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CASTING AGENCY VS. MODELING AGENCY
by: Mykha - 2nd Runner Up Male Model of the Year 2003
A Casting Agency has an important role in the entertainment industry. It is helpful to any aspiring actor or model to understand the role of a casting agent.
A Casting Director works on behalf of the Production Company (client) - the Producer, Director, etc. - who are producing the film/show/video/event etc.
The Casting Director (or Casting Agent) is not to be confused with a Talent Agent, who works on behalf of individual Talent (actors, models, etc.) The Casting Agency is sent a breakdown of what the clients are looking for. Breakdowns often are very specific and state the age range, gender, and type they are looking for.
The Casting Director's job is to locate the best possible people, who fit the criteria they are looking for. This breakdown is then sent out to Agents, who intern selects their own talent who they believe fits this breakdown.
The auditions are then taped and then sent to the clients. The client selects who gets the job, not the casting director. Casting for most principal (speaking) roles, are with talent who have an agent. So cutting out the agent, and going straight to a Casting Agency is not a productive route to go. If you have a Talent Agent, you will have more opportunities to audition. You could register with the Casting Agency, and I recommend you do if you're starting out.
They typically pull talent from their database for extra (background) work. Working as an extra is just as important as a principal performer. This is also a good way to get on the set and see what all it takes to be an actor.
Film shoots are not always as glamorous as it seems and can be repetitive. Typically if you register (sing up) with a Casting Agency, and you are NOT represented by a talent agent, you are registering for EXTRA WORK for film and television.
OCCASIONALLY non-represented talent will be called for print, commercial or film auditions if they fit the type that the clients are looking for. There is minimum fee Casting Agency's charge for registering with them. This is basically for filing you into their database. They don't represent you so they don't take a percentage on what you make.
Agents DO NOT charge you for signing up with them. They make their money when you get paid. Agents take a percentage when you book a job. The typical breakdown is 10% for film (speaking) roles and 20% for print (fashion) work.
Just because you have an agent and are signed up with a casting agency doesn't mean you can sit back and wait for work to come. You got to go out there and promote yourself. You can't just rely on them to do the work for you.
There are always opportunities out there and you got to go for it if you want to be successful.
So shoot for the moon… if you miss, well at least you'll be a hung the stars.