Casting Calls are notices and or invitations made to the public or to Casting Agencies that individuals are required for an upcoming production. Casting Calls consist of a wide variety of sections in the entertainment industry. The different sections could be a student filmmaker looking for exposure to a major production company and directors. Other areas that do casting calls could be for television shows, testimonials on a specific topic etc. These casting calls are published through various mediums, whether it via the web, newspaper ads, radio ads etc.
If you are in this in this gruel some industry you probably already know that most actors find it hard to get their feet off the ground. These professionals are usually link to trades, enlisted with big name companies via their mailing list and or signing with numerous Casting Agencies around the world. The best possible way to get your first exposure in such industry is by signing with agencies that focuses on providing extras for films and television shows. Most of these agencies does not discriminate any one and will accept anyone of interest for a membership fee that ranges from $50-$120. Sometimes work is guaranteed, at least initially, to compensate for the membership fee.
Actors who are more experienced will more than likely have an agent whose responsibility is to source Casting Calls. Established agents have well-oiled relationships with major casting agencies,production companies, directors, studios and other industry insiders that send out casting calls. It is the agent’s job to find the best parts for the client. Sometimes casting calls are fairly generic, but other times they are very specific as to age, gender, height, build, race and any special skills or talents needed. If nudity is required, it is usually indicated up front.
A-list actors do not attend casting calls and are generally attached to projects through inside dealings prior to the project getting funding and going into development. Casting calls are more often used to fill out the rest of the cast.
When projects call for non-actors to fill roles, these casting calls are widely publicized to the general public and referred to as “cattle calls.” Often reality series television shows will announce casting calls on the air to fill roles for an upcoming season. In this case, hundreds or even thousands of people might respond. Casting calls of this kind require standing in long lines, filling out applications and interviewing or auditioning. Callbacks come later and usually involve more auditions as the thinning process continues. It is not unusual to get four or five callbacks before getting a part or being turned down.
Acting is a popular pursuit of many young people, and unscrupulous persons take advantage of this fact every day by conducting bogus casting calls that require nudity or partial nudity. These fake “casting calls” are often conducted in someone’s apartment or home and sadly, some end in rape or worse. A good way to safeguard yourself is to avoid responding to small, inexpensive ads that require nudity, and stick with legitimate avenues of pursuit for your goals. There are many online resources and well-established casting agencies for inexperienced and experienced actors alike. A little diligent research and patience will pay off in the long run.
(a portion of this article was sourced from www.wisegeek.com