FAQs for Self-Represented Performers on Spotlight
How to navigate the world of performing when you don’t have an agent, either through choice or circumstance
Whilst young performers must have an agent to appear on Spotlight, not every performer needs or wants an agent. So how do you use Spotlight if you’re self-represented? These FAQs should help answer any questions you may have.
What does Spotlight ‘look like’ when you appear as a Self-Represented performer?
We’ve introduced new features to empower our members who do not have representation. Now, instead of appearing as ‘Care of Spotlight’, you’ll be listed as ‘Self-Represented’.
On your profile, ‘Contact performer’ will now appear alongside your name. Spotlight-registered casting directors can click on this to contact you directly via email.
Example of what your profile looks like when viewed by a logged-in Spotlight user.
If a non-registered user views your profile (if you choose to share it publicly) then Spotlight’s Enquiries email address will instead be displayed to protect your privacy.
Being self-represented means you have to be proactive in promoting yourself. Take a look at our tips for starting out and making your own work. We also have some useful advice about working without an agent.
How will I receive queries from casting directors?
For Spotlight-registered casting users
When you’re listed as ‘Self-Represented’, Spotlight-registered casting directors can contact you directly from the contact button displayed on your profile.
When you’re contacted by a casting director, you’ll receive a message sent directly to your email address. You can then choose to communicate further with them via the email address they provide.
For non-registered Spotlight enquirers
If a self-represented performer chooses to share their profile publicly, non-Spotlight-registered users will not see your contact details. Instead, our [email protected] email address will be displayed on your profile next to your name, and the Spotlight Enquiries team will vet and manually send queries to you. This is to protect your personal information.
How will I appear in casting searches?
Like everyone else on the Spotlight platform, as a self-represented performer, your profile can be seen and searched by all our casting professionals.
When performing a search in Spotlight for performers, casting directors will be able to filter search results by using the ‘Representation’ category tab. ‘Self-Represented’ appears at the top of this search category with agents and agencies listed underneath.
Only casting professionals who are signed into their accounts can use the search function.
If anyone who is not registered on Spotlight wishes to contact you, they’ll see the [email protected] email address displayed at the top of your profile and can send a query to that email address. We will vet any queries that come to this mailbox before sending them on to you.
Spotlight will not share your details with the casting users as we believe it’s your choice whether you want to contact them.
How do I search for castings?
Performers have access to the Spotlight Link Board, which is used by casting professionals to send out their latest casting requirements (breakdowns) to agents, and directly to performers. You can see these breakdowns in your jobs feed when you’re signed into your account.
To use the Link Board, there are a couple of things you need to check on your account.
- Decide how you want to be notified about jobs.
- Set your filters so you only see the kind of jobs you want.
To do this
- Navigate to the ‘My tools and Settings’ section of your account
- Under ‘Email alerts’ you can choose the frequency of alerts you want to receive, or you can opt to block them completely.
You’ll always be able to see the jobs feed when you’re signed into your account.
How do I suggest myself for a casting?
Before submitting yourself for a casting, read the breakdown very carefully and only suggest yourself if you meet all the criteria outlined.
Make sure you are available for all the dates (casting and shoot dates). Don’t submit yourself if you’re not available.
To suggest yourself:
- Click on the specific breakdown
- Then click on ‘submit profile’
- You can include any additional information in the accompanying text box that you feel is important but remember to keep this concise and relevant.
How do I search breakdowns I’ve submitted myself for?
If you would like to check the roles you’ve submitted yourself for, you can do this by:
- Going to your jobs feed
- Select ‘Show roles with suggestions’ from the dropdown box in the top right corner.
You’ll then see a full list of breakdowns you’ve submitted yourself for.
How will I be contacted if I self-submit for a role?
If you self-submit for a role on Spotlight, a casting director can email you directly if they want to take your submission further. You’ll see a confirmation on your jobs feed after you have completed the submission.
Alternatively, if a casting director finds you in a database search and wants to get in touch with audition information, they can email you directly by using the ‘Contact performer’ link on your Spotlight profile. It’s essential to keep your email address and phone number up to date on your account.
You can decide whether you wish to communicate further with the casting director directly, using the email address they share with you in their initial email.
If a query comes into our Enquiries mailbox, we will forward the email to your registered Spotlight email address. Please note that passing on an enquiry should not be seen as our endorsement of the company concerned - we forward on presumed professional enquiries only. Please also be aware that if you choose to reply to their email/message they will have your contact information - Spotlight never provides your contact details to an enquirer and we recommend you never give out further information such as your home address.
For more information on privacy, please see our Terms and Conditions.
How often should I update my Spotlight profile?
Keeping your Spotlight profile up to date is always important but more so if you are self-represented. You never know what a casting director is searching for or how you might catch their eye so making sure your profile looks professional is key.
Auditions and your safety
Some auditions will be in person, but more frequently initial auditions may be by self-tape. We have lots of advice on the dos and don'ts of self-taping as well as practical technical advice. If you attend a physical casting, then you must always ensure it’s at a bona fide studio or office. If in doubt take someone along with you. We have some tips for auditioning safely.
How do I know whether to sign a job contract?
If you don’t have an agent to negotiate on your behalf, it’s important that you make sure you only sign a contract when you are absolutely sure it’s right for you. We have some practical advice and tips for understanding contracts to help you on your way.
Take a look at Equity’s contract checklist if you need an idea of what to look for in a contract. If you’re not sure and want to get some legal advice, you can take a look at our Contacts listings of legal representatives who may be able to help you.
Introducing Talent Scout
We’ve been very thoughtful about how we can additionally improve services at Spotlight for our self-represented performers.
One new exciting venture is our Talent Scout feature, which has been introduced for our self-represented performers and agents. This feature will allow performers to flag if they are looking for representation, when self-represented.
Agents will be able to search for these performers and contact them directly. This is aimed at supporting and facilitating members getting agency representation if they are looking for it, as well as making the process more efficient and streamlined for agents.
How do I note as a Performer that I am looking for representation?
To access this feature, click ‘Manage my agents’ from your left hand menu when signed into your account. If you have ‘Self-represented’ listed, you will see an option below to choose if you are seeking representation or not.
How do I add an agent to my Spotlight profile if I get representation?
If you gain new representation, you’ll be able to manage which agents appear on your profile from your account. You’ll be able to search for the agency and then add them yourself and it will appear immediately on your profile.
Once a new ‘main agent’ is added to your profile, you’ll no longer be ‘Self-Represented’ and your access to the Link Board will automatically revert to ‘read only’ until or unless your new agent changes this setting for you. Agents have the option, on a client-by-client basis, to provide access as ‘read only’, ‘nudge, or ‘full access’ where you can self-suggest for roles.
What are the benefits of Spotlight membership?
It is worth noting that the Spotlight Link is only a part of your Spotlight membership. Don’t forget casting professionals also conduct hundreds of thousands of searches across the platform, searching not only by name but also by skills, accents, languages, previous credits and if you publish video and voice etc, and that is why we always advise you to keep your profile up-to-date!
If you’re looking for a new agent, a photographer or a showreel provider a great place to start our Contacts listings. Also, don’t forget to check out our news and advice section where you can find articles on how to create your best Spotlight profile, a podcast on your working rights, plus videos on achieving the perfect headshot and showreel and much more!
Can I contact you if I need more help?
You can also follow us on our social media channels too to get the latest updates.