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Stepping into the other side of casting

Advice for actors from the perspective of a casting director


I had a very eye opening experience this week, when stepping onto the other side of casting, and have decided to write up what I discovered in order to give advice to fellow actors/models!


A bit of context - I wrote and produced a short film that can be shot from home, which I cast on starnow. As soon as I posted the listing yesterday afternoon, within an hour I already had 25 applications for the roles. By that evening, I almost had 200 applications! It was for this reason that I only really paid attention to the first 65 or so applications. That brings me to my first piece of advice. It might not be deliberate, but I assume that most roles are given on a first come first served basis. If you see a casting call, don't think, "Oh, I'll apply to that this evening." Apply straight away!! It is likely that the casting director will have stopped looking if you decide to apply later on. This is something that I have heard before - when I did the lead role in a short film earlier this year, the producer told me that she had over 700 applications for my role so she stopped looking early on. There is SO much talent out there, so this avoids casting directors from getting overwhelmed and torn between who to cast! 


This brings me onto my second piece of advice. The applications that I was drawn to the most had a special message that resonated with the short film. I subconsciously decided to ignore any applications that had clearly copied and pasted a message from every application that they had previously done - especially those who clearly hadn’t read the brief and thought it was a commercial (lol). My advice here is to read the brief of anything that you apply for, and mention to the casting director why you personally resonate with that particular project and why you think it is important, etc. I have found this to work many times when applying myself. 


Next piece of advice - there are lots and lots of applications besides yours. Do not waste the casting director’s time by simply listing your acting credits and making them search for previous videos. Have links to your videos either on your profile or on your application! OR just attach the videos. 


 So, to conclude: 

1. Apply straight away!

2. Mention why the project specifically resonates with you!

3. Include links to previous work!


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