Actors Access (aka Breakdown Services)

Actors Access is the talent interface for the company Breakdown Services that publishes most of the Union project breakdowns. If the project is a studio film or a network episodic, the breakdowns will appear here. They have been in business the longest (it’s an interesting history). Their main differentiator for actors is that they have a large number of breakdowns that can only be seen by licensed talent agents or managers. That means that you need to have a profile on this site so that your agent and/or manager can submit you on the hidden roles. The breakdowns you can see as an actor are often duplicated on LA Casting but it is worth paying to join Actors Access because there are a good number of projects that aren’t posted in both places. In my opinion the presentation of your reel, resume, and profile looks better on Actors Access so I’d rather submit there on a job if it appears on multiple sites. They send email notifications of new projects that match in batches four times per day. They verify each project that comes in so that projects marked as Union are already registered with the applicable Union. The founder, Gary Marsh, started out as an actor so he sees the business from the actor’s perspective. For example, they charge to post breakdowns for unpaid roles unless it is a student film or a non-profit endeavor and they rarely post reality roles. They have monthly (or so) free meetings with a casting director open to all actors and give advice on how to make your profile better and to hear about casting from a CD’s perspective. It’s worth going to this at least once. For example, I learned that the default sort order that CDs see of actors who submit on a role is from first to last as follows: Profiles with a SlateShot and a Reel, profiles with just a Reel, profiles without a SlateShot or Reel. Of course, CDs may use their own sorting order but they would still see the default sort order the first time they click through to see the candidates who submitted. The subscription process for AA takes a little bit to get one’s head around. There are a number of companies owned by Breakdown Services. Most interesting are Casting About and Showfax. Showfax is the website where you can download sides and sometimes scripts for upcoming projects. You can see ones that you haven’t even been invited to if you want to get something for class but the major shows usually require a code that is sent to actors when they are invited to audition. A profile on Actors Access is free but costs $2.00 per role to submit your profile. Sides on Showfax cost $1 per page unless you subscribe. If you subscribe to Showfax.com for $68/yr then you can submit on unlimited projects and also have access to the sides (up to 20 or so projects per day). If you have an agent or manager they will usually send you the sides for auditions for roles they submitted you on. So you should definitely have an AA profile and then decide if you need to subscribe. I had a brief talk with Gary and he told me that 80-90% of the Los Angeles roles are hidden from actors; they list 500 projects per week in the USA and Canada; and they do almost 100% of the theater roles in NYC.

Cast Caller

This looks like a new free casting website. Looking at their open project list it seems to be more populated by Canadian castings. The projects look like mostly reality tv and extras but there are also commercials, webisodes, and theatre thrown in there. It says you can sign up for free but doesn’t say what that gives you besides the ability to submit your resume.

  • Subscription costs: Free??
  • Headshots: ??
  • Video Hosting: ??
  • Example Profile Page – unable to find any
  • Territory: Canada and the USA

Cast It Talent

Jason Montgomery suggested this site in the comments section. This website is owned by a company called Cast It Systems which sells a service to manage video submissions. Looking at Cast It Talent, I remember seeing it when I moved to Los Angeles a few years ago. It looks like I even started to create an account but never completed my profile. Looking at the offered roles today, under the “Cast It” roles tab, I see 20 roles for 6 projects in the last 3 months primarily from casting directors Alyssa Weisberg Casting and Syson Grainger Casting (no imdb entry for that but I think it’s Lucinda Syson and Elaine Grainger). I had an agent friend check the agent-only breakdowns on Actors Access and all of the roles but one listed by Alyssa were there. This was a costar role for Workaholics. Of course the difference is directly submitting yourself versus going through an agent/manager. The roles posted by Syson Grainger were for a pilot called River and I couldn’t find them listed elsewhere. Under the “Independent Roles” tab, I see 200 roles for various projects with no hint as to if they are shorts, features, webisodes, industrials, etc. Wait, no if you hover over the partial description on the page you can see the full text of the breakdown and in there it usually says what type of project it is. In the description, sometimes it says where it is casting – so far I’ve seen L.A., Cambridge, St. Louis, or no mention of where. There is an advanced search box but using it, I couldn’t find any of the previously mentioned listings. The website serves up pages for big production’s open calls for unique talent (that perfect kid, or that character with an unusual accent). Here’s a list of their past open calls. They also do monthly showcases where you can upload a video of you doing any 3 minute scene and have it voted upon by a panel of “respected Hollywood professionals”. I don’t think you’d need to subscribe to participate in these open calls. After this review, I think I’ll complete my basic profile and add this to the sites that I subscribe to for submissions.

Casting Workbook

Jason Montgomery suggested this site in the comments section. He said that it “is the Actors Access of Canada and in addition to breakdowns it is also the site that most Canadian Casting Directors use to house and manage their audition submissions and sessions”. Like Actors Access, it has breakdowns that are visible only to agent and manager accounts. It looks like Jason was they Director of Operations for Casting Workbook until 2012 so he would have more insight into it’s operations that the average user. They have a number of offices in Canada and one in Los Angeles. It isn’t clear if their pricing is in Canadian or US dollars – because of this I’m guessing it’s a mostly Canadian site. It was hard to find an example profile page but it looks like their profiles are hosted at workbooklive.com but on the one I found there was no resume or reel.

800 Casting

I saw this site mentioned on a Facebook group but while it looks like it has a lot of functionality you can’t see any auditions without signing up. Another actor, Harley Shellhammer, told me that “800 is legit and mostly used in the South. Most Agents require talent to be a member as well. It’s Commercial, Indie, and Student projects, mostly consisting of Non Union work”. A Canadian actress, Cheryl De Luca, says that 800 Casting is big in Canada also. It looks like it is like Actors Access in that it has a large number of agent-only breakdowns.

  • Subscription costs: Profile is $39/yr
  • Headshots: Free
  • Video Hosting: Free
  • Example Profile Page – I couldn’t find one visible without logging in
  • Territory: Southeast USA, Canada

Star Now

This is a casting site that started in Sydney Australia where I went to acting school. At the time, it was the only online player in town. It was useful for student and lower budget indie films in Sydney. While they have a global presence, when I moved to L.A. there weren’t any local jobs on there so I unsubscribed. Checking the postings today, there is one project that fit my criteria shooting in LA – an unpaid student film consisting of 5 minutes of “mostly improv” for some London film students coming into town for 2 weeks.

  • Subscription costs: Profile is free, but to submit to jobs costs $4.99/mo
  • Headshots: Free
  • Video Hosting: Free
  • Example Profile Page
  • Territory: Global – Best for outside the USA