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General FAQs

What is a casting director? What do they do?

Casting for a live or recorded performance is a colossal task. It is for this reason that producers and directors turn to Casting Directors to help them find the proper actors, dancers, models, voice artists or other talent for the available roles. Depending on the size of a production, casting directors will send "breakdowns" of a script to agents or will hold casting calls to promote certain roles and opportunities for talent. As you can imagine, finding the right actor to portray a character is very difficult and requires much recruiting and hard work.

What is the difference between a casting director and a talent agent?

Actors, etc. hire talent agents to work on a commission-basis to represent them. Casting directors, however, are hired by the producers for a set-fee and will work with them to find the appropriate talent for the production's needs. Casting directors have more resources than talent agents when it comes to recruiting talent and are more flexible when negotiating rates on behalf of producers or talent.

Who should register?

You should! We welcome talent of all different looks and ages, production crew, costumers, make-up and hair stylists, vehicles, etc.

How much does this cost? What's the catch?

There is no catch and there are no hidden fees. There is a basic yearly membership fee of $30 for non-union talent with no charge for current SAG/AFTRA members. With this, you join our talent database and get your headshot on our website and your resume in our registry. You can go to the Registration page on our website for more information.

Talent FAQs

What is involved in the audition process?

After a casting director feels that an actor is right for a role, the actor moves on to audition for a casting panel-usually consisting of the producers and director. This process is highly competitive-many other actors will be contending for the available role as well. In this process, an actor may be asked to present some prepared "audition pieces", such as a monologue, but most likely they'll be performing "sides" from the script. Later stages of the process may present candidates with the opportunity to read from the production script with other actors to see how well they work together. While an actor's talent is vital to whether or not they get a part, a casting panel will also pay attention to an actor's "type"-a combination of their look and personality. Finally, the casting panel will make a decision based on this process and will assemble a final cast list.

I'm a natural! Can you make me a movie star?

Professional actors know that it is not so easy to become a big-name movie star. Looking at famous actors of today, one should realize that these "naturals" have patiently paid their dues and have years of practice and training. Their success comes from talent, dedication, hard work, and a little luck. Not one actor has gained fame and fortune overnight. We cannot guarantee jobs for our talent, but we will work as hard as we can to provide opportunities to enable you to be submitted first for any projects we are hired to cast. We urge our talent to be proactive in their careers and to enroll in workshops-such as those available through our studios-and to take advantage of the casting announcements we make on our website. AES provides the tools and training needed to start and continue a career in the business.

My child wants to be an actor. What advice can you give me?

There are a number of AES actors who are children or young adults. If your child is in fact interested in pursuing a career in the film industry, we encourage you to enroll them in one of our age-appropriate workshops to help them get started on their craft.

Why should I register? What benefit is there to having my headshot online?

Registering with us opens the door to opportunities for union and non-union talent to be cast in motion pictures, television, video, print, voice over, live shows, and much, much more. Having your photo on our talent pages gives you more exposure and allows AES to easily submit you for these exciting projects. Also, it's self-promotion-having your comp card and headshot online allows producers and directors to see you right away and request you for roles.

Producer's FAQs

What is the value of hiring a casting director?

Casting directors have extensive resources when it comes to casting a project. They have a large pool of actors to recruit from, as well as relationships with talent agents to help you find the best people for your production. A casting director can save directors' and producers' precious time and a lot of hassle.

What else can you do for me?

We have a wide registry of resources to help make your production run as smoothly as possible. We can help you with locations, talent, crew, vehicles, and so much more! We work with all budgets on a per-project basis. Contact us for an estimate. Tell us what you need, and we'll make it happen!

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