single day, casting directors need to fill thousands of roles
in movies, television shows, commercials, and music videos. And
they’re looking for people like you. In the old days, you
needed to spend hours reading trade papers and working through
an agent to have a shot at these parts. But now, there is a much
InstantCast sends casting calls directly
to your cellphone. If you’ve ever dreamed of being on screen,
your big break is now closer than ever. By receiving casting notices
on your cellphone, you will get a jumpstart on the competition
and dramatically increase your chances of getting a part.
Subscribe to InstantCast now. We have databases of hundreds of
parts available for people like you. When you subscribe today,
we’ll start sending you these opportunities directly so
you can respond immediately. http://www.instantcast.com
So you want to start working in the
Entertainment Industry? Well, the best way, no matter where you
live, is to get your name and face in front of casting directors
and agents. InstantCast gives you the edge and knowledge about
what auditions are hot and what are not. Most opportunity in the
entertainment industry is created by submitting your photo and
resume (a simple list of previous, if any, experience) to casting
directors and agents. Not by paying large sums of money to training
facilities or photographers. Don't be taken by companies that
want to charge you very large sums of money for a training program
or a portfolio. There is a time and place for these companies,
but lets get the cart behind the horse, and get you job opportunities.
Here are the two golden rules of auditioning:
There are many things you can do at an audition to help improve
your chances of being noticed by casting directors. First and
foremost, always be on time!, keep a professional attitude and
be polite to everyone you come in contact with while you are auditioning.
During the auditioning process, you may be asked to slate for
the camera. If so, you should look directly into the camera, pause
say, "Hello, my name is ________ I am ______ years old",
pause, smile and wait. That is IT! If they require any other information,
they'll let you know after you have slated.
At some auditions, you may be asked to improvise something. The
improvisation you are asked to do may or may not have anything
to do with the project you are auditioning for. The key to any
audition is to be as prepared as you can. If the show is currently
in production WATCH IT prior to walking in, learn the producers,
directors and writers name if applicable.
As soon as you subscribe to InstantCast you will begin receiving
urgent casting notices. InstantCast will send you all types of
auditions. Here are a few of the types of work you might begin
Extras (sometimes referred to as "background" or "atmosphere"
actors) are used in almost every movie. They may be a face in
a crowd of thousands or someone who fully interacts with the other
actors but doesn't have any lines. In either case, you don't have
to live in New York or Los Angeles to get this kind of work. Watch
for ads in the newspaper or contact your local film commission
if you know a production is coming to the area. You might be able
to get a few days of work as an extra.
Independent and Student Films are a great way to get some acting
experience. Many student projects and low-budget films cannot
afford to hire experienced actors and will hold open calls. You
can find auditions for these kinds of productions in trade publications
like Backstage or even local newspapers. However, it's a good
idea to be cautious when responding to these ads. Take a friend
with you to the audition and know what you're getting into.
Almost every city and town has at least one small community theater
where local actors gather and put on performances. Take advantage
of this opportunity, even if your primary interest is in film
and television. Acting changes very little between media.
Common Industry Terms
Academic Theatre - A theatre associated with a school and having
educational, rather than commercial, goals.
Acoustics - How a room or set "sounds".
Action - The director's cue for the talent to begin
Actor Proof - A play or scene that is almost impervious
to bad acting
AD - Assistant Director.
A.D.R. - Additional Dialogue Recording.
Airbrushing - A photographic process where flaws
in a picture are altered for the master print.
Air Check - A recording made of a televised show
to be used for demo reels.
Apple Boxes - Small wooden crates that elevate
either an actor or a prop to a specific height. Apple boxes can
be stacked, and depending on their size, are referred to as a
"quarter apple" or "half apple".
Atmosphere - Another term for extras or background
Background - Another term for extras or atmosphere.
Back-to-One - Direction given by the Assistant
Director after a take. It means to go back to your starting position
at the beginning of the scene.
Beat - A pause, usually equivalent to one second
Best Boy - They are either part of the grip or
electrical department. They are the right hand persons of the
Key Grip or Gaffer.
Big - A term used for actors giving too much of
a performance in the interpretation of their scene. You might
here "That was too big"…or "Not quite big
Bit Part - A small speaking role, usually five
lines or less.
Blocking - The movement of a scene…actors
and crew need to rehearse their movements as well as their dialogue.
Blue Screen - Sometimes called a Green Screen or
sometimes a Chroma-Key, it is a blank screen that acts as the
backdrop to live action. Any background can be placed on the screen
giving the illusion of live action.
Booking - A confirmed session that means you have
Booking Agent - Or just Agent. An agent finds employment
Borderless - Also known as a Full Bleed - A photograph
that takes up the full space of the paper with no white edges.
Boom - The microphone used to record actors' voices
(it is usually hand held and operated by the "boom operator".
Boom Mic - A microphone on the end of a pole, held
above actor's heads to record dialogue.
Breaking Character - Changing from your character
to yourself in the middle of a scene (usually when actors laugh
on the set while shooting, they are known to "break").
Breakdown Services - A service provided to agents
that offers a daily listing of roles for each production submitted
by production companies.
Bump - An upgrade in pay and billing when an Extra
does something beyond the role of an extra. Maybe some interaction
with a principal performer, or even some small dialogue.
Buyout - A one-time payment for shooting and airing
Callback - A second audition where an actor performs again, usually
for some of the decision makers.
Call Sheet - A list all scenes to be shot that
day as well as cast and crew schedule.
Call Time - What time you are supposed to report
to the set.
Call-in Service - For extras, a company that helps
to book them on extra jobs.
Camera Right - What the camera sees on the right
Camera Left - What the camera sees on the left
Cans - Headphones.
Character Role - A role with specific or exaggerated
Circle Take - A director's favorite or most usable
footage of a particular scene. Circle takes are easy to edit.
Cold Reading - Playing out a scene for the first
time with no rehearsals.
Composite - A type of headshot where three to four
images are used on one page. This shows whoever is looking at
it that the actor has different looks and styles.
Continuity - Matching actions in each take of a
scene. There is usually a person on the set who is responsible
Copy - Slang for "dialogue" or "script."
Craft Service - The area on the set where food
is prepared for actors and crew. Sometimes, we refer to the catering
company as craft service.
Crew - Anyone who works on the set and contributes
to the production except the cast.
CU - Close Up.
Cut - The director's cue to stop filming.
Cuts - Lines, speeches, songs, or any other element
in a printed script left out of a particular production.
DAT - Digital Audio Tape.
Day Player - Someone who is hired at SAG scale
(minimum) for the day.
Day Shot - A specific scene in the script to be
filmed or taped while the sun is out.
Demo Reel - A tape of an actor showcasing their
Diction - Clear, audible enunciation of words.
Downstage - The area of the stage or set closest
to the audience.
D.P. - Director of Photography - responsible for
setting up the shot and all the elements in it.
ECU - Extreme close-up.
EXT - Short for Exterior.
False Start - When an actor makes a mistake within the first couple
of lines (a very bad thing to do). The cameras are stopped, everyone
resets to their "one", and we start over.
Featured Role - A role bigger than a "Day
Player" but smaller than a star or lead role.
Find Your Light - Knowing when you are lighted
Fire in the Hole - A term said when there is about
to be an explosion, or gunshot (squib) happening on the set.
First Team - The actual cast members who are being
used in a scene.
Flashing - What is said when taking a flash picture.
Forced Call - When an actor or crewmember must
come to work without the required turn-around (off) time.
Golden Time - Overtime paid after working sixteen hours straight…equal
to one's daily rate every hour.
Green Lite - When a script has been developed and
moves into production.
Green Lighted - When a studio commits to backing/starting
Grip - A crewmember that handles lighting, electrical,
and other equipment.
Headshot (Commercial) - A photo of the actor used to get commercial
auditions. It is usually ¾ length and always a smile or
something unique about the performer.
Headshot (Theatrical) - A photo of the actor used
to get theatrical (theatrical is anything besides commercial)
auditions. It is usually ¾ length and shows a more serious
or seductive side to the performer.
Hiatus - Time of year when the cast and crew of
a television series is on vacation.
Hold Over - When a director decides to use an actor
for an extra day not originally scheduled.
Holding Area - A place where extras are kept on
a set or location.
Honey Wagon - A bank of dressing and mini-bathroom
rooms attached together and pulled by a tractor-trailer.
Hot Mic - A microphone that is turned on.
Insert - A form of pick-up where a short segment of the script
is reread from one point to another, or where the camera is focused
on a specific action. Example…a robber pulls a gun, and
we see the close up on the gun..
INT - Interior.
In The Can - When the day's footage or filming
is complete and the director is satisfied, it is considered "in
the can" and ready to go to post production for editing,
Laugh Track - The recorded laughter of a live audience.
Laundry List - A long series of copy points in
Lead - Considered a starring role in a production.
Line Producer - The producer in charge of the day-to-day
details of finishing a project or just keeping the project moving
forward smoothly and on schedule.
Lithography - A printing process used to inexpensively
reproduce a large quantity of headshots.
Looping - A postproduction sound recording where
actors match their voices to the lip movements ion the film.
Magic Hour - The time of day when the sun casts a light which
DPs have referred to as magic; a choice, for a brief period of
time, during which filmmakers have to shoot.
Manager - One who guides an artist in the development
of his/her career.
Mark - Exact locations of an actor's feet on the
floor during sequences of a shot.
Meal Penalty - Additional monies paid if a working
cast or crewmember has not been fed after the six hours allotted
by union contracts.
Method Acting - An internalized form of acting
that uses experiences from an actor's personal life to help produce
Miked - Attaching a wireless transmitter to an
actor's body or clothes to record dialogue.
Mimic - An actor's ability to sound and/or look
like someone else, usually a famous person.
Miming - Acting out.
Monologue - A speech used by an actor to demonstrate
his or her ability at an audition.
Moviola - A projection machine that reduces film
to a small viewing screen.
Must Join - A situation in which an actor has used
up the 30-day grace period to join a union and upon hiring for
the next job must join that union as mandated by the Taft-Hartley
National - A commercial airing everywhere in the United States.
Non-Linear Editing - Putting scenes together on
a computer using film editing software capable of moving them
around, and/or out of order, for ease in building a demo tape,
or a scene in a movie or commercial.
Off-book - When an actor knows his or her lines and no longer
needs to carry the script.
Off-Camera - A part for which you supply your voice
to a TV spot or video presentation.
Off-Card - A union actor working on a non-union
project is known to be working 'off-card.'
Offstage - The area immediately behind or to the
sides of the stage area; also used more generally to talk about
an actor's everyday life.
On-Camera - A part in a TV spot or video production
where you actually appear on screen. It pays more than off-camera
voice-over, but often requires more work, as well as applying
On Hold - A situation that occurs when an actor
is contracted to be available for the next days shoot but will
not have to report to the set until called.
On Location - Place other than a studio lot where
filming is done.
Open Audition - Audition open to the public.
Open Casting Calls - Auditions open to anyone.
P.A. - A production assistant who usually gophers and manages
Pace. - The speed at which a scene is played.
Pantomime - Being silent, yet appearing to talk.
Pausing For Effect - A deliberate pause within
or between lines, used by an actor to call special attention to
Per Diem - Money paid to actors and crew when on
location to cover the expense of food and other personal incidentals.
Period Piece - A play or scene from an earlier
time played in the style, costumes, and sets representing the
period it depicts.
Phone Patch - A session where the talent and the
director are in separate locations. The session must be "patched"
over telephone lines so everyone can hear everyone else.
Photo Double - An actor, usually an extra, used
in place of a principal actor who is either unavailable or only
seen partially, and never has any speaking lines.
Pick-Up - To start reading the script from a place
other than the beginning. A "pick-up" is usually when
the top part of the script has been successfully completed and
only the end needs to be worked on. Narration scripts are usually
done in a series of pick-ups. Pick-up can also be a request to
Pick-up Shot - Small parts of a scene that are
re-shot, usually because all angles were not captured satisfactorily
during the first shooting.
Picture Car - A car being filmed.
Pilot - A one-day shoot to give a network an idea
of the look and feel of a proposed program available to be produced
into a new series.
Playbill - A theatrical program in which an actors'
Plot - Storyline.
Plus Ten - The 10% commission negotiated by an
agent, specifically referring to the 10% added to the base pay
negotiated for the actor. (If the job pays only scale, the agent
cannot take a percentage unless he has negotiated the contract
to be on a plus-ten basis).
Post - A short form of "post production."
This is the term applied to all the work that goes into a production
after the talent leaves. This includes such processes as editing,
multi-tracking, music selection, adding special effects and mixing.
P.O.V. - The point of view that is filmed, usually
referring to that of one of the actors.
Pre-reads - An advance reading by a casting director
who is unfamiliar with an actor's work prior to taking the actor
to meet a producer or director.
Presence - An actor's ability to command attention
onstage, even when surrounded by other actors.
Press Kit - A presentation including newspaper
clippings, review of movie, television, musical and theater productions,
a biography, headshot and resume given to the media and interested
industry professionals. Also called a press package.
Principal Player - An actor with lines, paid at
least SAG scale.
Print - Director's cue that the shot was good enough
to "print" or use.
Projection - An actor's ability to use his or her
voice so that it can be clearly heard in the back rows of a theater;
also used in reference to the emotions an actor wishes to convey.
Proof Sheet - After a roll of film is shot and
developed, it is printed onto sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 or 11 x 14
inch paper, holding up to 36 exposures. Use a photographer's loop
to check the lighting and focus.
Props - Any moveable object, from a letter to a
sword, used by an actor during a performance.
Publicist - A person hired to create awareness
of a person or project.
Queued Up - Previewing a tape and having it set to start playing
at the beginning of a scene.
Raked Stage - A tilted performing area, usually specially constructed,
with its upstage space raised higher than the downstage space.
Reader - Another actor who is paid, or volunteers,
to help the casting office by playing all the other characters
during an audition so the casting director can concentrate on
the actor being screened.
Read-through - When the director and the actors
sit around a table and read through the entire script to get familiar
with the story, their roles, and their fellow actors.
Recall - When at the end of a workday, a production
company decides to use your services for an additional day.
Recurring Role - Typically found on television
shows where your character pops up from time to time in a few
episodes of a regular show.
Regional - A commercial airing in a part of the
Residuals - Also known as royalties, these are
additional monies to actors (but not extras) for film, TV or commercial
work airing on local television or international television stations.
Retouching - A photographic process whereby certain
flaws in a picture are covered up or removed.
Rider (to Contract) - An addition to a performer's
union contract that outlives a special circumstance for pay, and
airing privileges given to the production company by a union.
Right-to-Work - Ability to accept employment without
joining a labor union, usually referring to states whose labor
codes insure that right.
Rolling - Camera have been turned on and film is
Roomtone - The sound a room makes without anyone
in it. Everyone has a different sound, so recording in the same
room is sometimes critical when trying to match voice parts from
one session to another.
Run Through - Rehearsals before the actual filming
of a scene.
Rush Calls - A last minute call by an agency to
an actor for an audition or a job.
SAG-eligible - A non-union actor who is eligible to join SAG by
being cast in a principal role, being a member of an affiliated
union and having had a principal role under that union's jurisdiction,
or performing three days of union extra work. Also known as a
SAG-franchised - Status of an agent or agency that
has signed papers with SAG and agrees to operate within SAG guidelines.
Scale - Minimum SAG daily wage for principal actors.
Scene Study - A pre-audition practice of studying
a few pages of a script ahead of time.
Screen Test - A recorded audition to determine
a person's suitability as an actor for film or television.
Second Meal - The meal served six hours after the
end of lunch.
Second Take - Being taped or filmed an additional
time in a scene or audition allowing an actor to change his or
Second Team - A group of stand-ins who take the
primary actors' places allowing them to rest during lighting changes
and camera rehearsals.
Set - As a noun, the physical design of the stage
area within which the actors perform; as a verb, to make permanent
the way in which a scene is being played.
Set Dressing - Items placed in the scene to complement
SFX - Abbreviation for sound effects. Sometimes
also written as EFX. or FX.
Showcase - (theatrical). An evening of scenes either
prepared and rehearsed ahead of time or done as a cold reading
for industry professionals who may cast the actors in roles.
Sides - Designated scenes pulled out of an entire
script to be used for auditions.
Sign-in Sheet - Audition Report which an actor
fills out and initials upon arrival at a casting office.
Signing Out - The act of entering the time you
exit an audition on the Exhibit E Sign-in Sheet.
Silent Bit - When an actor or extra performs a
noticeable or required action in a scene, but with no lines.
Slate - The act of stating your name and agency
on a commercial audition while being videotaped.
Slate - An audible announcement of the take number
recorded ahead of your read. The slate aids the engineer in finding
the favorite takes for editing.
Small - A very subtle performance by an actor.
Size Card - A form filled out at commercial casting
sessions to inform wardrobe people of your clothing sizes.
Sloppy Border - A type of border surrounding a
photograph that looks as though it were painted on with a paintbrush
and has an uneven quality.
Spec - Short for speculative. It usually means
volunteering your services and postponing payment until a project
Spec Script - Several writers may work together
to put words to an idea, and in the process create a script in
hopes that someone will buy and produce the script concept. Also,
a production company may hire writers to create a script from
a story idea that they already own.
Speed - Exclamation that indicates the film and
the audiotape are running simultaneously at the correct speed.
Squibs - Radio-controlled explosive pockets of
fake blood attached to an actor's body.
Stage Left - The side of the stage that is to the
actor's left as he or she faces the audience.
Stage Right - The side of the stage that is to
the actor's right as he or she faces the audience.
Stand-in - Also known as Photo Doubles or Second
Team - After a scene has been set for the next sequence of filming
-- moving props, checking the sound, adjusting the lighting, and
arranging different camera angels -- a crew of actors other than
the principal ones are used to go through the actions that the
principal ones will follow, such as walking through a door, sitting
in a chair, picking up a object, etc.; an actor who has a similar
height, build and look of the principal actor, is used (instead
of using the time of the principal) where the principal is going
to stand while the crew makes sure that lighting and camera angles
Storyboard - A frame-by-frame artist's drawing
of key scenes with the dialogue printed underneath serving as
a rough plan for the way the commercial or film should appear
and what camera angles the director should use.
Strike - To remove something from a set, or tear
Studio Hire - Union term for actors who work in
the same area in which they are hired or reside.
Stunt - A dangerous scene; alternately, a publicity
event designed to call attention to a project or a particular
Subtext - The subtleties between the lines of a
Supporting Role - Usually a small role where you
had some acting and speaking parts.
Stunt Pay - Additional hazard money paid to an
actor or stunt person to perform dangerous scenes.
Syndication - A popular television show is sold
to be broadcast in a local or regional market.
Taft-Hartley Law - A law that allows non-union actors to work
under a union contract for their first role. After that, they
must join the union.
Tag - A short portion of a spot, usually placed
at the end. A tag may say something such as, "Available at
all OfficeMax outlets through Sunday." Tags are often delivered
by a voice talent different from those in the main body of the
Take - The attempted shooting of a scene. The "attempted"
refers to the usual circumstance in which it usually takes several
takes to get the scene right from the actor, director, camera
person and sound mixers standpoint.
Telegraphing - Broad charade-type actions used
by inexperienced actors to get a point across.
Trailer - A mobile dressing room for an actor sometimes
in a camper. Also known as Honey Wagon.
Treatment - A shortened version to a full script,
which includes a short description of the story and the characters,
involved, and typically ranges from one to six pages in length.
Turnaround - Cast and crew rest time, from wrap
until next day's call time.
Two-Shot - Camera shot with two people in frame.
Type Casting - Assigning a role to an actor on
the basis of his or her surface appearance or personality.
Typed-out - The elimination of an actor during
auditions because of such obvious features as height, weight or
Under-Five (U/5) - An acting role designation calling for five
lines or less on AFTRA shows. This category has a specific pay
rate, which is less than a day-player.
Understudy - An actor, often playing a small role,
who learns another role, so as to be able to perform it if the
regular actor is ill.
Union Scale - Minimum wage scale earned in employment
by members of AFTRA, AF of M, SAG, etc.
Upgrade - Also known as a "Bump" - A
pay-rate increase, usually from "extra" status to "principal"
UPM - Unit Production Manager.
Upstage - The rear area of the stage farthest from
the audience; also used to describe an actor's attempt to distract
audience attention from what another actor is doing.
Voice Over - The act of providing one's voice to a media project.
Called voice-over because the voice is usually mixed over the
top of music and sound effects.
Voucher - A paper given to an Extra at the time
of check-in. It must be filled out and turned in at the end of
the day of shooting to receive wages.
Walk Through - To perform a role at less-than-usual intensity,
such as during a technical rehearsal; also used critically, as
in "he walked it," for a lazy performance at a matinee.
Wardrobe List - The important list of clothes to
wear for different styles of pictures.
Weekly Player - Actor being paid on a weekly contract.
Wild Line - A single line from the script that
is reread several times in succession until the perfect read is
achieved. Wild lines are often done in a series. The slate may
say something such as, "This is wild line pick-up take twelve
A, B & C." This means you will read the line three times
on this slate without interruption by the director. It is considered
"wild" because it is done separately from the entire
script. In video or film work, they are lines that occur when
the camera is on something other than you. They are "wild"
because it is not necessary for them to be in sync with your mouth.
Wild Spot - A commercial airing randomly in any
Will-Notify - A call given to actors when call
time is uncertain, indicates an actor will work, but no specific
call time has been determined.
Windscreen - A foam cover or fabric guard placed
over a microphone to help prevent popped "P's" and other
plosive sounds. Sometimes called a "windsock" or "pop
Woodshed - To rehearse or practice reading copy
out loud. This term is said to come from old theater days when
actors would have to rehearse out in the woodshed before going
into the theater to perform.
Wrap - The end of the days shooting of film.
source: InstantCast http://www.instantcast.com