A membership based platform that provides tools & resources to help actors of all experience levels learn & develop, market, brand, manage their content & professionally showcase their skills & abilities all in one place. Powered behind the scenes by a team of passionate creatives with many years of combined television & film industry experience & background in marketing, sales, multi-media production & software development.
Featuring a directory database of union & non-union actors & other freelance talent each with an up-to-date digital “Actor Portfolio” from all age groups, ethnic backgrounds, unique character looks, skills & abilities.
Our platform also serves as a hub to connect casting professionals with talent throughout local, regional, national & international markets for motion pictures, network television, commercials, music videos & more.
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A digital tool to keep your acting career content all in one place organized up-to-date & professionally displayed aka EPK (electronic press kit) Add/Update your Slate-Intro, Headshots, Resume-Credits, Demo-Reel, Voice, Links & More. An Actor Portfolio is also used to help actors get their face in front of casting professionals and talent reps on demand. Each actor portfolio comes with a personalized URL to share & promote your brand
NOTE: “Profile” “Portfolio” “Website” are 3 different things!
In today’s times actors who have a professional digital portfolio available online are more likely to land opportunities than actors who do not. Even if you already have an Actors Access, Casting Networks or Spotlight “Profile” having an official “Actor Portfolio” is also an essential tool for actors to have.
Having an “Actor Portfolio” is a way for casting directors & talent reps to get an idea of who you are as well as see your comfort level in front of a camera.
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No. Our platform provides established actors as well as new aspiring actors with a step-by-step digital online template called the “Actor Portfolio” that has EVERYTHING needed to get started in the television & movie business and become a working actor. We also guide you along the way so that you feel empowered, encouraged and confident in your ability to navigate the road ahead on your acting career journey.
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Below is general information to help give you a good idea of what you will need to do or have in order to get started in the acting business in today’s times; but not limited to.
1. Decide if acting is something you really want to do: Some of the questions to ask yourself; Is Acting your true passion? Or is your goal to become rich & famous? Is your skin thick enough to handle what it takes to succeed in the Acting Business? Are you willing to put in the years of hard work sacrifice and commitment that it takes to sustain in a heavily competitive industry and mental roller coaster of a ride full of rejection disappointment fake phony hollywood smiles where there are NO guarantees? When a camera points at your face are you confident Or get uncomfortable and freak out? These are just a few questions you should ask yourself to help you gain some clarity and direction.
2. Have steady stream of income/Financial support: You MUST have a job or way(s) to earn enough money to pay your bills and support your acting career journey for as many years as it may take.
3. Decide what type of Acting you want to pursue: In order to begin you must figure out what type of acting you want to pursue; i.e. Theatre, Network Television, Feature Films, Commercials, Etc. Once you have made your decision you can then begin to work on development and strategy.
4. Identify Your Character Type(s): Think deep and be honest with yourself. Observe your face, eyes, nose, smile, hair, height, weight, skin color, voice, etc. Do you have any special characteristics like tattoos, facial scars, etc. What is your age range or demographic? The roles you play will also need to reflect your headshots for auditions. Write a list
5. Create A Digital Actor Portfolio: You will use your portfolio to keep your acting content neatly organized & professionally displayed online so casting/hiring reps can view your material all in one place. Your actor portfolio will also be used as a tool to help market and promote your brand.
6. Headshots: Once you have established your character type(s) you will need headshots to add to your actor portfolio showcasing each of your looks. A headshot is usually the first thing a casting/hiring rep will view and can be all that’s needed to get you an invite to an audition or help to get your foot in the door for a major opportunity so you want to make sure they are of professional quality. Avoid adding headshots with filters, bad lighting, wearing excessive makeup, sunglasses or hats, we want to see the real you.
7. Resume: In today’s times it has become an industry standard for actors to have a resume available in both PDF & Digital format even if you don’t have much to put on it yet. Easily add/update your digital resume-credits on your Actor Portfolio.
8. Learn How To Self-Tape: Over the past decade or so the majority of casting professionals have shifted to accepting online talent submissions to help streamline their workflow and are always in need of fresh reliable talent to meet their project casting demands. However it is your responsibility as the actor to learn how to properly put yourself on tape, edit, upload and send your audition in the requested format to the destination on time. Self-Taping also gives actors who live in other states that can’t make it to auditions on short notice the opportunity to be able to still audition as well as save time & money on travel. If your not tech-savvy or willing to learn (another option) is to find someone in your area that offers self-tapping services for actors. Just make sure to do your research on their company and quality of work.
9. Classes/Training: Every actor needs training. If you DO NOT know how to act it will show immediately and could potentially burn your bridge before you even cross it. In order to be successful in this business you must TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN! There are many different types of acting classes & training available to help you. First you must decide on the type of acting you want to pursue, and then find classes & workshops that are a good fit for your needs; i.e. Do you want to act on-camera in network television or commercials? Or looking to work in theatre on broadway? Understanding the difference between each will help you avoid wasting your hard earned money on classes & training that are not right for you. Most acting schools/studios will allow you to audit 1 class for free. Once you have gotten some classes under your belt add your credits to the acting training section on your actor portfolio
10. Learn A Monologue: In addition to acting classes & workshops another good practice for actors (especially those just starting out) is to know 1 or 2 monologues (no more than 1 minute in duration) when first starting out. Try to choose or create an original monologue that fits your brand and character type(s) you want to portray. DO NOT use material already played by well known actors unless you can truly make it your own and 100% believable. Learning a monologue is great for new actors with no experience to help with character development and also to build confidence. A monologue can also help new actors that do not have clips for a demo-reel as of yet showcase their ability. Once you have practiced your monologue and have it memorized (like second nature out of your head) without having to look at the paper or phone screen it’s time to put your training to the test by filming your monologue and adding it to your actor portfolio.
11. Demo-Reel: In addition to your monologue if you are a new actor ready to attend casting calls and auditions in order to get invites you will need a way to showcase your range & ability (which used to take many years) to acquire enough footage to put a quality acting reel together. Thankfully in today’s times (depending on your budget skills & abilities) there are ways to help speed up the process by having your own acting scenes professionally produced into a demo-reel. Once you have a demo-reel created add it to your actor portfolio.
12. Acting Profiles: Diversify yourself. Create acting profiles on casting sites; i.e. actorsaccess.com, castingnetworks.com, lacasting.com, just to name a few. Most industry/reps now use online platforms as a source to cast talent and it also enables new or freelance actors who do not have representation the ability to submit themselves for projects they normally would not be able to without an agent or manager to help them. After creating your profiles be sure to add all of your profile links to your actor portfolio so casting/hiring reps can view all of your profile links in one place.
13. Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Continue with your training, classes, reading books, self-submitting for projects, creating your own original content, updating your actor portfolio, marketing, promoting your brand, networking, etc.
14. Representation: Once you have some experience under your belt (min 5-10) acting credits and training listed on your resume (not including extra work) it might be the right time to consider searching for representation to help submit you for castings. Keep in mind, having an agent or a manager does NOT mean your DAILY routine stops. Its a team effort and your responsibility as the actor to make sure you keep all of your acting content in your actor portfolio up-to-date so your rep(s) will have the tools they need to pitch you to their clients and submit you for projects which they DO NOT get paid unless you book work so you MUST help them help you.
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It has become an industry standard in today’s times for casting professionals to request auditions from actors for television & film projects in a digital format known as self-tape. It is also the actor’s responsibility to know how to properly create a self-tape if they are serious about their career. Knowing how to properly self-tape also gives the actor a competitive advantage over other actors in their market who lack the skill set.
Some tips to help you with the process:
What’s Needed – computer, internet, video/cell phone camera, tripod, source of lighting, quality audio, solid neutral color background, video-editing software, person to read other characters lines. If you do not have another person available to read you can pre-record the other characters lines or check for any qualified self-taping service providers in your area or there are also apps you can download; i.e. Weaudition, We Rehearse, Rehearsal Pro, Slatable, Shakespeare Pro just to name a few but also do your own research to find a solution that will work best for you.
Camera – Creating a self-tape is not about trying to create award-winning cinematography. If you do not have a video or DSLR camera the audition can be filmed on a modern cell phone. If you are using a cell phone be sure to clean your lens to get the best clear quality video possible
Tripod – A tri-pod is needed to mount your camera or cell phone on to film your self-tape. Its very important to use a tri-pod that will allow you to pan the camera smoothly with out getting stuck, shaking the camera or making noise which is a common issue with most of the cheaper tri-pods on the market. I recommend doing some research to find a decent quality tri-pod to avoid any potential headaches.
Lighting – If you are on a budget natural light will work fine, we simply need to see your face there is no need to purchase expensive lighting equipment. However if you want to purchase some equipment consider a basic 3-point studio soft box lighting setup or do your own research online to find something of quality that fits your price range. When adjusting your lighting you want to make sure the main light source is coming from BEHIND camera to see your face and eyes clearly. Before taping your scene record a test shot and adjust your lighting accordingly.
Recording Audio – Sound is usually one of the things many actors neglect when filming their self-tapes and can ruin a great opportunity when it could have been prevented. These days all DSLR and cell phone cameras have internal microphones already built in that records decent quality audio. However if you are using someone to read the other characters lines with you its best to invest in a directional Rhode or Lavalier mic to prevent the reader from being louder than you. Also when filming your self-tape it is important to be in a place with NO background noise; i.e. talking, loud air-condition, fan, dogs barking, babies crying, etc.
Background – Your self-tape background should be in front of a solid blank neutral color wall or backdrop. NOTHING else should be showing in the background; no trees, pictures, pets, people, etc. Other acceptable colors can be royal blue, grey, off white or black for character shots. You can also use a flat sheet but be sure its not reflective and you iron out any wrinkles. When selecting a background color a person’s skin tone, type of character they are auditioning for and the color of clothing they will be wearing on camera should also be considered.
Clothing – Its best to wear solid colors, NO stripes, plaids, logos, words or anything else that will distract the viewer from focusing on your audition.
Framing – The frame is the edges of the image on the camera viewfinder or what is projected on a screen. Frame your shot between mid belly up to about 1/8-inch of space nice and tight just above your head. The camera should also be at an approximate level with your eyes. If you are using a cell phone it should be positioned wide angle on a tri-pod landscaped/horizontally NOT vertical. Do a test video to make sure you are in focus. Once you have established your frame and are in focus you should mark the floor with blue or black tape to remember your place.
Reader – When you have someone reading the lines of the other character(s) in the script they should be standing just to the right or left BEHIND the camera. Make sure that your reader is instructed to speak with a lower voice if he or she is reading from behind the camera microphone to prevent them from being louder then you! This is your audition NOT theirs. NOTE: The reader should ONLY read the dialogue of the other character(s) NOT the narration/instructional text in between. If you do not have a reader there are a few apps available for both iphone and android users i.e. WeAudition, ActorTrade just to name a few. Feel free to do your own research for an app that works best for you.
Eye-Line – If you have another person reading the other characters lines with you they should be standing just to the right or left BEHIND the camera and should be used as your eye-line. If you do not have a reader place a piece of tape just to the left or right side of the camera. For television & film you should NEVER look directly into the lens of the camera unless otherwise instructed. Commercials on the other hand are different but these tips apply towards TV & Film.
Slate – What does it mean to slate your name? It’s saying your name to the camera prior or after performing the audition so that the casting director or producer can reference who you are. A slate can impact your audition either in a positive or negative way. Slating poorly can easily cause those watching your audition to completely lose interest. A common question asked by new actors is; should I slate as the character I am auditioning for or myself? Both ways are acceptable but based on my experience it is best to slate as yourself NOT as the character because it will give the director a chance to see the real you and also show that you can skillfully transition into character. Whichever way you choose to slate what’s MOST important is that you come across confident and professional. For self-tapes It has become industry standard for most casting directors to ask for your SLATE to be filmed on a separate take and placed at the END of your audition. Your SLATE should consist of saying your full name, height, location, represented by (if you have an agent) followed by a full-body profile shot.
Sides – Sides also known as “copy” are a portion of the script read during an audition usually sent by a Talent Agent or Casting Director before an in-person or self-tape audition. Some actors choose to learn their lines from their phone others print. When filming your audition be sure NOT to cover your face from the camera with the paper or phone and try not to make distracting noises if turning pages.
Your Line Delivery – Most important (before trying to memorize the lines) take some time to read the sides/script (including the other characters lines) to get a good understanding of the overall story who your character is, what is your character’s motivation, etc. Read it in different ways until you start to feel a connection. Before you begin recording you want to feel and appear confident on camera. Relax and imagine that the camera is NOT there or the camera is just another person you are talking to. You should have fun, show range DO NOT be boring and monotone. Also this is NOT a theater performance! Your audition should feel natural and effortless like your having a real conversation. If you play your audition back and it seems exaggerated, forced or unnatural – then it’s probably over the top and needs to be brought down a few notches to a believable state. With TV & Film, less is MORE.
Listening – Acting, like life, is a mutual connection. You don’t need to talk to communicate. We also communicate when we listen. A crucial part is how you “take in” what happens around you in the scene. Listen to whoever is reading the other lines the same as you would in a real conversation with out anticipating what is coming next. What is your reaction? How does it make you feel? How does it affect you? etc.
Editing – Once you have filmed your self-tape it is also imperative to know how to properly edit, label, compress & upload your self-tape auditions in the requested format. Label Example:
Your Name_Role Name_Project Title
Once you have completed editing your self-tape you will need to save it in the proper format which most up to date software programs will have the option available. If you are asked to tape more than 1 scene, edit them all together into a single file. If you send 3 scenes as 3 separate links the viewer might watch the first one and NOT the other 2 separate links. If you send all scenes as a single file/upload there is a greater chance of all scenes being watched. I recommend investing in a program called final-cut pro x because its an industry standard video editing software which will help you stream the process. If you are on a budget you can also use imovie or do your own research on other video editing software programs available on the market.
Uploading/Sending – When editing is complete compress your video to meet the file size specified in the submission instructions that you received from casting or your agent. When ready to send MOST casting professionals request that you submit your self-tape using either wetransfer.com or other video file transfer sites like hightail.com to name a few. Most Casting Directors don’t like dropbox or any other service where they will be required to create an account before viewing or downloading your self-tape. The easier you make it for the person casting the project to open and view, the greater the chance of your self-tape audition being watched.
Submission Instructions – With each self-tape request you receive instructions may vary. Every casting director, director, producer, etc has their own preference in the way they want talent to submit their self-tape auditions. Be sure to carefully read the instructions that is included with each new self-tape audition request you receive and follow the directions verbatim.
Self-Tape Sharing – Once you have completed your self-tape audition it should ONLY go to the person who is requesting it! DO NOT post your audition on youtube, social media or anywhere else until after the project has been filmed and or released to the public or the owner of the content has given you permission. Production has gotten very strict over the years about content being leaked or spoiled.
Practice, Practice, Practice – Even when you DO NOT have an audition it is a good idea to PRACTICE putting yourself on tape! Learn a monologue, find old scripts to practice with or write your own content until you master the skill of putting yourself on tape.