How to Help Casting Directors Find You on Spotlight

Practical tips to improve your chances of being found by casting directors via Spotlight search. 

Make sure your photos and showreel are the best they can be and take some time to check and update your profile

As well as using the Spotlight Link to send breakdowns to performers and agents, casting professionals also use Spotlight to search for performers. There are thousands of searches every week and with specific attributes, accents, skills or credits all being used by casting directors to filter through performer profiles, it's important to make sure your profile is correctly filled in.

We have a team dedicated to making your profile the very best that it can be and they've shared their tips for making sure your profile appears in all relevant searches to help you be discovered.

Professional Credits

Everything you add to the Credits section of your profile is searchable by casting professionals so ensure you keep this up-to-date and include as much information as possible. 

  1. Apart from the Currently Appearing section of your profile, which is a free text area, you should always include credits in the designated Credits area so they appear in search.
  2. Include as much information as possible, including your role, the production's name, year, company and director.
  3. If you’ve forgotten who the director was, dig out old call sheets and scripts or spend some time online to find out their name.
  4. Once you've finished a job, remember to move it from the Currently Appearing section and into Credits.
  5. Check you've spelled everything correctly as any typos or misspellings will not appear in search.
  6. If you include a production or stage still, the photo descriptions are not searchable so make sure you've listed the information correctly in your Credits.
If you’re shortlisted for a role on the basis that you have a particular skill then make sure you can actually do it

Skills, Accents and Languages

Never underestimate that a particular skill may be just what a casting director is looking for. If you are a talented musician, singer, sportsperson or linguist then make sure to add this to your profile.

  1. In most instances, you can indicate if you are highly skilled (which is also a specific search filter) so take time to review what you currently have on your profile. 
  2. Don’t add too many skills and don’t over-use the highly skilled feature.
  3. Be honest about your level of ability, if you haven’t ridden a horse for 10 years then it may be a good idea to remove it from your profile!
  4. If you learn a new skill (like fire breathing!) make sure you add it to your Skills section as you never know what someone is looking for in their next big project.
  5. If you have a particular skill such as voice over artist (and where e.g. you also have a home studio or access to one) then do add it.
  6. If you’re shortlisted for a role on the basis that you have a particular skill then make sure you can actually do it!
  7. If you’re listing accents it’s a good idea to also include voice clips on your profile so casting professionals can hear what you sound like once they’ve found you. Learn from Daniel Kaluuya and be truthful about what accents you can do and your ability level.

© copyright 2020 BBC // Watch the original video on The Graham Norton Show's YouTube Channel

Appearance and Nationality

Searches can be done by Physical Characteristics, Appearance and Nationality so ensure all of these fields on your profile accurately describe how you currently look.

  1. Ensure you complete the height, eye colour and hair colour fields within the Physical Characteristics section as these are all used to search for performers.
  2. Add a minimum and maximum playing age but be realistic about the age range you can actually play.
  3. Make sure you enter your correct nationality. This should be the place where you hold a passport or have full citizenship.
  4. Appearance or family origin can be shown by using the My Appearances section on the Spotlight profile.
  5. It's important to complete both the Nationality and the My Appearances sections of your profile. For example, if a casting professional is looking for someone to play a Chinese character, they will search for 'Chinese' using the Appearance section, however, if they are looking for someone who can work on a project based in China, they will search 'Chinese' using the Nationality section. 

Location

Casting professionals using Location to search for performers is becoming increasingly popular so make sure you add yours correctly.

  1. Ensure you list your primary location first.
  2. You can add up to three locations where you have a base.

Help yourself be found. As well as making sure your photos and showreel are the best they can be, take some time to check and update your profile so it can be properly searched by casting directors. 

If you need any help you can email our friendly publishing team via [email protected]

Photo by Agence Olloweb via Unsplash.