Know Your Profile: What You Need to Make the Best Impression
Wondering what power your profile holds? Here’s the list of ways you can really make the most of your Spotlight presence
By Christina Care
With a Spotlight profile, you’re in front of some of the most important names in the industry - which is why it’s so important to get that profile right! So, how can you make the most of the functions offered on your Spotlight profile? Here’s our guide to using your profile to its full effect.
Attach a showreel
A headshot can only convey so much - you really need a showreel to show off your skills as an actor! We’ve got a great guide for making the most of your showreel, as well as a handy podcast on the topic that you can listen to for all the ins and outs of making your showreel a success. It’s really important that you have something though, even if it doesn’t have a fancy title card - just a scene with you in the focus, demonstrating your abilities, is vital. Short is fine, so even if you don’t have much material, it’s really important to add something filmed to your profile.
Pick your best headshot
When did you last have your headshots taken? Is it time to shuffle it up? If you’re struggling to remember, it might be time to reassess - provided, of course, you’ve changed since the taking of the photos! If you’ve got a penchant for hair dyes, then you definitely need to make sure your image reflects how you present in real life, and it’s worth thinking about how often you want to make this expensive but necessary investment.
Upload a few (but not too many!) photos
If you’ve got the itch to post up tonnes of your production stills, take a minute: what would these photos really add to your employability? Most casting directors aren’t interested in you on a red carpet, with your favourite celebrity. They also don’t want to see a dozen very similar shots of you on set. While it is fantastic to show what you can do, think carefully about where you put your energy with this. A great showreel with a few compelling scenes is much more worthwhile than a dozen similar photos, for instance. Keep photos up to date too, as otherwise this can be misleading for a casting director if you’re called in for an audition. It’s very important that the person who walks through the door matches their photo.
Location, location, location
It’s so vital to be accurate about your location. It really helps casting directors to have an accurate idea of what travel is involved for you, and they may be looking for someone based somewhere quite specific. So don’t try and anticipate where they might like you to be located - it really varies and doesn’t help anyone if you don’t keep this updated. Make sure you can be found for the right roles in the right locations.
The free text entered into this sections is searchable. Casting professionals can search for key words, and if that word is in your ‘About Me’ section, you’ll come up in their results. So it’s important to make every word count!
This section is ideal for listing useful information that doesn’t fit anywhere else on your profile, such as productions you’ve recently appeared in, more details about your heritage, and unusual skills that might not appear in the ‘Skills’ section.
Before you add too much information, think carefully about the type of searches you want to come up in, and which relevant words casting professionals are likely to use. For example, if you want to focus on comedy roles, phrases such as ‘stand-up’ and ‘comedian’ will serve you better than ‘dancer’ or ‘football’.
List your (real) skills and training
While you can definitely list pretty much any skill you can think of here, it might be best not to! This should really be an honest assessment of your skills, and has to really include things you can actually do. You don’t want to be called in for an audition that involves playing a violin if you barely ever played a few notes on the recorder! So be honest, first and foremost. If you’re a singer, make sure to include your vocal range and type. We’ve got a great guide to this here if you need help figuring out exactly what those might be!
As for your training, you don’t need to list every workshop you’ve ever attended - it’s just too much and doesn’t necessarily add to the casting director’s understanding. Keep it relevant and concise.
Get those credits up to scratch
However many credits you have, there are a few important things that have to be included. In particular, make sure that you fill out every single field - this means including the role you played, the production company, the director’s name, and any dates you worked on the project (if you’re including dates on your profile). Many casting directors like to see dates, so think carefully about whether or not to include these. If you don’t have a lot of different credits yet, don’t use the tabs.
For any long term projects (e.g. if you’ve been in a long standing TV show), just list the credit once! For now simply add a date range, like “2010-2012” in the ''role'' area. And of course, you don’t have to list everything - just the credits you’d like to be found by. It’s best not to mention that you went for a casting for a role that you didn’t ultimately get - it doesn’t help!
Think about your Playing Age
Be honest and specific about this - Spotlight now allows you to set your playing age as specifically as you’d like to. So think honestly about this. Chances are that you will have a range that you can realistically play, so spend a little time reflecting on this before you set your Playing Age publicly!
Keep it updated
Finally, your profile can’t do its best work for you if it isn’t up to date! So look over everything regularly - set yourself some reminders and make sure that the images, the credits and the information included are as current and accurate as possible.
For more information on the essentials you need to get started in the industry, take a look here. If you’re not yet a Spotlight member and want to join us, you can do so here. Any other questions we can answer for you, drop us a line at [email protected]