Written for The Networker by Terry Berland @berlandcasting.
There are certain things I would never chose to write about because they are trite, and I assume everyone knows the do’s or don’t regarding them. However, recently prepping casting sessions, I started to take note of recurring “no-no” things that some talent are doing that I would consider “no brainers” to do right. Apparently it’s time for this trite, but important reminder list.
Warning! Some of you think “of course I have that in place’. But, it has come to my attention that things might not be as you assume they are on your casting profiles and you should check to make sure everything is as you wish them to be.
Your resume is not attached to your profile.
I am assuming you think your resume is attached, because how could you think you can compete against someone who does have a resume attached? You can’t. Yes, we (casting directors) look at your resume to get a feel for who you are. On occasion, I have contacted someone asking them why they don’t have a resume online, and they are shocked to find out they have no resume on their profile. By the way, a fledgling resume is better than no resume at all. Not having a resume attached to your photo quickly puts you into the “viewed /no” category. With an average of 4,000 submissions per project, casting is looking for ways to weed people out.
Your profile indicates there is a reel and there is not one attached.
The quickest way for us to see who you are is to look at a reel. I am noticing on many profiles there is a reel icon and when I happily click on it, there is no reel. It’s exasperating, disappointing and a waste of time. I wish I had time to get in touch with every actor to let them know their account is showing up that way. But the reality is there is no time. Hopefully, reading this blog will help many of you.
Stay Away From Links To Your Reel.
Speaking of having a reel attached to your profile. Don’t give us a link to chase down instead of a reel attached. It’s another step that can cause us to eliminate you due to lack of time. Looking through 4,000 photos, resumes and reels is daunting. For pure survival, we will start doing what’s quickest, which is to just click on the reels that are there and not take the extra step of following a link.
Have the right number of photos attached to your profile.
One photo is not enough. It’s a stingy choice that does you no good. As a casting director, when I see one photo, you lose my interest right away. I can’t see enough of you in one photo. Two photos are not enough either. My trained eye can see what I am looking for in four to five photos. I have been on many panels and the industry consensus is the same.
Clear old photos from your profile.
I lose interest if I see you with short hair and long hair and different color hair in varying photos. I don’t trust who will show up so I don’t take the chance of having you in. There are two reasons to have this confusing range of photos. Either you are not aware that it’s detrimental for you to show different looks that are not possible for you to have at the same time, or you have not put the time into cleaning up your profile. Many times, I am told by talent “Oh, my photo choices have not been cleaned up, I still have the old ones on there”. They tell me this, truly with no conception that it makes a difference.
Check that foreign languages are correct.
I was casting several films recently that called for different foreign languages. I was shocked that “all” foreign languages were checked on more than 75% of resumes. It’s obvious that there’s an option to click, and talent are apparently blindly clicking “all”, without any thought of the effect it has on casting. Loading our submissions with 2500 photos that do not fit the requirements of what we are looking for is maddening. Have pity on us…..Please. Only languages that you speak fluently should be checked. In addition add an extra section that specifically mentions languages you speak fluently.
Don’t list your commercials.
Recently people are starting to list their commercials. There is such a thing as conflicts, and you will not be considered for a product if you have a conflicting product listed. Even if it’s a non-union commercial where there are technically no conflicts…you actually do have a conflict.
Check your profile every once in a while to see that it is up to speed.
You are in a very competitive field. Every little thing I mentioned above can drop you in or out of the running. Imagine the pressure a casting director is under having to look through an average of 4,000 photos in the short time frame given to us by our clients. Making sure the aforementioned is in place will place you more in harmony with the casting director/actor relationship. Ommmmmm….let’s go for the harmony.
If you want to sharpen up on your commercial acting technique, follow this link to Terry Berland’s Commercial Acting workshop.