Casting Sites Every Actor Should be On

Keri Bruner beautiful teeth commercial headshot

As an actor, things have changed so much over the past ten years. Before you could Google “commercial or film auditions in (insert metropolis here)” and you would get a list of auditions. The posting would include when, where, what time, an email address and a contact number. Your agent would send you auditions to go to as well. You would either schedule a time slot to audition or show up and wait, cattle call style. You get your sides there or before. Bring multiple copies of your headshot with your resume stapled to the back and go dazzle the casting folks!

Today you need to be on casting sites. On each of these sites, you should have your headshots, demo reel, sizing, contact information for yourself and agency.

  • Headshots – You need two headshots at the very least. One commercial headshot which should show you in a cheerful friendly way. Think friendly and approachable, and the other is your theatrical headshot. This shot should show no teeth and have a serious expression. You want to show your range as an actor and your personality.
  • Demo Reel – This should be made up of the best clips of your on-camera performances in film, tv and commercial work in less than 90 seconds. If you only have enough powerful moments for 30 to 45 seconds that is completely fine! 90 seconds is the max, two minutes can feel longer than you think.
  • Slate shot – A Slate shot is a short clip of you stating your name. Actors Access does a great job of showing slate shot examples here. The purpose is to show your personality and give the casting director an idea of what your voice sounds like.
  • Sizing – Grab a measuring tape, because you will need to list your chest, waist, hips, and sometimes inseam. Your weight, height, shoe size, and hat size as well.

Once you have a profile set up on these sites, you read through the breakdowns and submit your headshot, demo reel, resume and size to be considered for an audition. If the casting person thinks you fit the description they send you a link to sides for the audition for a self-tape and request a slate shot. Then they will hire you based on your self-tape and slate shot, or they will bring you into the casting office for a callback. Finally, you wait to hear if you got the job or silence.

If you want more experience for your demo reel, you should check with your local universities film and communications departments. These students often have multiple film projects to work on during the school year and need actors. The work will usually be unpaid, but you gain experience, and IMBD credit if they submit their work to a film festival.

Actors Access. This is one of the main casting sites. The site gives you the option of checking breakdowns for the Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Eastern Canada, Southeast U.S., Florida, Texas, Chicago, the Northwest and more. You can look at breakdowns for each specific region or just select all breakdowns fit for me. Actors Access also allows you to add a video clip from each project you worked on to your resume page. It is an extra charge but looks incredibly professional if you have the means to do it. If you are looking for theatre work there are casting calls for national tours on here as well.

 

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Just the top half of the breakdown list on Actors Access

 

Casting Networks. Fox is casting exclusively through Casting Networks, which was formerly known as LA Casting. This site has network tv auditions for principal roles, featured roles and commercials. There are also theatre and student films on Casting Networks. One thing I love about this casting site is they list if the job is paying, how much and the type. So you know how much you are going to make, and if it is a commercial or short film before you even open the casting call.

 

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This shows this commercial is paying on the SAG scale and was posted on May 1st.

 

IMDbPro. Internet Movie DatabasePro is perfect for when you have a couple of professional credits under your belt. A lot of the castings on here will say for name talent. Meaning a well know actor, someone people will recognize on the screen. I do not think the ranking system or “STARmeter” matters much to casting directors, but they do want to see professional credits under your name. The STARmeter just tells producers and casting who is most popular currently or most likely has a project coming out. When you pay for IMDb pro, you also can see a list of talent agencies, contact information, message boards, projects in preproduction and ongoing.

 

Golden Globes and Why it is Necessary to Wear Black Now

75th Golden Globe Award

Women in Black for the Time's Up initiative at the Golden Globes Viola Davis Gal
Photo credit Vanity Fair

The 75th Golden Globe’s was a complete blackout. Usually the red carpet is full of vibrant colorful dress, suits and accessories. This year MOST celebrities showed up wearing all black. I have never been so proud to see this industry unite with Time Magazine for the Times Up initiative. A few celebrities opted to bring sexual assault activist as their dates. Why now, you might ask? Why now are all these people coming forward about sexual assault after being silent for so long? Why is Hollywood speaking up now and listening to activist? The climate we are living now. I’ve had this debate with a family friends dads who know I am actively working to be apart of the film and television industry. I pointed out to them that women have been harassed forever, but we often do not come forward because we are belittled and slut-shamed. What were you wearing? Are you sure you didn’t want the attention? Did you drink? How much were drinking? Why were you alone? Well did you lead him on? Are you sure you didn’t want it? Well were you a virgin? How many partners have you had? Well what did you think was going to happen?

None of these questions justify the perpetrator’s behavior. No one has the right to touch you or make a sexual advance to you without your permission. I believe the reason why Times Up has become a huge movement in Hollywood now, is because of our current president. To have a political election where one candidate is over-qualified for the position has decades of experience as a politician and public servant consistently answers all question about what they would do if elected. The other candidate belittles reporters with disabilities, ignores questions, does not submit their taxes, does not resign from their companies, has been accused of sexual assault, is currently being sued for sexual assault and harassment by multiple women. Then, is quoted saying, “grab ‘em by the pussy” wins over the over-qualified female candidate. This tells women they are not equal, they are not important and they do not have control over their own bodies. Add the lack of equal pay and well you’ve completely handicapped an entire sex.

The 75th Golden Globes has been the most powerful because they did not try to sweep the uncomfortable elephants in the room under the rug. Jokes were made using Harry Weinstein and Kevin Spacey names, calling them out for their crimes. Natalie Portman also pointed out that in the director category only men were nominated (even though there have been many great female-directed films and tv shows this year). Debra Messing called out E! for lack of equality – in reference to paying Jason significantly more than Catt Sadler. Oprah accepted the Cecil B DeMille Award and gave the most eloquent speech since Obama was in office. My hope is that this momentum will continue and all workplaces will promote a safe, respectful, equal pay environment we all are owed. I can not wait for the day women and men do not have to say #metoo Did you watch the Golden Globes? If so do you think the blackout showed unity or just a fashion statement?

Four Tips for Accomplishing Your New Year’s!

Leonard in the Great Gatsby

Happy New Year everyone!

Girl happily enjoying the sun with sandals in a emerald green dress Keri Elaine

 

This past year has been full of blessings, lessons and hard work. My goal is to continue to be open to the opportunities and changes that comes my way. Continue to set intentions for myself and visualize them. In the past everytime I have intentionally visualized myself accomplishing my goals and spoken about them it has come true. For 2018 let’s follow the following tips to accomplish our resolutions!

1. Write down your goals. Do it. There is something about physically writing down your goals for the year that holds you accountable. Personally I recommend getting a dry erase marker and writing them on your bathroom mirror, or a long mirror in your bedroom. Why? Every morning when you wake up you use the bathroom and look in the mirror. Sometimes while brushing your teeth, other times while putting on your make up or zoning out. Then, again at night as you do your nighttime routine. Twice a day you will see your goals and can reflect on what steps you need to take to be closer to crossing that goal off your list!

2. Verbalize your goal(s). Talk to your friends, family and even people you meet at networking events about your goals. Everytime I have met people and mentioned I am an actor focused on the Film and Television industry they somehow have some interesting story to share, person they must connect me with or even just general information about this industry. (Plus I love recommending films and TV shows to check out to other people)! I have always enjoyed getting to know other people. Getting to hear someone’s perspective based on where they grew up, what their cultural norms and morals are. One of my fabulous gal pals and I just had a discussion on what she does on Christmas with her family. She is Muslim and is always kind enough to wish me a Merry Christmas, but I never knew what her equivalent would be. Well she wrote this article, to explain what various Muslim’s do on Christmas. We always discuss what we want to accomplish and support each other with positive words. Verbalizing can lead to people holding you accountable and connecting with the right people.

Socrates quote the secret of change 3. Be open to change. This time of year so many people focus on dieting to lose weight, instead of making a lifestyle change for the sake of building muscle and being healthier. I can not stress enough how important your health is. That should always be priority number 1. Taking care of the only body you have the right way will save you so much stress, money and help your mental health. Change could also mean stepping out of your comfort zone, like finally taking that Public Speaking class you need so you don’t freak out when having to give a presentation or job interview. Change can feel scary and uncomfortable, but it is the only way to grow.

4. “Let live and let God”. To me, this quote means stop trying to plan and control every step of your life. This does not mean sit in your room staring blankly at the walls and expect to find the love of your life, dream career, that six-pack of abs you had in middle school and financial freedom. You have to put forth effort! Want to meet someone go to a cooking class, spoken word night or indie film festival instead of your regular bar or nightclub scene. Switch it up! Look at your bank statement, and outgoing bills. See if there is somewhere you keep splurging that you can cut back, like eating out twice a week instead of everyday, or buying the majority of your groceries from a cheaper place (shout out to Trader Joe’s! You are the real MVP)! If you want to break a bad habit start today instead tomorrow, next week, etc. We all know the longer we procrastinate the harder it is to change.

5. Do a check-in. In six months see which goals you have accomplished. See which ones still need some TLC to get them done.

What are some tips you have for accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions?