No castings!

  • Samantha Montgomery

    Actor

    Hey guys,

    Finally, I upgraded and I can't believe I haven't sooner!

    I wanted to ask you all a question that there is no definitive answer to but maybe you could offer some advice!

    I've been with a highly reputable agent for 7 months and am failing to get picked up by casting directors. I've had two castings but after chatting to my lovely agent, am informed that I am being submitted for loads of stuff but just not reaching them.

    I intend to change my photograph again to see if this is the reason but am starting to wonder what exactly could be fuelling this.

    I had an agent for 12 months prior to this one and never received a solitary casting. Yet a few years ago I was on a role with my agent of the time but I took some time out! How CRAZY, I now realise but I was becoming that way, crazy!

    Is it me? Or is that what we all ask ourselves? I just need to hear from fellow actors to see if they're feeling the same way.

    • 1st Aug 2008
    • 3420
    • 30
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I have to say I am in exactly the same situation. I have had zero castings from my agent in 6 months.

    I have been asking him what I can do to get seen as he is sending me for the few that I am suitable for but admitted that he doesn't have the reputation to get me seen for things straight away... Obviously it make me ask "what is the point of having him as an agent???"

    is it my age/look/experience/headshots?

    He has no answer for this.

    Even on the various casting sites I belong to, there really is very little I am able to apply for. I don't fit into the sweet girl next door/stunningly gorgeous/someones mother, pigeon holes that my age seems to imply. Oh well.

    So. I am writing, as many of us do, as we want to work so much that we go out and get it/make it ourselves.

    CCP at least keeps me feeling I am not alone and giving me inspiration and strength and power to keep going! The trick is to focus and be positive and believe:)

    • 28th Jul 2008
    • 1
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I'm going to sound like an ass but how much work do you put in yourself? I used to be with a well known agent and after working well to start had nothing. But, I didn't really do my own research and work, just complained that my agent didn't get me anything. I changed headshots etc too.

    This time (and I've been away for 3 years) I write letters every day, send cards, research who's doing what where and how to get hold of them, go to actor's centre, actor's studio, workshop after workshop just to get to meet people and casting directors. I've been back 4 months and am about to start my 3rd job, this is without an agent so far.

    Agents are all different but keep in touch with them all the time to keep you in their mind and look for things on PCR, CCP, Castnet, Spotlight and phone your agent to see if you've been put up for it.

    You might want to speak to Phil Shaw on John Caulcroft for advice, they are very helpful and very knowledgable.

    Hope that hasn't been too much of a rant and is useful

    • 28th Jul 2008
    • 2
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I am feeling the tumble weeds too at the moment, a few things starting to appear but I have been told that there is a lot of stuff planed for September October time so I'm hoping that will be the case, but it is very quiet right now I have noticed! x

    • 28th Jul 2008
    • 3
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    If you look at your cv on here, Sammy, you see that the last three jobs you did were for voice overs or 'presenter type' stuff. You really need to go to the Spotlight to see any acting work and that would be what I was looking for if I wanted to book an actor.

    So it would seem sensible to 'relegate' the voice over stuff to less importance on your cv and highlight the acting you did on Heartbeat (or was it Emmerdale) and other major stuff like that.

    The photo on Spotlight is nothing like the one on here either. If you don't look like your photo (at least 90% of the time!) then of course as soon as you walk through the door for a casting you are immediately at a disadvantage. It's the same if you have several photos that don't make you look like 'You'. It confuses the casting people. Which 'Look' are you going to be. And remember it is on 'The Look' more often than your talent these days.

    At a time like this it would be a very good time to search your soul to find out who you are and where you want to be and to be honest enough with yourself to be able to 'ditch' anything that is not going to honestly portray your character and personality (like your photos for example) and the switching on of the Lights in Birmingham doesn't switch on my lights.

    Voice overs have their place. But you must convince the casting people that you are MORE than just a voice.

    At the moment that isn't apparent from your cv on here.

    Good luck with your career! It's bloddy tough out there. Even with all of the advice you get from all of the lovely people on here you still need a heck of a lot of luck!!

    • 28th Jul 2008
    • 4
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    The only thing I can add to Alan's post is: read Alan's post again! Absolutely top class advice.

    Best wishes to you all out there!

    Rob, RGPM

    • 28th Jul 2008
    • 5
  • Micahel Ziggler

    Actor

    6 months? wth.... not even 1 to go to? I had about 5 within 3-4 months and i was fed up already and on my "unofficial 6 month probation period in my head i got rid of my old agent, I guess the impatient youth that hides behind the maturity.

    Some people are more patient than others, probably the more wiser and older you become the more you patient grows on you too, good luck.

    • 28th Jul 2008
    • 6
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I was told a few years ago that being white woman between 20-30 was the most oversubscribed category to be in as an actor...

    Obviously looking for a new agent, but when there are few roles to apply for, getting people interested is a hard slog! There are a lot of comments from other women on the site saying the same thing at the moment.

    • 28th Jul 2008
    • 7
  • Samantha Montgomery

    Actor

    Wow, thanks everyone for your great advice. Constructive criticism is exactly what I'm looking for so I really appreciate your pearls of wisdom.

    Alan, you certainly do know your stuff and I can see why you're so well respected on here. Its funny you mentioning the photos because I've been saying just that for a few days. I took a gamble in using different shots as I thought it could work in my favour but I think it's doing just the opposite. the truth of the matter is that a lot of people say to me that I can be quite chameleon -like and am somehow capable of looking quite different. I guess I hoped this might become apparent but obviously not.

    The problem with castings directors is that they tend to picture the character and you need to fit like a glove. In TV, there is no ambiguity ie the wide looks like a wife, the doctor looks like a doctor etc. Unfortunately, if we don't fit these parts then we're left out there until they require our look. It's less regular, thats the problem.

    I think I'm also at that naff age where I look too old to play a college/uni girl but not old enough to play the wife. It's a sod!

    Well, we'll keep plodding on and I wish you all the very best of luck. Thank-you all once again for your advice and I really hope things pick up for those that are in the same boat as me!

    • 29th Jul 2008
    • 8
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Think about saving picture number three as 'Bad girl with attitude' number two as 'young girl btter wouldn't melt' and number one as 'beautiful wife newly wed and naive'.

    Then choose different ones for each type of casting application. BUT remember to turn up to the audition looking like you photo.

    • 29th Jul 2008
    • 9
  • Andrew Lawden

    Actor

    if you called my agent , he would advise you what was happening in the business at that point and tell you how things work in the business.

    • 29th Jul 2008
    • 10
  • Samantha Montgomery

    Actor

    Thanks again Alan.

    I'm having trouble going back and saving the pictures with a title name. I think I may have to contact Spotlight to ask them to do it!

    Unless I'm being daft...!

    • 29th Jul 2008
    • 11
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Sammy, I think you might be doing the casting directors a bit of a disservice by thinking that they only have one thing in mind for "types" eg mum. The reality is that you're not too young at all to play a wife/mum and if your agent is telling you so then something isn't right.

    I've been getting "young mum/wife" parts for about 2 years(much to my disgust when they gave me a ten year old son for one role!)and we're of a similar age. Think about it, how many people of your age do you know who are married and/or have kids?

    It's up to your agent and you to convince the CD's that you are what they want, be that with choice of headshots or at auditions. If you convince yourself that you aren't right for something then you have no hope of convincing anyone else that you are. It's not easy and this is only my opinion but I think it's largely a matter of a positive sell.

    • 29th Jul 2008
    • 12
  • Samantha Montgomery

    Actor

    I possibly phrased it slightly incorrectly.

    I meant that there is very little ambiguity and more often than not they will cast the obvious choice. I don't think for a moment that it counts me out, its just that in terms of casting for a young Mum, there are probably more girls/women out there who look more matched than myself. However, there are parts that I am more suited to than others.

    It's no major issue for me, I was just sounding off and looking at possibilities really. Strange things occur in the acting world so nothing suprises me these days.

    I'll probably be cast as an 80 year old one of these days...

    • 29th Jul 2008
    • 13
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    I was cast as an eighty year old ten years ago!

    I realise now I should be looking for ninety year old male castings!!

    • 29th Jul 2008
    • 14
  • Caroline Boulton

    Actor

    haha you joke I auditioned for the feature film Eragon as a 80 year old! I have no idea what the thinking behind that was! clearly I was not the right actor for the part...x

    • 30th Jul 2008
    • 15
  • Sharon Cannings

    Actor

    Age is such a difficult thing- ask as many people as you can how old you look to them- real age has no significance at all I think. When I was 20 I looked mid to late twenties which I hated but the nice thing is that now I'm 36 people still say the same thing! (There's a picture of me in the attic getting older...)

    Anyway, to the point in hand- I'm in the same boat and have had no castings since the beginning of the year. I know my new agent is working hard for me, getting in touch when he needs specific info about availability or certain skills etc. Still no castings though.

    The only way to keep working at the moment is to get together with acting buddies and do your own thing. Only last night I saw a fabulous devised show which some friends of mine had put together over several months.

    So what if no casting directors come? you're doing what you love which has got to be why we're doing it coz let's face it- why would we be in this profession in the first place!? We all need reminding now and again!

    • 31st Jul 2008
    • 16
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi,

    i just wanted to say that at the moment it is really a bad time for castings. It seems this is affecting everyone so dont get worried im sure you will find it will pick up.

    I do think good pic's helps a great deal, although I hate having m photo taken, so I went and had my makeup done at MAC and did the hair cut, and hoped that maybe some of that would help.I also sugest

    research a photographer. I have only just gone back to the industry after taking two years out to have a baby. And I got my first tour in Jan, since then I have had my hair changed from long to now bob length, Ive also gone darker blonde as Im a character actress. It does become so ANNOYING at times image hair weight etc? I can only say try and keep positive because sometimes the unexpected does happen.

    I wish you all the best and I hope some of this may help you.If in doubt and you really want to work pop in and see Mr Barry Stacey, we have all worked for him in theatre, and he still gets lots of castings for plays etc.

    • 31st Jul 2008
    • 17
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    They are lovely headshots Andrea, and MAC do wonderful make-up!!

    I do wonder whether that is the best thing to do though - i.e having your makeup done for your headshot (have I understood this right?). The reason I say this is because the you that walks through the door at a casting really should be same you that appears on your headshot. Are you going to have MAC do your make-up for every casting you go to? Or can you recreate the look exactly?

    I'm not saying that this is the only way to go about it, but it is definately something to be borne in mind.

    • 31st Jul 2008
    • 18
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    In fact my lovely I had the barest make up for my photos which in fact is what I would wear for a casting. Did you not know that Mac do this????

    Mac makeup are fab and most actors and actresses do have a make over. And sometimes your own hand at putting make on isnt always as good as a pro!!!!!!

    The natural theme is a must of course but if it helps the photograph, and you may not like the way your photos turned out before. And in some cases some photos can actually make you look worse so its all swings and roundabouts really.

    I was just trying to apply some positive and productive thoughts everyone has their own opninion and I can surely only talk from experience. As I have spent lots of money over the years on rubbish photographs.

    But thenkyou for you kind words but i think we were actually talking about the actress who asked for advice and not myself!!!!

    • 31st Jul 2008
    • 19