Casting Director

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Re: Casting Director

Post by Dwafffamily » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:21 pm

I'm still in agreement with Riverdancefan I'm afraid and in my experience, those with a great sole agent are far more better off than having more, none of what you say makes sense to me from my knowledge of it and I that basis would not recommend this avenue or approach.

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Re: Casting Director

Post by wonderland » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:59 pm

Other than extra agencies and modelling agencies I cant think of any childrens acting agencies that would take you on their books if you had another acting agency?
If this is the case then clients of bdiscovered are in practise only with one agent?(although perhaps free to submit for open auditions) Janejoice have you secured other auditions for Sophie from any other agencies? it would be interesting to know.
As parents we all do out best to keep doors open for our children for as many opportunities or as long as possible and it is sites and threads like this that can be really helpful.I really value that posters may have different views and find like texting a friend who takes your text the wrong way sometimes the mood/motive can be lost in translation.

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Re: Casting Director

Post by possiblypushy » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:49 pm

Hi JaneJoyce,

You do sound very happy with BDiscovered and they appear to have done a terrific job of getting auditions for your DD. So I have to ask, why would you want to have another agent? I may be wrong, but wouldn't it sour your relationship with them if they were sending out your DD's details for jobs, only for you to tell them that your other agent has already sent her for it? Agencies only survive by taking a cut of earnings, so I'm not sure they would be terribly understanding if their revenue stream was being diverted by a rival agency.

As for IMDB, well my DS is on it and he's only done a couple of things on television - he's certainly not a "celebrated success" (not beyond our living room anyway!).

Finally, IrishDancer doesn't need me to defend her, she's more than capable of doing that herself. BUT, I have to say that I think you may have read something in her posts that isn't really there. She has always been so generous with her advice and knowledge, as have most of the regular posters on here. None of us knows everything; some of us know almost nothing (me), but IrishDancer has a lifetime's experience and I for one am very grateful to her for being willing to share.

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Re: Casting Director

Post by frisbee » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:43 am

Recommend the usual internet research. Do they have a twitter page and Facebook page? What does all the information tell you? We can all make up our own minds at the end of the day.

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Re: Casting Director

Post by pg » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:40 pm

Long and rambling pg post warning :lol: .

Firstly, I would agree that Irishdancer has a huge amount of experience as the parent of performers and her opinions and advice are well worth listening to. I also agree that forum posts can often be misinterpreted. Differences of opinion are inevitable I think, but my fairly long experience of this forum leads me to believe that the vast majority of posters here are helpful and supportive and understand from first hand experience what it is like to be a performer or the parent of a performer.

Jaynejoyce - I'm not sure whether BDiscovered is responsible for you believing that people get "tied in" to contracts with agents, or whether this is just an industry misconception. If an agent tries to tie someone in to a contract, then they are an agent to be avoided.

I've looked at BDiscovered's advice on the website about exclusive and non-exclusive contracts. As you will know if you've read my other posts - I don't agree with their analysis at all. In particular, it is not accurate to say that sole agents tie their clients in to long contracts - most actors are free to move on with only minimal notice periods (if any) - at least they are with the decent agencies.

Of course, one can see why BDiscovered would like to persuade people that non-exclusive is better... they even say on their site: "If you are in an exclusive contract with your existing agent, you can often ask Spotlight to make BDiscovered your Artist Manager rather than your agent".

I find that fairly shocking and I would urge people not to do this without careful thought (and obviously consultation with your current agent!). I can't think of a more certain way of ruining a relationship with your current agent.

Just in case anyone is in any doubt about the "sole agency" business ( I know lots of people on this site are knowledgeable about the business, but some will be new to it).

Being represented by more than one agent as an actor is not a good thing . I know it might appear to be. One might think that this would mean that there would be access to more opportunities, but it doesn't work that way. The opposite tends to be true.

Some agents get more information than others - but those agents tend to be sole agents. In fact I would be prepared to bet that all the "preferred" agents are sole rep. Different CDs do have different preferred agents, even if the top five to ten are on most lists.

Those who are non-exclusive will tend only to get the widely disseminated information. So all your agents will get exactly the same information about jobs. You are unlikely to improve your chances of being considered by CDs by being represented by lots of agents. A CD might get submissions from all your agents for the same job - who does the CD then get back to if they are interested in seeing you?

An agent earns money from the commission they take on the work their actors get. A good agent spends a lot of time and effort fostering relationships with CDs and directors, and promoting you and making sure people know you exist - so in effect, they work for you for nothing while they are doing that. They couldn't possibly do this effectively unless they carefully limited the number of people they take on - and it's only worth doing for people they really believe can get work. They will want their commission from a job you get, understandably. If you have several agents, who is to say which agent is really responsible for getting you the job? The one who did all that groundwork - or the one who happens to be first on your list of agents? Who has earned the commission? It's likely to cause difficulty and division if you get any decent work.

Agents who do not insist on sole representation are often those who take on more or less anyone and have huge numbers on their books (like BDiscovered). Since CDs much prefer to deal with agents who are very particular about who they take on and who really know what their clients are capable of (and who will be careful to submit only the perfect client for the breakdown via the link) CDs don't particularly like dealing with actors who are represented by multiple agents (for drama calls). Some of these non-exclusive agents have a policy of "throw as many submissions as possible at a job and see what sticks" . Even if a non-exclusive agent *doesn't* have such a policy, CDs may assume that they do and will avoid putting them on their "preferred agents" list.

It is not always the case that jobs are via submissions through the Spotlight link (or via any other casting directory). CDs do searches for particular types etc and then contact the agent. In many cases, jobs never go out in breakdowns at all. If a CD does a search on Spotlight and sees several agents against an actor's name (except where the agents are for completely separate areas of the business like voice over) they will be wary. Honestly, they will. Who do they contact? The first on the list?

Most of the good jobs go to clients (represented by sole agents) whose work is already known in some way - the risk is less. This is not necessarily true for young actors, where CDs will often be much more open to seeing new faces. It can be tough to get seen, but CDs are always on the look out for new talent - and will take seriously suggestions from trusted agents.

It takes time for an agent to establish a trusted link with CDs. The CDs want to be certain that they are not having their time wasted by inappropriate submissions. They also don't generally expect agents to send more than one client's details in for the same job (although that might happen if the brief is very broad) - and an actor should be wary if they find that they are in exactly the same casting bracket as other clients within the agency, as you are then competing within the agency for the same job. Most good agents will be unwilling to take on more than one or two clients who could compete for roles within the agency.

Being represented by an agent who will take anyone on - and who takes on huge numbers - is definitely not a good thing for an aspiring actor. I think the reasons for that are fairly obvious.

BDiscovered just invites people to "add them to Spotlight" - they don't necessarily meet them, see them perform etc. They have no idea whether they are any good at all. Why would a CD trust submissions from agent who does not know whether the client they are submitting has the required skills? It might not matter all that much for walk-on parts for commercials, or for Supporting Artist work (which they say they don't deal with) but it will definitely matter for drama.

BDiscovered also charge people for workshops. They charge people for photos and "showreels" too (not compulsory, but it's always a bit of a red flag when an agent can make money out of clients whether or not they actually get any acting work). I've looked at the marketing materials (showreels etc) produced by BDiscovered. They are not generally of a good, industry standard - and I think that's being fairly kind. The "character portfolios" are like some dreadful joke :shock: and they show really clearly that the agency does NOT understand what the industry requires. Some of the headshots are not bad, but some of them are very poor (and that's being charitable) - and yet these are used as "examples" on the site. The "showreels" would be hugely off-putting for most people who are casting and will do more harm than good. These marketing tools show very little understanding of the business - so I do worry about the workshops (that you have to pay for) that offer business and career advice.

BDiscovered also uses confusing (or misleading) terminology -saying that they "cast" for productions - and then give a long list of well-known programmes. They don't cast them.

There is a statement on the site that they are also Casting Directors. Quite apart from this being a direct conflict of interests (being both agent and CD), I am not aware of anything that they have cast. They don't give examples.

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Re: Casting Director

Post by begolina » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:07 pm

AMEN!!! =D> =D> =D>

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Re: Casting Director

Post by TalyaB » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:51 pm

Once again, I wish we had a 'like' button on here.

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Re: Casting Director

Post by 2dancersmum » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:59 pm

Came across Bdiscovered on another forum and I have to say that there were only 2 positive experiences compared to hundreds of 'don't go there' warnings. So many people seem to get texts from them asking them to phone in and then arrange a meeting (at cost) to discuss representation and even some who discovered that they appeared to be represented by Bdiscovered despite never agreeing to anything.

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Re: Casting Director

Post by KKC 171 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:21 pm

Very grateful for this blog as I nearly got caught by bdiscovered.

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Re: Casting Director

Post by churchbells » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:24 pm

I was recently head hunted by this compay - a phone call out of the blue saying that they had seen my profile on line and thought my distinctive looks were something they would like to work with. I was persuaded to go along to one of their 'workshop's in Cardiff, and that there was a fee payable for this of £50 (to cover the cost of the room hire at The Holiday Inn, you understand). There were about 20 of us all paying £50 = £1,000. The room hire is £80. The 6 hour day consisted of each of the three directors of the company talking about themselves and how they had set up the business (all totally irrelevant). At 5pm we were then asked to stand up individually to give a brief talk about ourselves (it was supposed to finish at 6pm) and then be assessed by the rest of the group as to our personality and what sort of roles we would be suitable for. Awful. Several of us had to leave before everyone had spoken as time ran out and we had long journeys home. I was fairly dissatisfied with the whole day. To call it a workshop was completely wrong as it taught us absolutely nothing at all. Several days later I had another message from them telling me how many exciting roles they had lined up for me, but first I needed to spend another day with them having a photosoot and showreel put together. Is this free? Oh no, it will be £400 thank you very much. At this point I decided they were scamming big time, so wrote and asked for my money back - twice. And twice they have not had the common decency to reply. I have contacted trading standards who are monitoring their activities. I would suggest giving them a miss if you are contacted by them.

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