Jumpstart Your Acting Career - Get the most out of BackStage.com
The following 10 tips will help you unlock the full potential of BackStage.com and jumpstart your career in the performing arts. Find out how to get your resume more exposure; how to search for casting notices faster; where to find contact info for casting directors, agents, and major feature films; how to find insights from entertainment-industry professionals; how to receive casting notices by email; how to create your own projects; how to avoid scams; and more!
1) Your Toolbox: Visit your Career Center & Actor's Toolbox to access your Saved Casting Notices Inbox and Submissions Outbox, plus get quick access to featured casting notices and all of your Saved Search, Alert, and Resume tools.
2) Audition Highlights: Check out the weekly "Auditions at a Glance" posts on Blog Stage for a convenient overview of upcoming auditions (organized by the day of the week) and other casting highlights.
3) Saved Searches: Use the Advanced Casting Search options on BackStage.com to create a personalized search profile using any combination of advanced casting search filters, including job categories, locations, gender, age ranges, ethnicities, pay ranges, and keywords. The more options you choose, the more results you'll see; choose all of the casting/job categories, choose all of the age ranges and ethnicities you can possibly play, etc., to see the largest range of results. Then save your search so you can easily run the same search again with a single click on your Saved Searches page. You'll always see the newest casting notices that match your Saved Search criteria. Saved Searches save you lots of time, and you can create multiple Saved Searches and update the search criteria whenever you want. Click here for search tips and tricks.
4) Casting Alerts: You can turn any of your Saved Searches into a Casting Alert Agent, which will automatically search the Back Stage casting database for you and then email you the results. You can create multiple Alerts, with each Alert based on a different one of your Saved Searches. Important Tip: Give each of your Saved Searches and Alerts a unique name, so you'll be able to easily remember what each Search/Alert does, making them much easier to use later. For instance, if you set up a search to look for film casting notices in NY, call the Saved Search and Alert something like "Film in NY Search" and "Film in NY Alert" instead of just "My Search." Click here to manage your Casting Alert Agents. Or click here for Casting Alert help.
5) Multimedia Resumes: Create a resume on BackStage.com featuring at least one photo, a good resume summary, and your professional details (age-range, location, etc.), skills, training, top experiences/credits, the language(s) you speak, and your best videos, audio files, links, and documents. You'll be able to include your Multimedia Resume in the Back Stage Talent Database (searched by thousands of industry professionals every week); submit your resume to projects whenever the recommended "submit online" option is available on a casting notice; send your resume via email to anyone you want; and promote your resume online. The most complete and recently updated resumes are given the most exposure in the Talent Database, so make sure you fill out as many of the resume fields as possible, and update your resume at least a couple of times a year. Click here to see a real example of a good resume. Read more Multimedia Resume tips and tricks. And find tips for uploading your headshots, professional photos, snapshots, modeling comp cards, and additional pics. To manage your resumes, visit www.backstage.com/resumes.
6) Industry Listings: Visit the Back Stage Listings page to view Production Listings for major feature films and television shows shooting in NYC and L.A; the Production Listings provide key info about which casting directors are working on each project and where you can send your headshots and resumes. The Listings page also gives you access to Call Sheet (the world's most up-to-date database of casting directors and agents) and dozens of other valuable industry lists and resources, including the popular Actors' Yellowpages directory of products and services.
7) Exclusive Editorial Content: The articles on Back Stage give you an edge no one else has. By reading interviews with top casting directors, agents, managers, directors, and producers you'll have a better understanding of who you're sending your resumes to, helping you tailor your cover letters and auditions to fit their needs. Read Back Stage blogs, news articles, and reviews and watch Back Stage videos to get a better idea of who's doing what and who you want to work with. Get entertainment-industry advice and inspiration from actors, acting teachers, casting directors, and a variety of industry professionals. And find out how your fellow Back Stage readers are getting cast by visiting Who Got the Part: Success Stories.
8) Networking: Receive quick, timely updates when you connect with Back Stage at Twitter.com/BackStageCast (breaking news and reviews), Twitter.com/Casting_Notice (hundreds of new casting calls), and Facebook.com/BackStageCasting (news and casting notices). And you can connect with other actors (and offer and ask for advice) on the Back Stage Message Boards. Check out Back Stage's annual Actorfest tradeshows. And find out about Back Stage's upcoming panels, movie screenings, and interview requests on the Back Stage Bulletins page.
9) Create Your Own Projects: Don't just wait to get cast — produce your own projects and cast yourself! Collaborate with other artists and make your own short or feature film; create a viral web video; put on a play or a theater showcase; start up an open mike night or variety show; form an improv group or cabaret act; mount a staged-reading of your scripts; or create your own theater company or film collective. When you're ready to start finding other actors and crew members to help you with your projects, visit BackStage.com/FindTalent and click the "Post a Notice" button, create a free Casting Center Employer account, and start calling for cast and crew while creating great buzz for your productions.
10) Espresso: Sign up for the free Back Stage Espresso e-newsletter to receive daily email updates covering entertainment-industry news that actors need to know, plus casting notices hand-selected by our editors.
SCAM ALERT: There are numerous scams targeting actors, models, and performers. Click here to find out about casting scams you should be aware of. And leave a comment below the Scam Alert article to let everyone know about additional casting scams.
- Luke Crowe, National Casting Editor, Back Stage