Graduates FAQs

When can I apply for graduate membership?

Graduate membership opens once a year in September to those just about to enter their final year of drama training at a Spotlight recognised school. This is the only time in the year that the graduate scheme is open, and you must ensure you apply before the deadline, which is usually in mid-December.

Can anyone apply for graduate membership?

Spotlight and Equity joined forces in September 2017 to create a clear universal standard for courses that are eligible for both the Spotlight Graduate membership and Equity’s full membership. Read further details about changes to Spotlight student membership.

Please speak to your school before making a graduate application, they will be able to tell you if this is an option for you. Please note that not all schools are eligible for the graduate scheme. If they are eligible they will be able to let you know the password which will be unique to your school.

How much will it cost to join as a graduate?

When we open the graduate scheme,you can check information about joining and costs for Spotlight graduates (including prices).

Do I need professional acting credits for a graduate membership?

The only requirement will be that you attend a drama school that meets the criteria for professional drama training.

How long does my graduate membership last? When do I become a full Spotlight member?

A graduate membership lasts for a year, after which we will transfer you to an adult membership. You will get a notification the month before your deadline to let you know that you can now renew and upgrade your account from a graduate to a full Spotlight membership.

What should I do if I didn’t join as a graduate in time?

If the graduate membership has closed and you were eligible to join, you can still join as an adult Spotlight performer instead. Unfortunately, you won’t receive the same benefits as a graduate member but you will receive all our adult performer benefits, as well as being visible online to casting directors and agents, while receiving important breakdown information.

What is the Spotlight performance calendar?

The Spotlight Performance Calendar is where your school can list your upcoming shows/showcases and make all the information visible online to casting directors and agents. From here, tickets can be booked for your show and cast list information can be easily viewed (which will include your graduate profile details).

Should I tell casting directors and agents about my showcase?

Yes! Your drama school will have a list of their own contacts, but you should also research your own. Do look at the PMA website for agents and the CDG website for casting directors, as well as IMDb to find names and contact information. Information is also at your fingertips on Contacts. Research is key. Personalise your emails and give them enough notice about when and where it is. 

Do I need to sign with a London agent, if I’m not planning on basing myself there?

Not necessarily. Finding the right agent is as much about ‘finding the right fit’. It’s important that agents can see your work, to know how to best promote you to casting directors. Take a look at more of our advice on agents.

Should I let Spotlight know if I sign with an agent?

Yes! If you have signed with a new agent, please email [email protected] and we can arrange to update your account to include their information.

How can I learn how to do a good self-tape at home?

Follow our self-tape advice from leading industry professionals on how to get the most out of your self-tape. You can start by watching this video:

How does a casting director find me on Spotlight?

There are many different ways that a casting director can find your details on Spotlight. All casting professionals can search via performer name, school, appearance information or credits that you have provided on your Spotlight profile. It’s therefore crucial that you always keep your details on Spotlight up to date as all of this information is searchable.

Do I need and showreel or voicereel?

Ideally, yes! Showreels and voicereels are very popular with casting professionals and make a huge difference to your application. Don’t feel that you have to go out and spend hundreds of pounds to have one made. Take a look at all our showreel and voicereel advice for making the most of your showreel or voicereel including our 'Everything you need to know about showreels' video.

What should my next steps be once I’ve graduated?

Keep proactive and positive! Leaving drama school and entering the industry can seem daunting. You’ll need to get as much audition experience under your belt and to meet as many casting directors as you can, so you can start building on your experience and put your training into action!

Keep your skills well exercised and if you haven’t signed with an agent yet, get involved with as many play readings, workshops and read-ins with your colleagues to keep yourself busy. Practise self-tapes, go to plays, watch films and TV, get involved with the Edinburgh festival (and all the other fringe festivals that there are!). If you don’t have a showreel or voicereel, get some good quality material together and add them to your Spotlight profile.

On self-submitting yourself for roles via the Spotlight Link Breakdowns, make sure to read all the casting information and details carefully. Always be available for the overall dates, and select the roles that you wish to be seen for wisely! If you have an agent, he/she will do this for you. So, trust that they are putting you up for everything that you are right for.