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.

Actors’ Equity

They have a theatrical audition search on their homepage available to members and non-members alike that shows upcoming auditions by region.

Backstage

Backstage has been around forever as a print magazine. Many actors remember finding jobs, agents, and advice in the weekly publication. They were always strongest for the theater and for the East Coast and this is still true today. Their online content of information and advice for actors is the best of all the sites. The fact that most of the contributors are also softly pushing their own classes, books, or workshops doesn’t detract from the fact that they are offering sound advice for new and experienced actors. For the Los Angeles market I almost never see breakdowns from professional CDs unless they are reposting a breakdown from LA Casting or Actors Access to cast a much wider net for those hard to find characters. That means for the Los Angeles area it will be mostly independent films with producers who aren’t familiar with the other casting sites. They send email notifications for each new matching project as they happen.

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

Playbill

Similar to Broadway World – lots of information about current and upcoming productions and a job posting feature that includes both performers and crew. 18 paid performer jobs posted nationwide so far today!