25 Ways to Raise Your Spotlight Profile

Tips from Spotlight experts about how to make the most of your profile and your membership.

Keep your profile professional... it is not a social media account.

Updating your Spotlight profile

1. Keep your professional credits up to date and spelt correctly. Make sure to fill out every field possible as casting directors will often search by production.

2. Keep your 'About Me' section brief, updated and relevant. Once the production is complete, don’t forget to move it to your credits.

3. Keep your training notes to less than five to keep them concise. Try to list only recent relevant courses, there’s no need to include every workshop you’ve attended.

4. Keep your profile professional. Think about the content you upload and how it represents you as an actor. Your profile is not a social media account.

5. Ensure that you have a language and accent marked as native on your profile. This is so you’ll appear in all of the appropriate searches.

Be honest about your casting type

6. Always be honest about your playing age; you can publish very precise age ranges on your Spotlight profile. Only choose a range that you can realistically be cast to play, so take some time to reflect on this and check it regularly.

7. Be truthful when listing accents and languages. When casting directors call you into a room they need to have confidence that you can do them (often at very short notice) so try to only publish those you can do well and naturally.

8. Be honest about what skills you publish on your profile. If you can ride a horse - great! - but don’t list it if you’ve only been on a horse once. Make sure to always list any driving licences.

Casting directors tell us they only like to see 4-5 images of various expressions so less is definitely more.

Photos/Headshots

9. Take a look at your photos. Do they still look like you? Are there too many? Casting directors tell us they only like to see 4-5 images of various expressions so less is definitely more.

10. It’s always a good idea to get a few opinions on new headshots so make sure to consult with your agent, friends or family before uploading to your profile.

11. It’s easy for you to add photos on your Spotlight profile. The photo management system can be used on all devices and allows you to upload on the go.

Showreels

12. Entice casting directors to click and play your showreel by using the title to describe what’s in it. Edit the filename so rather than being called 'showreel 1' or 'file_3' etc. it is actually descriptive eg 'Scenes from Hamlet, EastEnders and a banking commercial'.

13. Casting directors can’t always watch a whole showreel so make sure to open strong. Re-editing your showreel can make it feel completely new and a simple edit can change everything. 

Self-tapes

14. Always be prepared for urgent self-tape requests. To avoid pre-records or Skype read ins, find yourself a self-tape buddy you can team up with so your submissions are the best they can be.

15. When self-taping make sure to shoot in landscape (like a TV or cinema screen). Always shoot against a neutral background with good lighting so your face is clearly visible.

Take advantage of our one-to-one sessions with Spotlight experts where you can get advice tailored specifically to you.

Advice from industry professionals

16. Take advantage of our one-to-one sessions with Spotlight experts where you can get advice tailored specifically to you. They happen each month and you can find the booking information on our website.

17. Take advice from professionals who are working in the industry. The news and advice section of the Spotlight website is a fantastic resource and is full of articles, videos and podcasts from industry experts and first person accounts who provide tips, knowledge and support. 

Be proactive

18. Make a diary note each month to check in with your profile. Is it up to date? Can you remove any old information? Have you got any new skills to add?

19. Holidays are a great time to see a show or catch a film so you can observe and learn from others. It's also a great time to update your profile and eat a mince pie… or two.

20. Don't be afraid to promote yourself on social media. Fellow performers, casting directors and agents like to hear what you have been up to.

Etiquette

21. When responding to a casting or breakdown always make sure you only reply to the casting director who sent the brief. Producers or directors may be mentioned in the breakdown but you should never make contact with them directly.

Castings and auditions

22. In castings, it's important to come into the room as yourself and show your ability to take on a role/direction. Subtle hints of what the character is like in your clothing can help the director see you in the role… but don’t overdo it.

23. Always try to be off-book for a casting where you can unless you're told otherwise. It's best not to have sides in your hands and if you fluff a line just carry on - the director or casting director will call cut if they need to.

24. Every director and casting director is different so make sure to read all correspondence and audition information carefully. Check that you know the location, journey times and exactly what you need to do when you’re in the room so that you can give your best performance on the day.

25. And finally, remember, we’re all in this industry to see and help each other succeed. Auditions can be stressful and are often last-minute but never forget casting directors really only ever want to find the right person for the job so don't fear them.

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