Using CCP

  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi All

    I hope this finds you rested and recovered after the festive season and well nearing the end of January 2008.

    As many of you have noticed, we are now posting higher paid castings onto CCP, many of which are coming from well known and respected production companies, producers and casting directors.

    Many of these employers have contacted me after their casting sessions to thank us for the high calibre of talent they are seeing, and more often than not, employing. For this I say “Congratulations!” and keep up the great work. There will be many more great castings to come.

    Unfortunately, in addition to these positive conversations with employers, we are also informed of other incidents, which to be blunt, can only be viewed as highly unprofessional. These incidents are not going unnoticed.

    It's quite simple – if you behave unprofessionally it's not good news for you, for Casting Call Pro and the members who are being professional, or the employer. No one wins. You don't get the gig, you waste your time and more importantly the time of your potential employer. Believe it or not, employers remember actors who have let them down and don't re-hire them based on past experience.

    Please take note of the following:

    READ THE ENTIRE CASTING BRIEF AND APPLY ONLY IF YOU MEET THE REQUIREMENTS.

    If a casting brief clearly states production and performer requirements, know that they have been listed for a reason. Employers take the time to specify what they require, so we expect you, as professional actors, to take the time to read the casting brief and apply ONLY if you meet the requirements.

    We can, and do, monitor actors who have applications that have been denied on the basis of not meeting clearly listed requirements. Subscriptions have been cancelled permanently based on this and we are well aware of others who are not far off the same fate.

    DO NOT APPLY FOR A CASTING IF YOU KNOW YOU'RE NOT AVAILABLE.

    If a casting brief states the date and location of casting, shooting, performance etc and you are aware that you cannot make these dates DO NOT APPLY. Actors have put themselves forward for jobs, are then contacted by the employer who would like to see them for a casting, to only be told by the actor that they are not able to make the date – despite the date being listed in the brief. Completely unprofessional and a waste of everyone's time.

    DO NOT MAKE UNSOLICITED CONTACT WITH EMPLOYERS.

    I sometimes get calls from actors asking why a company's name has been withheld on the casting brief. It's simple. The employer has listed the company name previously, only to have received unsolicited contact from actors wanting to be ‘given a chance' for a job that they perhaps do not fit the requirements of, or ‘just in case' another role comes up. They've heard it all before. They don't have time for it. Go through the appropriate procedures, otherwise you are generally viewed as a nuisance. Again, this is completely unprofessional behaviour. I have been sent the names of actors on CCP who have made unsolicited calls and emails, so don't go thinking that we aren't aware of this.

    I know there are many of you who are conducting yourselves professionally and that the above doesn't apply to you – but we will take action against any of our members who fail to follow these very simply guidelines.

    Remember, Casting Call Pro is a site for professional actors, and if you do not conduct yourselves professionally, you are in breach of the site terms and conditions and your subscription can and will be cancelled.

    If anyone has any questions pertaining to the above, please do not hesitate to email me.

    Kind Regards

    Lisa Williams

    Castings Manager

    • 7th Feb 2008
    • 4941
    • 32
  • Sheri Copeland

    Actor

    Could I just make comment on one thing please?

    Sometimes people's availability changes. When they apply for a job they may be available for the audition/performance dates, but this can change for many different reasons.

    I would not call the unprofessional, just a fact of life.

    • 30th Jan 2008
    • 1
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Having said all of that you must also realise that where the casting says 'TBC' where the payment space is, when we apply and say we are available for casting if when contacted the figure is low/expenses plus £50 or if they expect me to travel to London for two auditions and one day paid for filming we surely have the right to refuse the audition. The cost of the travel woulds obviously make a massive difference.

    This has happened a few times with me on this and other places. I hope you do not hold that against us.

    Alan

    • 30th Jan 2008
    • 2
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    In the last year according to my 'Application Stats' I have made 20 applications from CCP and I notice that only 13 were even viewed by the empoyer, less than 60%.

    One of these jobs I applied for, I received a telephone call from the CD's representative ordering me to be in central London within the hour.

    It is quite clear where I live, and if I could have got there, I in all probability, I would not have bothered, and as a consequence started a thread on this Company, which was removed, I did receive many unfavourable reports about this person. I therefore rang my agent about this individual and received a detailed account of an agreement between registered Agents, on why no one will deal with him.

    • 30th Jan 2008
    • 3
  • Andrew Wright

    Actor

    I agree with Sheri and Alan , I myself have been reported to my agent by someone with a casting on here all because I ask around about the payment ,and for longer contracts you have to work out digs,parking,weekly/monthly pay .etc.......its called research !!!

    I don't think we all should be penalize for taking the initiative , as we are trying to make a living.

    I hope you don't hold that against all of us or me .

    • 30th Jan 2008
    • 4
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I too must agree with Sheri and Alan. I have applied for castings and sometimes it has been days/weeks before I hear from them or am offered an audition/work. If something else comes up in the meantime, surely someone can't expect you to turn it down IN CASE they decide they want you? I suppose it could then be said that you should email the company/CD and let them know that you are now unavailable but there isn't always the chance/means to do this.

    • 30th Jan 2008
    • 5
  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    That is right Oscar darling.. I have applied for thinsg before and then been offered an audition weeks later and since applying I have gotten another job and are no longer available for the dates.

    Perhaps there should be a function that allows you to contact the employer after you have initially applied for instances just like this.

    :)

    • 30th Jan 2008
    • 6
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hello Hello

    I think it would be virtually impossible to contact people to tell them you're now unavailable in case they want to call you in for a casting! My god, we'd never do anything and would be constantly disappointed in life if we always kept dates of castings available, just in case they want to see us!

    Unless any of you have a private income, then I would assume most of you are very busy people, doing all sorts of jobs to make ends meet, living life, sorting out the things in life that have to be sorted out - you know, cars, houses, children etc, then doing applications from all sorts of sources - its not like we only do 1 application a week - we'd have to make a note of all the dates mentioned in any job ad that we reply to, and then contact them if our situation changes... Not practical at all.

    I think the thing is, whatever job you apply for, in any walk of life, life happens and sometimes you will not be available for dates you had thought you would be available for. And all employers must remember this. Especially if its a low pay or no pay job.

    An old agent of mine wanted me to go for a casting for a job paying £200. I worked out that, if I got the job, once I'd paid my train fare to the casting, lost a days pay that day, then paid the agent her commission plus her annual web fee, lost a days pay for the shoot day - I'd be losing money to do the job. So I declined the lucrative and tempting offer...

    At the end of the day, this is a business and we are supposed to be in it to make money...

    I've digressed a bit. Sorry.

    • 31st Jan 2008
    • 7
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Well, as to the 'loss of availability' question:

    If I am contacted by somebody for an audition, and find myself unavailable, then I will always make sure to let them know that I am now unavailable, and apologise for it. I think this is just common courtesy, and I would expect the company concerned to treat me with the same courtesy if, for instance, I was waiting to hear from them about the casting.

    Frequently, clashes are unavoidable, and this is simply because, if you are sending off for many jobs simultaneously, then some offers will come through earlier, some later; one may audition for something, and then not be told that one has got the part for three weeks, by which time two more auditions have been gone to etc. This is surely a fact of all actors' lives. The salient point to me in the CCP Rules is the idea of not applying if you KNOW you're not available - that *is* asking for trouble, but, in the cases being discussed, it is rare to be certain that you will even land other parts you may be auditioning for.

    I think it is, perhaps, harder to deal with a situation if you have been cast, and then wish to turn the opportunity down, than it is to apply for an audition, and then say, I'm sorry, I won't be coming, because my circumstances have altered since the time of application. In the latter case, I feel that this should be no skin off a company's nose, and those that feel it to be a great personal rebuke need to sort themselves out - I can understand frustration at somebody who does not turn up for an appointed audition time, and never deigns to explain why - but if, amongst the 20 actors you are seeing that day, one is unfortnately no longer able to see you, and has let you know this, then please, get over it - you have 20 other people to see, and better things to worry about! In the former situation, I admit the problem of turning down a job is more acute - but still, this is defintely the actor's prerogative as far as I am unconcerned - you have not signed any contract until you have agreed to perform for a company, and it is entirely up to you (or your agent) once offered terms to decide whether or not those terms meet your criteria for work. The only unforgivable sin in my opinion is to sign up for something, and then to leave the production in the lurch halfway through (even then, sometimes extenuating circumstances can make life on a project unbearable, and breaking contract may be the most appropriate response). This, it seems to me, is just life.

    What I emphasise is trying to treat all such situations with decency, courtesy and respect - and this is where I concur with what is being said about CCP rules. What is least professional is failing to treat the people who potentially wish to give you work with respect - turning up late to auditions, not letting them know that you are turning their job offer down, ignoring their own specifically released instructions. But it should be part of the bargain that they treat you with respect, too.

    Just recently, I was offered an audition which I was very much hoping to go to - however, it was being held on a day on which I was already committed to a film shoot (i.e. other professional work). I appreciate that the company should not have to bend over backwards to accomodate me, but the shoot only lasted two days, and I was then free for all the remainder of the time that rehearsals for the play concerned would have been running. The company involved seemed resolved: it was that audition date or nothing. An impossible date, so it became nothing. And I assume they felt -there are plenty of young actors out there prepared to come and see us *on that day*, so why do we need you? But, let's be honest, if anyone had been prepared to stretch a point, I could easily have auditioned for them the day afterwards, when I became free. So, who exactly was culpable in this situation? Me, for turning down an audition I had been given five minutes notice for, no flexibility on, and was rendered unavailable for through other commitments? Them, for refusing to see me outside of the alloted boundary times they had set for audition? Or perhaps neither of us - it being just one of those circusmtances dictated by 'sod's law'.

    • 31st Jan 2008
    • 8
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    And to add the fact that often we have no other contact from people we have applied to or had initial contact...

    Since more than fifty per cent of the work is unpaid if we get offered a paid job then are we to turn down that to do an unpaid one?

    I think that it would make more sense to ensure that those offering no pay are tild from the outset that their casting will not have any priority when it comes to actors and that they have no right to expect us to pay for the chance of appearing in their projects.

    Paid jobs are a different matter altogether. We had a massive response to a posting on this site concerning the No Pay/ Low Pay films and their exploitation of actors. Over 500 people posted their opinions and none of those supported them.

    So please delineate and ensure that no-one gets a reprimand for not being 'professional' when it comes to No Pay/ Low Pay castings.

    • 31st Jan 2008
    • 9
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I made an applicaiton for a role on here for a job being filmed abroad, heard nothing for days, then was asked late in the evening to attend a casting the following morning when I was already filming another project. As I was very interested in the job I sent a polite mail explaining I was busy the next day but would try to rearrange things to make it possible to come and meet with the Casting Director.I also left a voice message on the phone number I was given in case they didn't access their mails. Basically I was prepared to bend over backwards simply for a casting and what response did I get? Absolutely none,not even the respect of a "thanks but no thanks" - nada, nothing, zilch! And we, the actors, who continually put ourselves out, most often at very short notice, with great expense to ourselves in time and money, are labelled as UNPROFESSIONAL and are berated for it?

    This si by no means an isolated and unusual incidence either. I know there are TWO sides to a coin but....

    Rant over!

    It would be nice to have some response from CCP to the points raised following your posting.

    Have a great day everyone

    • 1st Feb 2008
    • 10
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I totally agree Sasha. There are always two sides to every story and this thread did begin by talking about making sure we actors were being as professional as possible, but there are some things we have to put up with which are not very professional or enjoyable either. Please, if you have no intention of letting me know your decision either way, don't assure me again and again that you will be in touch in the next few days...and please, don't blacklist me/become annoyed if you ask me to audition with less than 24 hours notice for a project I applied for some time ago, only to find, surprisingly, that I am unavailable...I, in turn, will always only apply for things that I am currently available for, and I will always let you know as soon as humanly possible if circumstances mean I can no longer attend an audition. Okay, didn't mean for this to sound quite so much like a pledge of allegiance (!) but there you go!

    • 1st Feb 2008
    • 11
  • Caroline Boulton

    Actor

    Some interesting points and just wanted to add my two pennies worth.

    I have cast some tv and theatre productions through CCP and some of the applications received are just a joke. I've had one line emails saying "Yes I'm interested", Ive had men apply for female parts before it was impossible and then and this tops it all for me I had one applicant who I very politely explained was unsuitable as he was a man then try and sell me some perfume wholesale!! This person is still on this site and I just saw his face pop up on the featured profile.

    This thankfully is the monority but it does still happen on here, I guess ccp are just trying to stop those who dont quite understand how it works.

    xx

    • 1st Feb 2008
    • 12
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    With you all the way Oscar Darling!!

    And thanks Caroline for showing the other side of the coin.

    Hopefully, the majority of us on here are not trying to sell anything other than our talent, enthusiasm and love of our craft and remaining professional whilst doing so.

    • 1st Feb 2008
    • 13
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    It's rare, in my experience, for casting professionals whose job is literally that to waste your time in this way. They are always remarkably clear about whether or not you should expect to hear back about a casting or otherwise, when you should have heard by, etc. etc. They will either go out of their way to make sure all applicants get given details by such-and-such a date, or they will set a date and maintain that if you hear nothing by this date, you may assume nothing is happening.

    The majority of experienced casters do not assume that they will get their first role choices necessarily - so they have a roster of secondary options lined up, and tend to factor in several days for decision making on a casting lineup. They can make the first set of phonecalls - decide swiftly whether or not their first choices are willing to commit to the project, and then quickly switch to second choices, if they need to - before even thinking of releasing details of who *hasn't* been cast to other auditionees. They will have tended to see large numbers in the first instance so that they are in with a statistically larger chance of getting several choices for each role.

    The problems tend to occur with projects run by those with fewer resources: they are often not cast by people who adhere to a strict professional casting etiquette (and know it is more than their job's worth to get a reputation for not making good on their promises) - moreover, many 'default' casters will not know how to time-manage as well as the full time casting professionals - they may say to you in all good faith that they will have resolved a decision in three days, and then get back to you a week later after the decision making took far longer than they had imagined. Also, because, on small budgets, there is often less time allocated for auditions (and consequently less actors get seen), the actors cast can sometimes be far more vital to the project's continuance than if they were being cast in a bigger production. Ironically, there is less chance that low budgets have a good secondary option available to take your place if you turn them down, and, as a result, they tend to make much more fuss about 'betrayals of trust' than a large -scale company would if this happened in a similar situation. Finally, low budget setups will often cast literally up to the nail - because they haven't had the time available to cast over many months - have had to stretch finding a cast of 10 over 5 consecutive weekends or whatever - in other words, they frequently tell you whether or not you have won the part a scant matter of days before you are needed in rehearsal/on set etc. Again, most prominent companies will be casting anything at least a month (if not six months!) before the show is due to go/film to roll, for precisely the reason that they know people may no longer be available. This is also the reason why some very short-term calls demand an acknowledgment of availability - they need to know that you can drop everything and turn up next week, if you are given the part, no questions asked. Certainly, in a case like this, it *is* attendant upon you to know you are available with that immediacy in order not to waste casting directors' time.

    • 1st Feb 2008
    • 14
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    It's funny, of the two biggest features I've auditioned for, neither bothered to get back in touch to tell me I didn't have the part. So much for professionalism. Nothing like being left hanging on a really great role.

    • 1st Feb 2008
    • 15
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Remember, Casting Call Pro is a site for professional actors, and if you do not conduct yourselves professionally, you are in breach of the site terms and conditions and your subscription can and will be cancelled. Your words Lisa, why then are extras jobs repeatedly allowed on to the site?

    Also as has been pointed out situations do change and some calls are less than specific in the first instance, I hope that you are bothering to check up on the actors when you hear them accused of unprofessionalism? Also are you as pusrsuant of employess behaving badly such as those forgetting to mention work is lo/no or messing around wit dates etc?

    It seems to me that CCP is very client orientated at the moment despite the fact that it is subscribers who fund the site - only in our world could this be the case.

    As for black and white simple answers I have some for CCP. Stop wasting actors time with employers who would abuse and stop posting extra work on an actors site. Inch and mile.

    Perhaps this will encourage a mentality of balance where employers and actors can work for each other instead of against.

    Chris

    • 3rd Feb 2008
    • 16
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I'm new here so I'll keep it brief.

    From checking the casting calls and looking at both sides of the argument, i would love to see CCP answer some of the very fair critiques posted.

    I personally think that client's that post TBC wage/payment info should not be allowed to list their role/job. It feels to me like they are just fishing for desperate people. If they do not have the info, then production wise they are not really ready to go. Avoid would be my natural instinct but not something we should have to 'guess on'

    If it did turn out to be a low/no fee, why should a member of this service be complained about if it was not financially feasible to attend an audition?

    There have been some very crisp and clear calls posted and others that really should be vetted more 'clearly'.

    Additionally the point on applications not viewed is pretty rude to us as users.

    If we apply for a role, then the client should have to (even if its a blanket 'profile not suitable email) respond.

    Given technology today, they know when they have enough applications and it should be part of the T&C's for clients using the site?

    It wouldn't be hard to have an 'end' date built into the system that automatically does this and takes the onus away from the client, if they cannot be professional enough to do it themselves.

    Surely we also deserve the right to be told which 'clients' are a bit dodgy to deal with by CCP as well?

    If CCP is taking a fee both ends, then it's a dangerous game to only listen to complaints about one set of paying users.

    It's a good system and service but definately top heavy in the client direction when posts like appear.

    Again, would love to see a reply, i think all posts have been constructive and no-one here is looking for anything but a way forward to deal with these problems.

    • 3rd Feb 2008
    • 17
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    And why then are unpaid jobs with companies who have no professional experience used? I had tnhis situation last year and thety were posted on YOUR site, ansd I was bound by a contract only to be told afterwarsd the real nature of the job.

    And if its a professional site, why are SO many people on this site with unprofessional credits etc...

    And if I find out who is doing a casting, OF COURSE I will call my agent up and ask them to make contact for me, or also submit me.

    Thsi is the profession and the way it works... I would advise that you guys start having a higher standard for the type of castings you put on here and perhaps more professionla behaviour will ensue...mostof us WANT to work, but the companies treat us like dirt...

    how about INSISTING that any casting on here has to have minimum wage...

    I feel you are treating us like children by your post and not the experienced professionals most of us are.

    If you are offended, I am sorry, but its my opinion

    • 3rd Feb 2008
    • 18
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    As regards Marysia's comment: I suppose the exceptions prove the rule!

    However, I didn't mean to indicate that the biggest setups will always bother to tell you whether you got a part or otherwise; in my experience, they are far, far less likely to than smaller setups - no doubt because they are dealing with a far larger amount of potential applications, plus assorted other issues, and to take the time to reply personally to everyone who has been seen is just not reasonable.

    Where I may find these companies culpable is if they failed to indicate to you any notion of when you might or might not expect to have heard back from them - I have had auditions with decent setups where they have suggested something like 'If, within the next 36 hours, you hear nothing, assume nothing is going foward'. Therefore, I expected that radio silence would descend, except in the event of an offer, and I felt that the confirmation that there was unlikely to be a confirmation (if you see what I mean) was a professional way of dealing with the situation. If no such suggestion was made to you in either case, then I consider that a little unprofessional. ;)

    • 3rd Feb 2008
    • 19