Spotlight in 2018: A Celebration

A roundup of what we’ve been up to this year at Spotlight

Celebrate the end of 2018 with us as we go through some of the things that have happened here at Spotlight this year. We’re always working to improve our service, our membership experience and our contribution to this vibrant industry. So, take a look at some of the things we’ve been working on this year:

Industry Advice and Training

  • Welcome to Spotlight: we updated our welcome video to give you a fresh new idea of what we do here at the home of casting.
  • We covered the Edinburgh Fringe and created a whole bunch of content to help you succeed, as well as working closely with the Traverse theatre to offer workshops and a support hub for performers.
  • As we push for greater accessibility to our online services, and in work with industry, we now transcribe all of our videos on our YouTube channel and will be adding further features to our podcast in future. We also offered BSL classes this year, as part of our Industry Forum for casting directors and agents.
  • We moved our Spotlight Specialists CVs over to Contacts, so now you can find a stage manager or casting director, and see CDG and CDA members more clearly defined on the site.
  • We re-launched our podcast and now have this on our site, as well as Spotify! The podcast has been really popular so far and we’re delighted that you’re enjoying it. Take a listen to our latest episode on showreel advice.
  • This year we held 40 one-to-one career advice sessions in Los Angeles, in partnership with Equity.
  • We’ve held over 400 one-to-one sessions for adult and young performer members in the UK and Ireland to give you personal feedback and give advice on your career.
  • We created a huge amount of advice content across articles, interviews, videos, podcasts, and rounded up our highlights for you here.

Events and Partnerships

  • We offered a programme of events for our Graduate members. Our careers specialists visited 95 schools to give talks this year and introduce Spotlight, key industry information and job skills.
  • We sponsored the Equal Representation for Actresses 50:50 campaign event in February, and you can read more about this important campaign here.
  • We hosted a special event at the BFI Flare in support of inclusive casting of LGBTQ+ individuals, with Nancy Bishop, Andy Brierley and Victor Jenkins.
  • We held our Open House events in both Ireland and in our London HQ in April and November, an Open House North West and Scotland, as well as the Spotlight summer school events for our younger performers. This year, our Open House attendees numbered 2719 people attending across 115 events; if you missed out, take a look here for a roundup of all the advice you missed, free to read online!
  • We ran an Industry Forum for our casting directors and agents, delivering several sessions around diversity and inclusivity, and you can read about one of our events here.
  • We attended the BFI London Film Festival (where we held a panel on inclusivity, with Spotlight’s particular focus on ProFile). We also attended Cannes Film Festival, and Subtitle European Film Festival.
  • We launched our new performance calendar to help students promote their future performances and showcases to the UK's leading agents and casting professionals.
  • We held our annual Spotlight Prize which you can read more about here.

Profiles and Breakdowns

  • We responded to feedback from agents and performers about the ‘Agreements’ box on breakdowns, making it compulsory for casting directors to let you know some information about expected pay rates.
  • In response to feedback from our members, Spotlight members can now change their agent directly when signed in. There’s no need to contact us in the majority of cases, ensuring you have self-service, 24 hours a day without being confined to our office hours.
  • We added more BSL options amongst our many language options to list on your acting profile.
  • We looked at over 170,384 photos and performed 228,565 profile edits across the year, as part of our membership service to make sure you are always presented in the best possible way on your profile!
  • We were nominated for an Innovation Award by The Stage for our work with the National Theatre on ProFile, showcasing the talent of disabled performers.

Membership and Joining

  • In response to feedback from our agents and parents, parents and guardians of young performers are now able to apply directly to Spotlight using a unique invitation link, reducing work for agents and ensuring we can have a closer relationship with the parents of our younger performer members.
  • We upgraded the way agents sign into to our website. This provides a much more secure, efficient and speedy service.
  • We are now part of PIPA Family Care pilot, in response to difficulties our members face in working while parenting. We hope with time more can be done to support our members who are also parents.
  • We now offer new membership benefits in our partnership with IPSE, which include life insurance, pension, tax and legal help, in response to member feedback on areas of concern to them.
  • Like everyone else, we updated our policies and communications preferences in accordance with GDPR. If you’re missing out on our great newsletters or any other comms that you’d like to be receiving, check your preferences!

What's next?

Very early in the new year, keep an eye out for improvements to our location search. We will be offering a more precise and accurate way to search for performers.

In 2019, lots of projects we have been quietly working away on in the background - such as major improvements to our joining process, new look Spotlight profiles and editing tools, as well as changes to our search and filter - will be launched. Here’s to the new year ahead!

Thank you for all your feedback and requests this year. If you have anything else you’d like us to know, drop us an email to [email protected]. Keep in mind our Christmas opening hours if you do want to get in touch. We’ll see you in 2019!