reached by email when you are in their 'contacts' otherwise it goes straight to spam. Not sure how valid this is for the majority but when I was in a show recently the mailings to the casting directors went out in 'hardcopy' to make sure they get them. Just a thought.

    • 18th May 2009
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    I think its always worth inviting them... esp if you are in a good location in central London. If its really far out somewhere I think its less likely but I know that some casting directors do attend showcases. I would try invite agents tho as that would be your first port of call.

    • 19th May 2009
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  • Simon Nader

    Actor

    Hi Constanza,

    I would avoid emailing unsolicited invitations or blurbs to casting directors as has been mentioned above. It's far better to call using the number in Contacts and ask if you can send them details first just as a professional courtesy. Most just say "yes, no problem" but at least you've asked. I've found they are usually very nice as long as you keep it brief and to the point. Even if they won't cast you whilst you are unrepresented, at least it can do no harm to be seen by them.

    I wouldn't give up on agents totally either as it just takes one occasion for you sending your details and matching a gap in their books for you to be potentially considered.

    Good luck,

    Simon

    • 19th May 2009
    • 5
  • jay spencer

    Actor

    Hi there

    if i understand correctly, you will still need an agent or manager if you wish to push your career forward - a casting director may be able to give you a part in their current project, but may not be able to assist you in their next project, meaning you will be back at the beginning.

    As for agent and managers being "funny" at the moment,!? - i have been head of a casting agency for 11 years and i agree times are tough, but still workable if you have good talented, focussed and dedicated, loyal artistes.

    The problem these days appears to be lack of honesty and transparency between agents and their talent. These days anyone who can type a CV can apply for anything as a professional actor, and agents are now spending far too much time with idiots, it's taking up all our time, which could be better spent with talented people. Just today i had 11 people booked to see me, at individual time slots, only 7 turned up - and 3 were late?

    Im not here to start a war between agents and actors, but i think we should all look individually at the ones who are making it difficult for the good ones who want to progress.

    im open to critic on this!

    • 3rd Jul 2009
    • 6
  • User Deleted

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    Spoken with clarity .. Messrs. FBI.

    I have continually spoken, through various threads, of the need of a good Agent. Actor and Agent is a marriage, not always made in heaven, but, like a marriage, it has to be worked at.

    Behind every successful actor, there is a damned, hard working Agent, probing, pushing and selling his Client. A good Agent is a necessity !!!.

    The next, and obvious, question, where does one find a good one ?. Well, for what it's worth, I lost my one and only Agent, of some forty-odd years working together, to Old Father Time. Recently, I had the good fortune to walk into another Office, no doubt on the back of my, not inconsiderable, CV., and was most welcomed. After some fifteen minutes of answering various questions, they were a little taken aback when I said " now it's my turn ", and duly questioned them ... on their Clients, their staff .. and also their Contacts.

    I ended up knowing as much about them, as they did of me. Transparency !!!

    I have a feeling that we will have a damn good relationship .. a gut feeling.

    DO question your Office ... remember, they have your talent, your working life, in their hands, and you have every right to question !!, but don't just put them down if things are tight.

    If it's tight for you ... it's tight for them !!!!

    • 3rd Jul 2009
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  • Reuben Liburd

    Actor

    Many casting directors will not take you seriously if you do NOT have an agent.

    Best thing to do is get an agent FIRST. Then focus on impressing casting directors. That will boost your chances of actually getting an audition rather than just being seen.

    Too many actors rely on their agents to get them work while they put their feet up on the table with a cup of apple juice waiting by the telephone.

    You have to look for work yourself aswell if you wish to progress in this tough industry and casting directors would rather contact agents rather than actors its more professional that way.

    Reuben Liburd

    • 4th Jul 2009
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Reuben is spot on.

    I know agents who moan about the fact that they have to constantly update their clients' details, that the actors dont treat their careers like a business etc and have no sense of organisation, let alone the discipline to go to castings, be on time, prepared etc etc.

    I think all us actors have at one time or another fallen into the trap of wanting agents to spoonfeed and be our industry mommy and daddy. The point is that the more work you put in, submitting yourself and writing to casting directors, and doing legwork yourself, the more your relationship between your agent and you will grow and strengthen.

    I hear actors say " my agent got me this job", "they arent getting me work" etc... thats NOT their job description. They are there to get you auditions. Thats IT. YOU get the jobs by virtue of your being right and talented.

    I dont think any of us are getting the kinds of auditions we would like right now but we need to do whatever we can do.. its going to get better.

    • 4th Jul 2009
    • 9
  • User Deleted

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    Spot on fbi! There are so many as I call them "I woke up one morning and decided to become an actor" and they do have a short life span as most are one trick ponies.

    I've been in lots of productions where casting directors have attended, as well as agents, I've always found good agents and cd's happy to attend if available.

    Eliza

    • 4th Jul 2009
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  • jay spencer

    Actor

    Of course we should attend! - who wouldnt want to go diamond mining>? we only need to find one good actor in the bunch and we could make some good money, and another great asset to the business, but casting directors and agents do different jobs, and i dont want people to forget that - agencies try to look after an actor and guide them through years and different projects - a casting director is only looking at the project on the desk at the time,

    i only wish more agents would open up constructive dialogue with actors and stop being an enigma, we are human too - as well as parasites!

    • 4th Jul 2009
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  • User Deleted

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    The only trouble is - and it's something that I've found again and again - a lot of agents that I've written to have told me that they won't consider me as I don't have enough high profile credits on my CV. But I'm unable to get those credits as casting directors rarely consider you if you're without an agent. So what is one supposed to do? Talk about going round in circles!

    • 5th Jul 2009
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  • User Deleted

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    Catch 22 .. Em.

    • 5th Jul 2009
    • 13
  • Benedict Wolf

    Actor

    I've got to say, that is the ONE thing that acting has in common with many/most/all other professions. Most will only employ you only if you have experience. So you need experience to get experience... Um... Now there is a flaw there somewhere which I cannot quite put my finger on!

    *wink*

    • 5th Jul 2009
    • 14
  • Benedict Wolf

    Actor

    ... oh, unless of course you are a footballe; a singer who's music isn't doing so well; a celebrity trying to boost their flagging profile; or were just spotted on the street having an arguement!

    • 5th Jul 2009
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  • jay spencer

    Actor

    catch 22 - going round in circles.

    Without trying to ignite a fire, i would ask you to consider the other side. As productions are squeezed ever tighter and money is so short, casting directors are under pressure to get the right people, now it doesnt take a rocket scientist to work out, that if you have 2 actors - and one has a load of experience - or has a fan base which would boost viewing figures - they are going to be hot contenders! - however having said that - i placed eden taylor draper as Belle dingle in emmerdale, and she had nothing on her cv as she was only 7 at the time! -i guess the point is this - if you have a real talent and relevent experience in the area - be it TV or theatre - then you should go through. Try to remember that 30 years experience in theatre, will not go very far in TV! they are different disciplines.

    • 6th Jul 2009
    • 16
  • User Deleted

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    I'm not sure about the 'experience' thing for TV, there are one or two around in soaps who just look exactly right for the role, someone I know very well was in a soap for a year with no 'previous'. surely sometimes it's like everything else in life - right place, right time?

    Eliza

    • 6th Jul 2009
    • 17
  • Annameka Andrade

    Actor

    Very interesting topic of discussion, I personally believe that there is always away and I guess it involves perseverance, I've been writing to casting directors and Agents since I was 15 yrs old and over the years I've had some really good opportunities come up to show my talent, non of them has result to any major break through but I'm still pushing!! I believe if you have genuine talent its worth fighting for and if you hold strong and don't give up you will find the write agent who will put you in front of the right people. The trick is to work with what you have, I've set up a company to help with career development check it out www.actorattainment.com I think it takes a lot of effort up hill to get close to what you want.. so stay focused!

    • 6th Jul 2009
    • 18
  • User Deleted

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    Eliza .. you are quite right in what you say .... 'Soaps' are an enigma when it comes to casting. My Producers even went as far as to say to me, that they don't want Actors ... they want Characters !!! They want the odd actor with experience, in order to pull the others through ... in other words .. to teach. I can name numerous 'Actors' who have become household names, with little, or no, experience behind them at all. 'Actors' straight from 'nick', never acted in their life ... a drugged up, *ucked up female ( because that was what the script asked for)... no casting of an actor, to act the part .. the list is more or less endless.

    So ... should you have the 'luck' to get into a Soap, be warned .. because you can soon get dragged down to their level.

    • 6th Jul 2009
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