Saturday, October 27, 2012

ONLINE CASTING SERVICES

WWW.DRMELCAUDLE.BLOGSPOT.COM
WWW.DRMELCAUDLE.COM
OCTOBER 25,2012

Dr. Mel's Message





Every time I turn around it seems I take one step forward and then five back.  That statement generally sums up my health for the week.  Just when I get everything working with my teeth, which took a year, I caught pneumonia.  That was rough.  So, when I got well I went to the doctor this week and decided to get my flu shot.  It is that time of year.  On top of that I also got a pneumonia shot and the shingles vaccine.  OUCH!

And, the reason I said, "Ouch,"  my right arm was so sore I thought it was going to fall off.  Then the next morning I woke up to a huge red lump, the size of a tennis ball on my arm.  I couldn't even lift it.  Then within two more days, I'm down in bed, major headache and I had difficulty breathing.  The red swelling was now from the top of my shoulder to my elbow.  It wasn't getting better, it was getting worse.  I went to the emergency room and not only did the injection site get infected, I was having a severe allergic reaction.  They gave me a couple of more shots, antibiotics, and some other, but needless to say, this medicine knocked me out for two days.  My husband said the only good news was that I finally slept longer than three hours at a time. 

Then, Jack Curenton, our casting director also took the same fate.  He decided to get his flu shot, and he was down for three days as sick as I was.  After that, Robby, said, "To hell with it, I'm not getting mine, it took down two of you."  She does have a point, but we'll see this winter who does and who doesn't get the flu.

Needless to say, the blog is very, very late this week.  I apologize, but I couldn't even sit up straight and get out of bed to lift my arm to type.  As a matter of fact, I couldn't even hold my coffee cup in my right hand, that is how bad that arm hurt.  I couldn't focus and I felt kinda drunk after the shots in the emergency room.  But, I am up and at up right now.  My arm is still very red with the redness now spreading from the top of my shoulder to the bottom of my elbow.  But, being the Polly Anna I am, I shouldn't get the flu this winter.

Now on to other things. Like, announcing the winner of the KSK SHOE Contest.  I have three of my favorites.  And, some of you may cry foul since one of them is mine.  Oh well, they are still my favorite, but out of fairness I'll put mine in third place.


AND THE WINNER IS......



FIRST PLACE - THE LOAFERS BY RUBIN V SUAREZ





SECOND PLACE - THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING -RETRO
BY DE'CHA VUE
THIRD PLACE - GEAUX SAINTS BOOTS SUBMITTED BY ROBBY, BUT THEY ARE MINE BEST SUNDAY SHOES



And speaking of Sundays

If you are a football fan and love to talk football, then you need to join in on Sunday mornings for THE SPORTS ZONE with D-Town, The Hammer, and Dr. Mel, labeled by the boys of the Zone, "First Lady of Football."  Join us for so good ole trash talk with each other and no telling what else.  But best of all, you can hear our predictions as we go against the best bookies and Sports Analysts.  Right now we are hot.  Last week, I predicted every game correctly with the exception of one, which the score was 35/34.  However, if you take the points I won.  D-Town is just as good.  Join us, call in, challenge us.   

THE NUMBER OT CALL IN IS:  646-595-3032

9AM PACIFIC TIME
11AM CENTRAL



IT'S BOO COSTUME TIME

It wouldn't seem right if the KSK group didn't have a Halloween costume contest.  So, get your costume ready and post them.  This should be a lot of fun.  We'll have several categories.


  • BEST GROUP THEME
  • MOST SCARY
  • ICONIC
  • TRULY ONE OF A KIND - BEST ORIGINAL
  • SPECIAL CATEGORY - THE CHARACTERS OF KSK ----UMMMMMM





IT ISN’T EASY, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE

By Dr. Melissa Caudle

As an actor, where do you go to find auditions if you don’t have a talent agent or manager behind you submitting you for projects?  There are myriad of websites online all blasting actors to join them.  Most of them are good and reputable.  Then, there are some I am not very fond of for one reason or another.  But when the end of the day comes, actors have to be submitted before they obtain an audition.  And, to be submitted, you have to know where to look and be able to spend countless hours combing through different sites for the perfect audition for you. 

That’s where having a hardworking talent agency comes in handy.  Why?  When they look through all of the breakdowns, they keep all of their clients in mind to find the perfect audition for you – the actor.  Just like you, agents want to work and they want to get paid and earn a decent living to support themselves.  If they don’t book their actors, they don’t make any money.  That means, they work hard for their paycheck and frees the actor to concentrate on honing their craft, attend classes and auditions, and work on a set without having to worry about finding their next gig.  That all sounds promising doesn’t it?

Then, what do actors do about all of the online websites who are trying to get your money?  At least, with a reputable talent agent, you don’t have to pay any upfront fees for them to represent you.  And, whether you have an agent or not, you are still going to be out money for the cost of head shots, comp cards, demo reels, and a solid resume.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the agent’s responsibility but the actors.  Does this mean you shouldn’t join online services?  It depends.  You have to ask yourself, “What will I gain?”  “Is it worth the money?”  What do fellow actors say about the service?”  How much money will it cost out of my pennies I earn as an actor?”  And, finally, “Is it worth it?”

No matter your decision, you have to investigate all of the services.  In fact, ask your talent agent which services they use and what they recommend.  A great agent will not only represent you, but will also provide you the website exposure to market their clients without an additional fee.  Don’t get me wrong here.  Talent agents for the most part are just as broke as actors.  However, I think they still need to provide some sort of exposure for you in order to market you.  At a minimum, I think they should post your head shot and a link to your resume that you provide the agency for casting directors and producer to be able to see the talent and request auditions from them.  With that said, I think an actor should have their own website.  This website is the responsibility of the actor.  However, if you get to provide a link to your resume on your agent’s website, that link should go directly to your personal URL website address.  That way, no matter what, your resume is always current as are your head shots.  It is something to think about.

Now back to the myriad of online actor services.  As I have previously stated, there are a lot to select from so research them carefully and don’t just follow my advice.  However, in my experience as a SAG actor and having representation, here are a few that are worth the time and expense.


Actors Access


This site is one of my top choices for you to pay attention too.  Not only have I received jobs from using it, my agent uses this service as well.  Therefore, I don’t have to pay for it other than the time it takes to fill out my information and join, post my two free head shots, and complete my resume.  You can also have the option, for an additional fee, to post additional head shots.  Here are the pros and cons for Actors Access.

 PRO’s:
- It is the ONLY casting site that is directly connected to the legal casting breakdowns that agents and casting directors receive on a daily basis.
- It is good for on-camera auditions in general. Student films short/feature indies, and commercials if you are not represented by an agent.
- It is free to register and has an option where you can pay per submission or join for a yearly subscription for unlimited submissions.
- Offers a Showfax account which allows you to download sides and scripts for your auditions. 
- You have the ability to review your submissions and communications with producers and directors for your records.
- You’ll receive an email everyday with the perfect breakdowns for you.
- Your account can be linked by your agent.

CON’s:
- They charge an exorbitant amount to post an online demo reel, which in my opinion is ridiculous when you can post for free on YouTube and Vimeo for example.  The goal is to have the link available for your agent or the producers who need to see your demo reel.

-It is still practically impossible to get into these auditions without an agent or relationship with the casting director.

- If you are in theater, there are very few theater auditions in which to submit.



NYC Castings








A free site for actors with tons of casting opportunities.

PRO’s:
- Free!
- Lots of prime-time TV extra/small-role casting breakdowns- Huge selection of job opportunities
- You can post video, audio, loads of photos for free on your profile.
- Recap for all postings at the end of the day.

CON’s:
- Not E-mails you receive are appropriate for your acting profile and you get TONS of them.
- Sometimes you get a lot of spam.
- You have to monitor the casting calls carefully as they are not as regulated for casting notices as some of the other sites are for posting casting opportunities.
- No feedback is give about your submission.


Backstage


PRO’s:
- There is a paper version available for Back Stage.
- Lots of casting calls for theater actors.
- Daily online updates.
- You can create your own profile page and include lots of head shots.
- They publish a printed version a couple of times a year providing hundreds of casting directors and talent agents in New York and California.  They haven’t caught on to Louisiana yet.  They also have an online version and an IPHONE app called “Call Sheet Casting & Agency Contacts.”  Check it out here.
- You can purchase mailing labels to casting directors and talent agencies.
- Very user friendly.
- You can join for a minimum of three months for $19.95 a month billed over three months.


CON’s:
- $135/year for just Backstage.com alone.   Then, if you want the printed version, it is an additional cost.  I find the printed version more useful than the online version as it is easier to manipulate without having to wait on download time while sitting at my computer.
- Bulk emails with MASSES.
- They don’t tailor their auditions that meet your description or age.  You have to sort through everything to find the one which is right for you.  (That is where a talent agent comes in handy.)


Voice 123




This site is great for any actor who wants to audition for voiceover work including animation, games, commercials, trailers etc.  Other than that, if you want to be seen, don’t waste your time as it is only for the voiceover actor.



PRO’s:

- All kinds of jobs for the non-union voice actor.

- Tailor-made email alerts for your specific voice/style based on your profile

- Upload LOADS of different voiceover reels/demos.

- Audition for a job from home and upload the job to their website.

CON’s:
- No work for union actors so don’t even bother if you are SAG/AFTRA.
- It is very expensive for non union actors in my opinion – Yikes!  It cost about $300 dollars to subscribe.  There is a free version for about three months, but I found it to be useless.
- The site isn’t very user friendly. 

Voices.com

This site is full of both union and non-union voice over casting calls including animation, games, commercials, trailers etc.


PRO’s:
- People/producers/clients can listen to your reel without you having a paid account.
- Upload as many demo’s as you want too.
- Fantastic  personal profile pages.

CON’s:
- Very expensive.  Yikes again!  One subscription can cost around $2,000 dollars.  There are variations for $1,000 dollars.  But, goodness gracious great balls of fire – TOO EXPENSIVE -  You would be better off getting a talent agent to submit you for voiceover work.
- Little casting notices.
- No one really has heard of them.  I can make a guess as to why – the cost is very prohibitive.
- They do not provide any E-mail updates.  For me, if I pay $2,000 dollars you’d think they’d E-mail me with casting notices.
- Not very user friendly at all.


TALENT AGENCY LICENSE REQUIREMENTS
By Dr. Melissa Caudle

As an Actor and as a mother of an actor, I know all to well the difficulty of finding a fantastic talent agent or manager to represent us.  When I started, I searched high and low for that perfect agent.  Just when I thought I had one, I registered, then found out that in order for them to submit either of us to any audition we would have to take their "Audition Workshop" for a cost of $1500 dollars.  They didn't tell me this until I signed on the dotted line.  I was furious to say the least for a number of reasons.  First, the deception.  I think they should have told me this upfront.  And, secondly, I was a SAG actress.  I know how to audition.  That didn't matter to them.  I dropped that agency and ran as fast as I could.  

I think it would be a horse of another color that if they offered classes "free" that are mandatory, then I could understand that.  But to charge a huge fee, NO!  I can also understand if they offered classes to the clients that help them secure jobs for a small fee.  I just don't like the rule of 'MANDATORY" where the client has to pay for mandatory training.  All training should be optional and where you get that training should be the actors decision and not mandated by the agent.

Once I discovered the variances between talent agencies, it was evident that there isn't one standard rule that applies everywhere.  In fact, the rules and regulations varies from state to state.  Some states like California are very strict on their talent agents and require a $50,000 bond and a license, some are smaller, and some don't require anything but a business license.

Does this make one agency better than another?  I don't think the licensing requirements has anything to do with it.  I've had agents in California that did absolutely nothing for me and my daughter, who were licensed and members of every association possible.  We were never sent on any auditions, and when I asked for the detailed report of what they sent us out for, they would never release it.  That was my first red flag.  Then, I signed with a smaller not so well known agent, and guess what?  That agent worked hard for us.  They were in a state where a license wasn't required nor was a bond.  And, they worked harder than anyone.

Therefore, when searching for an agent, look for several things and ask several questions.


  1. Will the agent work hard for you?
  2. Do they believe in you as an actor?
  3. Do they provide a summary of the roles you were submitted?
  4. Do they give you feedback for any video auditions?
  5. Do they charge you any fees for them to represent you?
  6. Do they give you visibility?
  7. Do they have a website?
  8. Are they connected in the industry?
These questions are important.  But, in the long run, choose an agent who you feel will work hard for you.  The results will be there in the end.

For your convenience, I have included a listing of requirements for talent agents by state.  I hope this helps you with your decision.
Legend:    Blue Highlight indicates "Yes" for that requirement
                   White Highlight indicates "No" for that requirement                                                                                                                              

STATE
TALENT AGENCY LICENSE REQUIRED
EMPLOYMENT AGENCY LICENSE REQUIRED
BONDING REQUIRED
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Alabama

NO
NO
NO

Alaska


YES (but have not had an employment agency for over 10 years).
YES
$10,000

Arizona


YES
One year license

0-2 agents $100
3-8 agents $200
8+ agents $300
YES
$1,000
but no more than $5,000
Must file schedule of fees (no cap listed)
No splitting of fees w/employers
Must give "receipt" for services of agent (must be approved).

Arkansas


YES
$250 license fee
One Year
YES
$5,000
Must file schedule of fees (no cap listed)
No splitting of fees w/employers
Must file contracts
California

YES
One year
$225

YES
$50,000
Must file schedule of fees
No splitting of fees w/employers
Must file contracts
Dispute Resolution Rules
Etc. See Regulations on ATA website.
Colorado
NO
NO
Business License Only
NO
Certain State Laws apply:
Must have written contract w/refund & payment options included.
Connecticut


YES
One year license
$150
YES
$7,500
Must file schedule of fees (no cap listed)
No splitting of fees w/employers Contract filed with labor commissioner
Delaware
NO
NO
NO

Florida

YES
$300 initial fee
Biennial fee not to exceed $400


YES
$5,000
Must file schedule of fees (no cap listed)
Must pay client w/in 5 days
No registration fees or referral fees
See addl. Regs.
Georgia
NO
NO
NO

Hawaii
NO
NO
NO

Idaho

NO
NO
NO

Illinois


YES
One year
0-2 agents $250
3-5 agents $350
6-10 agents $400
10+ agents $500
YES
$5,000
Must file schedule of fees (no cap listed)
No splitting of fees w/employers Contract filed with labor commissioner
Agents need employment counselor license = $50, plus test
Theatrical Agents provide copy of employment contract to client
Indiana
NO
NO
NO

Iowa
NO
NO
NO

Kansas

YES
One year
$25
YES
$500

Kentucky
NO
NO
NO

Louisiana
NO
NO
NO

Maine


YES
NO
Give receipt of fee to client.
Maryland


YES
YES
$7,000


Massachusetts


YES
Two years
Fee determined by commissioner
YES
$1,000
Must have written contract.

Michigan

NO
NO
NO

Minnesota

NO
NO
NO

Mississippi

NO
NO
NO

Missouri


NO
NO

Montana

NO
NO
NO

Nebraska

NO
NO
NO

Nevada


YES
One year
$100 initial and $100 per year renewal
YES
$1000
Contract approved by labor commissioner.
Can't charge more than 65%
Can't divide fees w/employer

New Hampshire
NO
NO
NO

New Jersey


YES
One year
$250
YES
$1,000
File schedule of fees
Written contract requirements
Advertisements must have agency name & license#

New Mexico
NO
NO
NO

New York

YES, two year license $300.  $500 if 5 or more employees.
YES
$10,000
Limited to 10% Commission
Must file contract with Commissioner
See Regulations on ATA website.
North Carolina


YES
One year, no lic. Fee listed
YES
$10,000
Must file schedule of fees
Must file contract with Commissioner
Prohibited Acts
North Dakota

YES
One year
$200
YES
$5,000
Information listed on website.
Ohio
NO
NO
NO

Oklahoma
NO
NO
NO

Oregon
NO
NO
NO

Pennsylvania

YES
One Year
$300
YES
$3,000
Considered a Class 2 Employment Agency License.  On line form available at www.dli.state.pa.us
Rhode Island
NO
NO
NO

South Carolina
NO
NO
NO

South Dakota
NO
NO
NO

Tennessee
NO
NO
NO

Texas

Yes
One Year – $400

YES
$10,000
Contract must be in writing
May not charge or split fees
Must pay client w/in 21 days
Utah


YES
One year
YES
$1,000
Fee schedule

Vermont
NO
NO
NO

Virginia
NO
NO
NO

Washington D.C.


Yes
Two Years
$1,300
Yes
$50,000 up to $100,000
Must file schedule of Fees
Must file contract

Washington

NO
NO

West Virginia


YES

Certificate approved by dept. of labor

Wisconsin
NO
NO
NO

Wyoming


YES
One Year
$25
YES
$500