5/14/12

Online Casting & Casting Groups, NYC

Hello!

I wanted to share with you some of what I've learned so far about online casting websites and casting groups. Hope this is helpful.


- ActorsAccess.com -- It's ABSOLUTELY worth investing in. Actors Access is run by Breakdown Services. Every agent and manager in the business subscribes to "The Breakdowns", which list absolutely everything (film, television, theatre, commercial, web) that is casting. When productions are submitting to the breakdowns, apparently they can check a box saying that they are willing to accept non-agent submissions. And all those things get posted on Actors Access. It's a great place to get information. Also, I get emails from them multiple times a day when my self-specified type comes up in their new postings. Most postings allow me to submit directly from the site using my ShowFax subscription (another site under the Breakdown Services umbrella). 

- Amerifilm Casting -- Run by Meredith Marciano. She communicates with you mostly by email, which is different from most groups. She has a facebook page where people tell her they are available, but she mostly casts through CastingNetworks.com. Very pleasant to work with.

Answers4Dancers.com -- Haven't used it.

- BackStage.com -- I get a free online subscription because I write for Back Stage Unscripted. It's good. A great deal of the things posted are EPAs, which I could find on Playbill.com for free. There are also student films and pilot projects. I get emails once daily. (It hasn't been emailing me much lately... I should look into that.)

BroadwayWorld.com -- I use the site for the forums, but haven't used it for casting. Not even sure how to.

- CastingNetworks.com -- (Also known as LACasting.com and NYCasting.com -- not to be confused with NYCastings.com). I am OBSESSED with CastingNetworks. This is the absolute best format, because they make it SO SIMPLE to apply for things using your smart phone. (ActorsAccess and BackStage have pop-up windows, so applying via phone is a huge pain... unless you spend $12 to get the Actors Access app --which I did -- but then you can't go directly from the emails... so it sucks). Casting Networks is the best place to get background work (which occasionally pops up on ActorsAccess and BackStage, but generally only when incredibly specific types are needed; recent example being a blonde female harp player). I've also gotten several auditions for student films, and a couple for commercials. Worth every penny that I put into it.

- CastItTalent.com -- Formerly called "ActorCast". It's actually a pretty cool thing, and I wish I could say that I use it more than I do. Projects out in LA allow actors from all over the world to send in online video submissions. So you don't have to live in LA to audition for roles on things like Hot In Cleveland (that show seems to post a great deal). And I don't just mean background stuff... I mean actual roles. I've read some success stories online, and they are promoting the site as though it's going to change the industry. I don't know whether it will, but it's worth looking into. I'm just too lazy to videotape myself auditioning for anything.

- Central Casting -- Worth signing up for. They are a bi-coastal background casting agency. They want you to register with them in person, and you have to be there at an incredibly specific time (if you come 30 seconds late, they will turn you away... not kidding, this happened to me). Then they make you fill out paperwork, sit through a super lame "orientation", and take a photo of you that is of DMV-quality. They then sign you up for a free bastardized version of CastingNetworks, which only shows you Central Casting gigs. Why sign up? Because they're more likely to call you for background work if you do.

- Comer Casting -- Run by Heather Comer, they cast for The Good Wife. I've worked the show a few times.  It's almost always Heather herself who calls me, and she is super nice and super professional. I always feel sort of honored when I get a call from her. She casts out of both CastingNetworks and NYCastings, and she has cold-called me in the past.

EntertainmentCareers.net -- Haven't used it.

ExtrasAccess.com -- Just terrible. It's in the Breakdown Services family, and it's where they try to filter background work for non-union projects. Which means it's non-paying. Why on earth anybody would want non-paying background work is beyond me.

- Grant Wilfley Casting -- http://gwcnyc.com/casting.shtml -- Grant Wilfley is a background casting agency. I have gotten the majority of my background work through Grant Wilfley, using CastingNetworks. I have also signed up with them (a DMV-photo and paperwork), but they have never cold-called me.

Mandy.com -- I've barely used it. Doesn't seem worth it. Almost entirely non-union non-paying projects, and they seem decidedly less professional than things I've seen on other sites. But it's free, so that's nice.

- ModelPipeline.com -- I half-signed up (meaning I'm not paying for it) a couple of weeks ago. Doesn't seem worth the effort.

- NowCasting.com -- Primarily seems to be reality television, and there's almost always some sort of Tyler Perry open call on there. It's free, so I'm on it, but I've never gotten anything out of it. Seems to be of more use to people in LA.

- NYCastings.com -- The dumber younger sister of CastingNetworks. Some background work, a lot of student films, and a lot of really crappy looking non-paying theatre. Really frustrating format. Frequently tells me that I don't have full access to the site, even though I do, and then I have to go back and reload. Sends me WAY TOO MANY EMAILS. But I have gotten auditions through it, so I can't be too mad at it. Not sure that it's worth it. I think I'm dropping my subscription next quarter.

- Playbill -- Or really: http://www.playbill.com/jobs/find/category_listing/1.html -- Theatre only. A lot of EPAs. Free. I don't pay as much attention to it as I probably should... I have an agent who submits me for theatre, so I spend more time trying to get film/tv/commercial/web. But absolutely a valuable resource. Mad Dog Theatre Company posted their auditions for The Thrill of the Chase on it and got hundreds of responses for their off-off-Broadway show.

ShowBusinessWeekly.com -- Haven't used it.

StageDoorAccess.com -- Haven't used it.

- SylviaFayCasting.com -- You don't HAVE to pay for this site, and I don't. Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick only seems to cast Damages, Delocated, and the occasional movie. They called me once to do a featured role on Delocated (the director had chosen me), but I had already accepted another job and had to turn them down. They've never called me again. And apparently you can only work on Damages once per season.

- WulfCasting -- Called me in for one audition, and it was super shady. I felt like I was being ogled by a bunch of college guys at the audition. It might have been a one-off, but I'm a little wary of this group now.

2 comments:

scott said...

Great article!

Phil Diehl said...

This is such a good resource! Thank you so much for putting this together. It's the most comprehensive & honest that I've seen yet. Wahoo!