You may or may not know the following:
- You can post on Actors Access (and all the other actor casting sites) for free.
- You can conduct your search for actors with a great deal of anonymity.
- There is no shortage of actors willing to do anything involving a camera with little to no benefit.
Is this a great world we live in or what?
Here’s the story:
Every year I do a racy/comedic holiday card for friends, family and clients. This year was a jab at The Nutcracker Ballet. I found the perfect ballerina thru my (wonderful) on-camera agent and all was set… until… the model got booked on a real job.
Totally understandable however. I’d do the same thing.
“Maybe I’ll try this Actors Access thing I’m always submitting myself on and see what happens. If anything, I’ll experience what casting people go thru everyday.” I thought.
The post was up in about 2 hours and read: “FEMALE MODEL – BALLERINA TYPE – Early to mid 20’s (great if you ‘play’ younger) ballerina type (you don’t have to be a real dancer). But someone who would be good for the lead girl role in the Nutcracker. Preference given to those who can bring the wardrobe and makeup, which is: Young girls night dress, hair back in a bow, ballet slippers, slight theater makeup.”
The only thing Breakdown Services wanted from me was a name and email address.
Within an hour, 20 women had submitted, and by the end it was 72 who submitted for this very low-pay personal project. Most submissions were good and professional listing their agent or manager’s contact info. But the handful of young teens that submitted, the women with personal contact info, and the one with the lingerie pics… well… dear lord, it was a bit much and eye-opening to say the least.
There were 6 women for my final selects, but one stood out because she solved my problem in the notes section by briefly writing, “actual Nutcracker experience…have all things (including shoes) – night gown isn’t exactly the same.” Booked. Done. Called her manager, and the shoot went as planned.
A week after the shoot, I decided to submit myself to see where I would have placed as a 20-something female ballerina.
YEP, THAT’S RIGHT, I’M THE FIRST PICK!
Don’t act surprised, I’ve got killer legs.
Why am I really the first one up there? Because Actors Access (and I’m sure the other sites as well) place you higher up on the submissions once you’ve paid for all those extras – like the video reels, clips, multiple photos, and when you have representation.
So what did we learn today?
- Creeps like me can cast for free and without any kind of validation.
- Pay, pay, and pay some more to put up more photos, reels, and clips so you can be at the top of the list.
- You still need representation when it’s all said and done.
- I have a slender ballerina body.