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

Casting Calls America

Brian Jagger started this company that seems to want to be a local casting company. They own Sacramento CastingCasting Calls PortlandNew Orleans Casting, and Toni Staniewicz Casting (an agency). They are soon launching Casting Calls Denver and Casting Calls Phoenix. All the sites look identical except for the city name. If you don’t sign in, you can’t see any example profiles. They want $10 to sign up and $5/mo ongoing. I can’t tell if an account on one gets you an account on all of them. The sites have links to facebook pages where new jobs are posted with links back to sites with a little info about the project. Looks like short films, commercials, and extra work. Judging from the I.D.s of newly posted projects, it looks like there are less than 200 projects in the system. Maybe this is a brand new business? 

  • Subscription costs: $10 to sign up, then $5/mo ongoing
  • Headshots: ??
  • Video Hosting: ??
  • Example Profile Page – unable to find any
  • Territory: Sacramento, Portland, New Orleans, Denver, Phoenix

Casting Call Pro

Emily Connell shared this one with me. This website seems to be like Star Now. It’s trying to be global but really only has a lot of coverage in it’s home country, the UK. For the US there were 3 job postings on there “recent jobs” page but for the UK there are 100+. Without a membership, you can’t see much of the job details but it looks like a variety of theater, film, and commercials.

  • Subscription costs: Profile is free, £17/pm to submit to paid jobs
  • Headshots: Free
  • Video Hosting: Free
  • Example Profile Page
  • Territory: UK

Casting Frontier

My agent requires their people to have an account here. Most commercial casting directors use the Casting Frontier ID in their casting process. From what I understand, they have the best interface for handling the audition videos. That means that while the jobs will be posted to LA Casting and/or Casting Frontier when you audition they will want to look you up in the Casting Frontier database using your ID number or name in order to store your audition under your account. They do have an informative monthly newsletter with useful information and advice. They send email notifications on a role by role basis. This means that for a project you arent interested in you will have to go through 4 or 5 emails for the roles in that projects. They send email notifications for each new matching role as they are added.

  • Subscription costs: Basic profile is Free or $85/yr to have reel and submit
  • Headshots: Free
  • Video Hosting: Free
  • Example Profile Page
  • Territory: USA

Casting Networks

This is the parent company of LA Casting which is one of the top 3 Los Angeles casting sites. They also have local sites for San Francisco, Australia, United Kingdom, France, India, Latin America, and Russia. I don’t have any information about these other sites except that they may be similar to LA Casting which is covered separately. Their blog has some good articles.

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

Foreground Background

An actor friend, Michael Ochoa, lived in Seattle for a while and recommended this site for the Northwest area. He says that a ¨Seattle Casting Director named Denise Gibbs started this site for extras casting and some principals.  You sign up for her email list and you get all the notices. I’m still on it and she just recently had a posting for a principal role for a National Les Schwab commercial. So there is some principal work through her. She is also very cool.¨

  • Subscription costs: Free to subscribe
  • Headshots: N/A
  • Video Hosting: N/A
  • Example Profile Page: N/A
  • Territory: Northwest, USA

FrontRunner Casting

This is a Florida casting agency. An actor said that her agent required her to join along with 800 Casting, Casting Frontier, and The Audition Connection. It doesn’t appear to cost anything and I couldn’t find any details about the profile without opening an account. It’s run by Melanie Moreno and Milena DeVincenzo. It looks like they do film, commercial, and extra casting.

  • Subscription costs: Free
  • Headshots: ??
  • Video Hosting: ??
  • Example Profile Page: N/A
  • Territory: Florida, USA

LA Casting (aka Casting Networks)

LA Casting is the Los Angeles branch of the casting company Casting Networks. It is one of the main 3 that new actors in LA pay for as it has many student, commercial, and non-union jobs. They send email notifications for each new project that matches your criteria as they are submitted. For the expense, I wish they would update their site. It feels like they haven’t touched the user interface since the early 2000’s when the site was created. I just went to upload a new headshot and the photo was rejected because it was over their 4mb limit! I’m paying $25 for them to host my photo and they can’t take anything larger than 4mb? My phone takes images larger than 4mb. Come on, put a little of that profit towards making our lives easier. Here’s a little history: LA Casting was started in 2002 by Beau Bonneau who runs a large commercial and extras casting agency in San Francisco. As they expanded into new territories, they rebranded the main company as Casting Networks, keeping LA Casting for the LA market.  Casting Networks bought ModelWire in 2008. The current CEO is Glen Ward who is the former CEO of Virgin Entertainment North America so I’m hoping will bring some new features to the LA Casting website.

  • Subscription costs: $14.95/mo
  • Headshots: $25
  • Video Hosting: Up to 4 minutes free
  • Example Profile Page
  • Territory: USA