Agents and the “SpotlightUK Monopoly”

  • Chanley Muir


    *This is kind of a rant:

    Due to my agent closing their doors at the end of June 2020, I’m now on the look out for a new agent.

    I’ve contacted several agents, only one got back to me- with no “I’m sorry but-“ no Hi/Good Morning/etc... just a one line rude response

    “Get back to us when you’re on Spotlight”

    No “kind Regards” or “Thanks” either

    • 22nd May 2020
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  • Suzanna Hughes


    Hey Chanley,

    I know it's not ideal, and not how you would respond, but to get a response from them was positive. Most will just ignore you if they're not interested.

    You also, I'm sure, know this... but most decent agents will not touch you, unless you're on Spotlight, so I would take their advice, no matter how harsh and blunt it seems. Also have a look at getting some professional headshots done, when we can again, your current ones aren't acting shots, more modelling.

    You have a showreel and credits already which is great, so keep working to get on Spotlight, you'll be a lot more attractive to agents then, and keep an eye on the 'books open' section on here too.

    Good luck.

    • 11th May 2020
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  • Chanley Muir


    Thanks for your comment Suzanna, it’s much appreciated.

    I was just having a bit of a rant to be fair. It’s the monopoly that Spotlight holds in the UK that grates! People say Spotlight are a necessary evil, but other countries don’t rely completely on it.

    I’ve had polite knock backs from agents, that one was just rude.

    Like I said, I’ve been networking directly with casting directors and got some great responses (mostly from American CDs and producers) and they have my details should anything come up.

    I think it’s that I waited too long to even bother with Spotlight, now I’m “too old” to take advantage of the get signed up if your agents on there (for under 25’s). Meh, I’ll keep making progress with directly networking CDs, Producers & Directors and hopefully get the “Qualifying Credits”

    Yeah, the headshots were for a modelling gig, I had made arrangements to get new headshots (The photographer I used for years retired) but then COVID-19 happened - so that’s on the to do list

    • 11th May 2020
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  • Julia Lacey


    Hi Chanley, I can understand your frustration. I have looked at your CV, showreel and photos and you have an edgy look and are very watchable. I would suggest seeing if you could have a CD look at your profile and help you work it to your best advantage. The 2 showreels with audition monologues and the main one could be merged. No one looking to employ an actor is going to sit and watch both and if you put the strongest scenes in the best order showcasing your strengths as well as the accents in one showreel you have it could work better. Your credits need to be gone through as well because an actor should never list background work. Even with little experience and credits it is best not to include this and you have enough stronger credits to show you are capable of booking work. I would also narrow down your playing age to less than 10 years scope. If you are 18-24 it doesn't matter if your profile is a bit scrappy as you are only at the start of your career so I would keep it to that time frame as you don't look older than that. If you are on Twitter CDs are having 1 2 1 s all the time at the moment so I would see if you could book some time with one of them to have them look at your profile and give you some guidance. Despite your reservations you will have to join Spotlight at some stage if you want to be a professional actor so get those credits and go go go. May the wind be behind you and the road rise up to meet you.

    • 11th May 2020
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  • Chanley Muir


    Hi Julia,

    Thanks for the feedback and suggestions, the “Background Work” has been stricken off and I lowered my playing age as you suggested (oh and thanks for the compliment- made me smile

    • 14th May 2020
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  • Heather Rome


    While I sympathise with your frustration, the reality for the time being is that many agents won't take you on unless you are on Spotlight because that's where the breakdowns for the majority decent, paying work is posted. The CD or whoever posts (and it's sometimes only visible to a selection of agents, not all agents registered on Spotlight), the agents submit their talent, the CDs trawl through the submissions on Spotlight looking at photos, showreels, etc. It's a matter of time and convenience - less clicking! And remember they can get hundreds of submissions depending on the project.

    If you're serious about this business and you are staying in the UK for the forseeable future then work on getting the credits to get on Spotlight. As a young-looking performer investigate things like TIE to get decent credits and experience. Getting decent film and TV credits may be harder but it can happen.

    • 19th May 2020
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  • Dominic Isaacs


    Hi Chanley. In regards to Spotlight, I didn't train at a Drama School and I don't have any professional credits as I have only just graduated from Uni. However, I filled out an application form last week and was accepted onto spotlight within 24 hours. I could have just been really lucky, but it might be worth giving it a try. Obviously with current circumstances there aren't that many breakdowns on there at the moment but a few have popped up.

    • 21st May 2020
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  • Rav Takhar


    Hi Chanley ,

    The bottom line is that agencies use spotlight for vetting any applicants. I.e if you can pass their checks and balances , you are worth speaking to by an agent . Brutal but true.

    My advice would be to look at their (spotlight) requirements and compare what you bring to the table .

    I have done this on my profile and worst case i'm short by two credits , so that is what i'm focusing on.

    Note: Beware of any scam agencies who "will get you on spotlight for a partial payment towards fees"

    Hope this helps,


    • 22nd May 2020
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