Gender and Disability FAQs for Casting Professionals

Spotlight has had a refresh! After gathering feedback from across the industry, we’ve been busy updating our platform and you’ll see lots of big improvements to your account, performer profiles and the way Spotlight works.

We’re committed to improving the experience for all Spotlight members and applicants, especially when it comes to promoting inclusion and diversity in our industry so you’ll now see new options for gender and disabilities in profiles. 

Unless the role you are casting has very specific requirements in one of these categories, we’d encourage you to use the new features to help make your casting search as inclusive as possible.

Breakdowns

You'll now see an improved tool to create and send breakdowns where we've added new options and contract types. 

When you next sign in to Spotlight, you’ll see that all of your previous breakdowns will have been placed in a folder called ‘First Project Folder’. You can rename this folder and create as many new ones as you’d like to make it easier to organise your projects.

Creating a Breakdown

  • Click the [Create a breakdown] button on your account homepage
  • Select an existing project folder or create a new one and give it a name
  • You’ll be taken to the ‘Production Details’ screen where you can add information about the production. In the ‘Contract type’ field’s dropdown, you'll see new options for you to choose from 
  • Click the [Next] button to continue or [Save and close] if you want to come back to it later
  • By clicking [Next] you’ll be taken to the ‘Roles’ screen where you can fill in the relevant information and use the new options. 

Breakdown Gender Options

When creating your role(s), you'll see the following options available for gender:

  • You can choose from 'Any' gender or select something 'Specific'
  • By clicking ‘Specific’, you’ll see more options revealed (Female, Male, Transgender - Female, Transgender - Male, Non-Binary and Custom) so you can refine your search by selecting any gender requirements relevant to the role.
  • Selecting e.g. ‘Male’ only means you will consider suggestions from all who identify as ‘Male’. It is your choice how you wish to list your breakdown, but we have added the option of also selecting ‘Transgender - Male’ to allow you to reiterate your intention to cast inclusively. 
  • By selecting e.g. only ‘ Transgender - male‘ you are looking for submissions from a transgender male with lived experience
  • You’ll also see an open text field titled ‘More information about gender’, this is an optional field where you can type in any additional requirements you may have e.g. genderfluid. 

Please note that all selections you make and information added to the 'More information about gender' field will appear on your published breakdown so please double-check these are correct before publishing.

Finding Performers - Gender

We’ve improved our search and filtering capabilities (currently still in beta*) so you can easily find non-binary and transgender performers, helping you cast a more diverse range of talent in your projects. 

Performers will be updating their profiles over the coming weeks and they’ll also be able to add additional ‘further information’ which is searchable.

When doing a search, you’ll see a Gender filter so you can easily discover talent who have identified themselves using the available gender options, which include:

  • Female
  • Male
  • Transgender - female (performers who select this option will appear in searches for Female performers and searches for Transgender - female)
  • Transgender - male (performers who select this option will appear in searches for Male performers and searches for Transgender - male)
  • Non-Binary (performers who have selected this option will appear in search results that don’t include a gender filter and search results that have been filtered to only show non-binary performers. Non-binary performers won’t appear in female or male performer searches unless they specify that they want to be found here) 
  • Custom (This option can be used by performers who do not identify with one of the above options)
  • Further information (additional information can be added in this open text box for any specific gender requirements you're looking for).

Some points to note:

  • Performers have the option to share their gender on their profile or to hide it from public view. 
  • If a performer has chosen not to publicly post their gender, you’ll still be able to find them by using the gender filter.
  • If a performer has chosen not to publicly post their gender, you will not see their gender if the performer's profile is directly shared with you, added to a shortlist or if you search for them by name.
  • To find the greatest number of appropriate performers, you should actively filter on gender.

We’d encourage you to consider casting transgender performers in both trans and cis roles. If you’re not familiar with some of the gender terms used, Equity has a useful resource where you can read more about gender terms and working with LGBT+ performers.

*Beta means you can use the new features but there may be some issues or bugs that we will be identifying and fixing.

Finding Performers - Disability

Performers are now able to choose whether they want to publish their disability(ies) on their Spotlight profile, whilst still allowing you to search and filter by a specific disability or all disabilities. 

When doing a search, you’ll see a Disability filter so you can easily discover talent who have identified themselves as such.

Performers can also add additional ‘further information’ which is searchable.

Some points to note:

  • Performers can choose whether to display their disability(ies) on their public profile or not.
  • If a performer decides to hide this information from public view, you’ll still be able to find them by using the disability filter.
  • If a performer has hidden their disability(ies) from their profile and their account is shared directly with you, added to a shortlist or if you search for them by name you will not see their disability(ies) displayed.
  • To find the greatest number of appropriate performers, you should actively filter on disability.

Spotlight supports inclusive casting. Characteristics selected in filters or set out in your descriptions should be genuine requirements of the role in order to make the casting process as inclusive as possible.

Please do get in touch with any questions you may have by emailing us at [email protected].  

For more information about inclusivity see our helpful resources for Spotlight agent and casting members.

Image by Jessica Lewis via Unsplash.