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7.18.2013

Why Aren't You Booking More? Here's Why!

Wondering how to book more work?

Astute advice from Cast Images On-Camera Agent, Jessica Berkey:


Cast Images Agent - Jessica Berkey
Jessica Berkey, Cast Images Agent
Hello, my awesome actors! I often get questions from actors wondering why they aren't booking more...today I'm feeling inspired to remind you of a few realities and hopefully help you take your auditions to the next level.

Let's talk training, training, training. The olympic athlete did not make their country's team by being passionate about or "really loving" what they do. It's challenging, gut-wrenching and back-breaking work to be the best. The daily dedication, focus and commitment to their development is life consuming and once they make the team, they then have to prove that they are the best again and again with each competition, each event.

 You are not the exception to the rule. It's not enough to simply want it. If you're not working on your craft and exercising those acting muscles every single day, you're not being competitive. It's not only what you do in the audition room that matters.

Yes, acting is fun and can be emotionally rewarding, but this is a business, not a hobby (It's absolutely ok to have acting solely as a hobby in your life, but those actors are not represented, not professional talent). Each step you are taking in between those audition and booking opportunities builds your foundation in this market, in this industry. You have to be the best at what you do, even in a medium-sized market.

  • Are you booking? 
  • Are you securing callbacks for each audition? 
  • Are you getting called in with any kind of consistency? 
  • Are you being requested at all? 
  • Is your audition THE best? 

If the answers to these questions are not "YES! YES! YES! YES! and OH YES!" then it's time to take a hard look at what is and is not working in your career growth plan and make some tangible steps to change the situation.

If your resume is lacking credits and/or training, why should they call you in for an audition? If your audition is average or commonplace, why should they call you back? Why give YOU a paycheck if there are stronger, better professionals out there available? The quality of your work, of what you bring to the table, will define your opportunities.

Training is an enormous part of this, something you already know. Whether you are 5 or 50, you are never done learning, never done training. So, what should you be focusing on? Audition technique, improvisation, character development, script analysis, cold read technique, narration, vocal control, physicality, scene study... This is a question with endless answers and specific to your personal strengths, weaknesses and individual career goals. First and foremost, you need to develop your skill set. Then, you need to maintain and grow it.

Instead of being discouraged, be challenged. Be motivated to be the best at what you do. Get in a class. Meet with your acting coach. Join an improv group. Get friends together to work scenes and monologues. Already in a class? Take another and another. As an agent, I  believe in my talent, but I can't book the jobs for you. The hard truth is that unless you're wowing each client every time, you've got work to do.

Bianca Rodriguez | "Fruitvale Station" Interview

Bianca Rodriguez promoting her new film, the award winning Fruitvale Station, on Good Day Sacramento. Yay Bianca!


Bianca Rodriguez - Fruitvale Station - Cast Images

7.16.2013

Cast Images Submission Tips

Are you thinking about submitting to Cast Images? Would you like some simple tips on how to make your submission successful?

We have detailed instructions on our Submit Online page of CastImages.com, but find that people still make mistakes. Before you submit, please read this!


















At Cast Images, we receive TONS of submissions and we are able to call very few people in for audition appointments. There are some simple things that make all the difference in the chances of your being offered one of the spots, and I am happy to share them with you.

First, remember that your submission is one of many that we'll consider that day, so make it super easy for us to quickly see your photos and information. The agents are looking at much more than your photos...we are also deciding whether you are going to be professional, reliable and easy to work with. We look at your submission as the first hoop that you need to jump through to show us that you can be a success at Cast Images. Don't do anything that will cause us to hit the delete key!

Content Tips

1. Be sure to read our submission instructions thoroughly and include all of the requested information. If we receive a submission that has everything but the height entered, we assume that the person is too short for modeling. If you don't include the city that you live in, we have no way of knowing if you are in Northern California or Arkansas (and yes, we receive submissions from all over the world.)

2. Keep your submission clear and simple. Remember that you are applying to a professional talent agency...craft your comments like you would any other business correspondence. While you are at it, check your outgoing voicemail message on your contact phone and be sure that is professional too. You are welcome to include links to industry websites in the comment field...be sure that anything you link to is also up to professional standards. Sometimes, less really is more!

3. Avoid over the top claims and language. It turns us off to read that you think you are the next Kate Upton or that you know that you will be a "Big Star" if you just find the right agent. It also worries us when parents are too pushy about their children....if she's really that cute we'll see it in the photos, we don't need you to tell us that she's "absolutely gorgeous and everyone stops me everywhere we go."

4. Put together a simple entertainment resume listing your industry experience. You can check the actors section of our website for examples. Just click on individual actors and you'll see a "resume" link pop up at the bottom of their page that you can reference. If you do not have any experience, just skip this step.

5. Please do not submit children under two years old. We do not represent kids until they hit two but are thrilled to see them as soon as they have their second birthday.

Photo Tips

Your photos are absolutely critical to your submission. Take your time and put together the strongest pictures you can before you hit that send button. This isn't the time to rush and throw something together...the reality is that one bad photo photo can lead to us decide against you. Make your first photo make us want to see more!

1. Follow the instructions on our website. We do not need twenty photos of you. Two or three are perfect. You do not need professional photos... we love clear, well lit digitals. We much prefer to see simple photos that you have a friend take instead of glamour shots, overly stylized fashion pictures, or vacation photos of you and your friends. Remember that the whole purpose of the photos is to see what you look like. Show us!

2. For your digital photos, please wear an uncomplicated outfit that shows your shape and find some nice lighting. Wear very little (lip gloss, mascara) or no makeup and style your hair so that we can see your face. Choose a spot facing a window or head outside. If you shoot outside, do so early in the morning or close to sunset...not when the sun is directly overhead and will be strong and unflattering. Pick a simple background without distractions.  We need to see one photo that is straight on of your face, and one full length. One of these should be a smile. Do not retouch or use fancy filters. Simple!

3. If you have a comp card and/or headshot, please do attach it, but send us current digitals as well. If you do not have a resume, you can use the resume attachment spot to send an additional photo.

4. Format your photos as jpg attachments of around 1MB each. If you do not know how to size them correctly, find someone to help you before you submit.

Here are some examples of outstanding photos that would wow us in a submission:

Fashion Division





Fashion Division
Acting or Lifestyle Division
Kids Division

After You Submit

Once you send us your submission, you will see a confirmation pop up that lets you know that we've received it. If one of the agents is interested in meeting you or your child, we will be in touch within two weeks or so. If you do not hear back within that time frame, you can assume that you weren't a fit at this time for Cast Images. Please do not email us or call to follow up. Once we look at the email and decide not to call someone in, we delete the message and have no way to retrieve it to give you feedback.

If you do get called in, Congratulations! You have cleared the first hurdle. We'll be excited to meet you!

If you are not called in, continue to gain experience in the industry and submit again in six months or when you have made significant progress. For models, work on your hair and skin and getting your body in tip top shape. For actors, take on camera and improv classes, do theatre and independent films and build your resume. For everyone, educate yourself on the industry and make yourself into someone that an agent can't say no to because you are that terrific. For more industry information, please visit our Articles We Love page.

Good luck! We look forward to your amazing submission!

--Chandra Bourne, Owner, Cast Images

Olivia B | US Trust Print

The adorable (and busy!) Olivia B for US Trust.

Olivia B - Cast Images - US Trust

7.15.2013

About the Industry | Articles We Love

It can be difficult to find accurate information about our industry, so we've gathered some terrific resources for actors, models, and parents.

Check back often as we update this list regularly.

Enjoy!

About Cast Images

     Sac Film Works | The Talent Agent (With Cast Images owner Chandra Bourne)

Submissions

     Cast Images Submission Tips

Agents

     5 Things You Need To Know About Your Agent or Manager

Kids

     Making This Business Positive For Kids

     4 Tips to Keep Young Actors Grounded and Real

     The Reality Behind Reality Television (For Kids)

     Protect Your Kids: Check For A CPS Permit

Auditioning

     Tips to Ace a Cold Read (Watch the video!)
   
     Secrets of Slating (Watch the video!)

     Why Aren't You Booking More? Here's Why!

     The Value of Being Nice

     What Impresses Casting Directors

     8 Reasons Why Actors Must Train

     Things Actors Should Never Do

     Ace The Audition

     No Audition Apologies

     The Call Back Process

     The Avails Process

     What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You

     How Keeping an Audition Diary Can Help You Book The Job

General Advice

     Backstage Experts

     Be A Professional

     SAG-AFTRA Residuals Explained

7.12.2013

Caitlin Holleran | Amour Vert Video Look Book

Caitlin for Amour Vert. Gorgeous.

Bianca Rodriguez | Fruitville Station Release

We're so excited to see Fruitvale Station, featuring Cast Images actor Bianca Rodriguez as Vanessa, in select theatres starting today. Fruitvale Station first debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film. Congratulations to Bianca and everyone else who worked so hard on this profound Bay Area production.

Bianca Rodriguez
Official Featurette via The Weinstein Company (see Bianca behind the scenes at the 1:02 mark.)



7.03.2013

Happy 4th!

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!
(Cast Images will be closed 7.4-7.7 to celebrate the holiday.)

Cast Images model - Mary Creel
Model | Mary Creel