How To

How to start acting with Casting Networks

How to start acting with Casting Networks
Trevor Hutchins

Trevor Hutchins

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Ever wondered if there’s a program that professional actors and their agents use to find jobs and post their resumes? A website that’s an industry standard, yet open to newbies? Look no further than Casting Networks!

The site, which doubles as LACasting and a few other area-specific databases, works with actors and other industry professionals to connect talent with productions and vice versa.

For the actor, this means the potential to create opportunities! With a good deal of hard work and study, Casting Networks has the potential to get an actor jobs, whether that be commercial, print, voiceover, or theatrical (television and movies).

Just remember that while Casting Networks is an excellent tool, it won’t replace a good agent. In fact, the two often go hand in hand: Casting Networks allows agencies to gather their entire portfolio of actors, find projects, and submit in bulk. If you have a solid profile ready, they may be more interested in representing you!

Starting Out

First, create a profile. After the usual email/password formalities, you will encounter a few sections:

Here, you’re showing prospective agents and directors what you can bring to the table, as far as general skills are concerned. Are you a baseball player?  Do you speak different languages, swing dance, do karate, or have a bomb-tastic beard? Put these things down! But remember…

1. Don’t lie

Trust us, fate/karma/God/destiny ensures that whatever you lie about on here will bite you in the future. In fact, we’re gonna go right ahead and say for the record: don’t lie on any part of this site. The resume, statistics, contact info… lying in these places rarely goes well.

2. Consider how well you can actually do the skill you claim to be able to do

Basically: don’t lie to yourself! This probably happens more often than the first mistake.

When looking back at your baseball experience in middle school, really ask yourself: how well those skills translate now? If you’ve kept fresh in a community league, or go out batting with the peeps on weekends, maybe you’re doing great!

If you haven’t kept up with the skill, be careful! Industry professionals will expect you to do the perform the sport/stunt/music really well. Be honest with yourself, or at least prepare like crazy. We trust your judgment.

Then again, another general rule goes: you are going to make mistakes in the industry. Overestimating your skill once won’t end your career and may be a perfect learning experience that pushes you to be more careful and train harder in the future! As long as you’re opening to learning, you will improve and avoid those issues in the future.

More Profile Shenanigans

We’ll go over photos and media, agencies, and the resume:

Casting Networks allows one free headshot upload per actor, so choose wisely! After that, posting headshots will be $25 for the first photo in a batch, and $15 each for the others. We suggest booking a good photographer and carefully selecting the best shots with the help of your agency, if possible.

A premium Casting Networks subscription allows for unlimited media posting, so all videos and voice clips under 50MB are “free” to upload. This can be a very good thing: if you’re getting more jobs, you can update your demo, commercial, voice, or theatrical reel often!

Casting Networks also gives you the ability to enter a representative agency. Or, if you don’t have an agency, there’s an option to select “seeking agency” and define what type you are looking for. Keep that in mind.

Finally, the resume portion of Casting Networks may surprise you: there’s no way to upload a PDF or Word document, so all those gigs you have stored up must be entered manually through their system. Don’t panic!

To add a new section like “Theater” or “Voiceover”, hit the “Add a new heading here” button, and type out the new header.

Hit the “Add new credit here” button to post an update to a section. There are usually three parts: title, role, and director. For sections like training, the slot titles remain the same, so interpret them as you think best.

Finally, to rearrange items, you may notice the up/down buttons to the left of sections and credits. These will move the selected entry up one or down one, if possible. It may take a while because the movements each load individually, but stick with it!

Finally, this page also allows you to select featured videos:

To do this, you need to already have content uploaded to the website. Casting Networks approves each video, so each entry may take a while to receive the green light. To access the Media Bin for uploads, you can find the link under the “Resume” bar at the top right:

Submitting to Jobs

Your information is entered, and maybe you even have an agency linked. Great!

Rather than wait around for jobs to come in, the Premium Subscription allows you to actively search for work on the Billboard. You can find a link on the top bar:

From here, you can search for productions by union affiliation, type, pay rate, and more. Casting Networks also prides itself on narrowing the search down to roles that fit your profile. Check out what’s available!

Following Up

Remember: there are a lot of steps outside of the Casting Networks programs. If you get an audition, make sure to prepare well and analyze the script. Decide how to plan for those opportunities, and consider using a few of the additional resources offered:

More Resources

Casting Networks provides more than just a connection to work. Here are a few other things offered:

1. Photographers

Casting Networks provides a database of photographers that may be in your area. This may not be your choice, since agencies, friends, or other actors may personally recommend different headshot artists. If you’re having trouble, though, it may be just what you need! A good link can be found in the “Home” tab, to the right of your profile information:

2. Coaches and Schools, Seminars and Workshops

As seen above, Casting Networks also recommends places to study acting. This may be a good way to read and learn about various acting teachers, especially since the program provides sections like speech, voiceover, or accent training.

Remember, even if you don’t find a teacher from this site, it’s highly important to study somewhere. Some professional actors will argue that if you’re not currently studying, you’re not really an actor. While that may be extreme, the point is valid: keep training to proactively become better!

3. Miscellaneous

There are links to Casting Networks’ social media pages and other hot links on their home page. They sell books and merchandise to help actors learn more about their profession. They gather sides from past auditions to actors and trainers for practice and script analyzation practice.

If you’re looking to get into the acting side of the entertainment industry, Casting Networks has a lot to offer. It’s a good place to start, and could very well help you until the very end. We hope this article gives you a solid foothold coming into the program, or enhances the experience for veteran users. Keep up the good work, and break a leg!

Trevor Hutchins

Trevor Hutchins

Trevor Hutchins writes screenplays, novels, and articles from his home in La Mirada, California. He self-published hist first novel, 'Wynden's Legacy,' on Amazon in May of 2017 and hasn't stopped writing since.

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