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Your book page
Membership of Spotlight means that every performer has a web page, a book page and access to the Spotlight Link.
Does every Spotlight member appear in a printed edition?
Yes. Spotlight membership includes a Web CV and inclusion in the relevant book.
Spotlight's iconic, glossy books have been on the desks of casting and production professionals since 1927 and are an unrivalled industry resource, used daily by casting professionals worldwide.
Every casting director is different. Some prefer online, some prefer the books and others use a mixture of both. Many of the most successful casting directors and production companies in the world use the Spotlight books.
"I would be absolutely lost without the books. The kind of directors I work with really want not the list of the moment, but to rediscover actors and to find new and interesting faces and without the Spotlight books I am unable to achieve this properly. Many of the major castings in this country are done from the books."
Susie Figgis casting director (Great Expectations, Alice In Wonderland, Sweeney Todd, The Borgias)
"While it is wonderful to be able to submit specific breakdowns to Agents through Spotlight Link, there are times when it is important to also be able to use the directories. I am now developing my own film projects, so I am not in a position to put out breakdowns yet. Also I am sometimes working with directors from other countries, who don't want details of their productions to be circulated until they have finalised the finance. However, they do want to discuss ideas for casting. I now work from my homes in London and the Cotswolds and have a set of directories at both addresses and if I am having a meeting, it is sometimes easier to refer to actors in the directories. Then of course if they are interested in anyone, I can go to their CV on Spotlight Link."
Jennifer Jaffrey casting director (A Perfect Murder, On Dangerous Ground, I Can't Think Straight)
''Flicking through Spotlight books is a quicker and easier point of reference. I use them frequently as a reminder of who is out there."
Pippa Ailion CDG (Let It Be, Wicked, Top Hat, The Lion King, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
"The Spotlight books are for me an essential physical resource. An up to date portfolio displaying the entirety of the membership. When it's not about a specific search but time taken to browse for broader ideas, connections and casting inspiration, this is where I go."
Jerry Knight Smith CDG Manchester Royal Exchange.
"It's the industry bible, the holy grail, the book of answers, all human life is there."
John Hubbard CDG, Hubbard Casting (The Hobbit, The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93, King Kong)
"For me the Spotlight books are an essential part of the casting process. I use them on every project I cast."
Rebecca Wright CDG (Being Human, Switch, Paradox)
Why are the printed books divided into categories?
Our books are sub-divided into categories to assist browsing.
Actors and Actresses:
After a period of consultation with casting professionals regarding how our performers can best be promoted to casting opportunities in the book we introduced the following sections:
18-25 / 25-35 / 35-45 / 45-55 / 55-65 / 65 +
The demand from casting professionals was for the sections we introduced so they can find performers quickly and easily.
Please note these age categories are for the book only and not the website which remains unchanged.
They are a guide to playing age, not an actual age. A choice must be made as to which best suits your playing age. Users of the books will not just stop at the end of a section and do of course go back to the preceding or following sections to widen their search. Additionally you can always be found by name in the index at the front of each volume.
I am 25 should I choose 18-25 or 25-35? This depends on your 'playing age' - i.e. are you generally auditioning and playing roles your own age and slightly younger, or do you more often find that you are auditioning and playing roles for your own age and slightly older - if you generally play slightly older then you should choose 25-35.
I am 67 but look much younger, what should I do? You should select the younger age category that best represents the roles you are generally asked to audition and play.
Remember, you also have age ranges you can select from on your web CV, and the opportunity to show your actual age on the web CV if you choose to.
These sections just help casting professionals leafing through the books.
''I use the books almost on a daily basis and so this is going to make my life so much easier.''
Susie Parriss CDG Member
''We have found a number of our members find the books an invaluable source when researching and we are delighted that Spotlight are reintroducing the age categories.'' Sophie Hallett Administrator for the Casting Directors' Guild
"For me the Spotlight directories continue to be an essential visual aid when putting together lists of ideas. There are times when the suggestions I receive from agents via Spotlight link do not fulfil my requirements or expectations. Added to this, I am sometimes presented with new roles or briefs to cast or fulfil at short-notice. Often working out of office hours and on the weekend when I do not have the option of talking to agents about my needs, the directories are the first thing I turn to.Now that the books contain more categories than ever before, I can really utilise my time by focusing on a particular age-range to rustle up a new list of candidates when needed. A couple of hours of turning the pages of a Spotlight directory can really get the casting & creative juices flowing and it's amazing how often this can crack a troublesome role."
Louise Cross CDG casting director (Stella, Midsomer Murders, The First Men In The Moon)
Children & Young Performers:
Children 5-16 listed by school or agency / Young Performers 16-20 by name
Female Dancers / Male Dancers / Choreographers from Dance UK
Drama UK Male Graduates / Drama UK Female Graduates / Drama UK Male Postgraduates / Drama UK Female Postgraduates / CDET Male Graduates / CDET Female Graduates
Female Presenters / Male Presenters / Female Emerging Talent Presenters / Male Emerging Talent Presenters
Please note: we may change your category if we think that your choice is inappropriate or assign one where not provided.
What photo(s) do you suggest I use for Spotlight?
Please click here to read full information about our photo recommendations and submitting photos to Spotlight.
Only one photograph can appear in the book. This should be supplied as a head and shoulders portrait shot. It will be cropped if supplied otherwise. The photo can appear in colour on the website but will be printed in black and white in the book, with the exception of our stunt artist, dancer and presenter directories which are printed in colour.
On your Spotlight web page, you can have up to 15 additional photos. These can be in colour or black and white, landscape or portrait. We recommend you include a carefully chosen selection, so that you can show yourself in a variety of roles and looks. Click here for more details.
Can I have credits on my book page?
No, performers should list their full credits and skills on their web pages, and always keep these up to date. You can list full credits and any number of specialist skills, accents or languages. Our dancer and presenter books do list limited credits.
What is a Spotlight number?
A 'Spotlight number' is your book page number. It has become a standard reference number for castings, helping agents and casting directors to locate performers more quickly, e.g. 'Look at Jenny Jones on page 679 of Spotlight'. It must not be confused with your web PIN numbers (see below).
When you first join Spotlight, you will not be allocated a book page number until a new book comes out with your photo in it.
How do I find out what my Spotlight number is?
Log-on to our website with your PIN number (see below) and view your web page. As soon as it is available, your book page number will appear at the top of your CV page, underneath your name with the name of the relevant book you appear in also listed or you call the Spotlight offices on 020 7437 7631.
Please remember that your page number will change for every yearly edition.
What are Spotlight PIN numbers?
Every performer in Spotlight is given two PIN numbers which are used for accessing their web CVs. These are twelve digit numbers which never change for as long as you are a member.
Your UPDATE PIN allows you to access your web CV and make updates and changes online. You must not disclose this to anyone else, even your agent.
Your VIEW PIN is a number which can be handed out to casting professionals so that they can look at your CV on the Spotlight website. You will see a box in the top right hand corner of our home page ('Search'), where VIEW PINs should be entered.
Do I receive a copy of the book / where can I see copies of the book?
You will not receive a copy of the book. Spotlight directories are only available to industry professionals.
You are welcome to view current editions of the directories at Spotlight's Leicester Square offices. We are open weekdays from 10am - 5.30pm. Click here for a map. If you have an agent they may have recent editions in their office.
Publishing and the environment
Spotlight uses UK printers and when sourcing our print suppliers we always assess their environmental credentials. Our chosen printer is fully certified under FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) Chain of Custody Certification which ensures full traceability of the papers used.
Additionally they have rigorous policies throughout their process to maximise the efficiency of energy consumption together with a robust recyling policy.
Spotlight is careful to manage stock. Much of our on-going printing is done POD (print on demand).