Terminology Tuesday – Backdoor Pilot

A backdoor pilot is a type of pilot (yes, there are different types) that is filmed as a standalone episode so that it can still be aired on television even if it isn’t picked up. If well-received, it can then be developed into a series or miniseries. It’s essentially a “test episode” for the intended series and marks an early step in development. A backdoor pilot may also be used for an episode that serves to introduce a spin-off.

Monday Myth Debunker – Your Social Media is Going to Make or Break Your Career

Your social media is NOT going make or break your career. For the most part, no one is going to have time to even CHECK your social media, let alone track how many followers or engagement you have. Think about (in a normal world) the amount of time we have to cast a pilot or TV episode (spoiler: IT AINT A LOT!) To say that we’d have the time in our day to check your social media is not realistic. …

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Terminology Tuesday – CSA

Ever wondered what those “CSA” letters mean after a casting director’s name? 👉🏼 CSA stands for the “Casting Society of America”. Originally founded in 1982, CSA is a professional society of close to 1,000 casting directors and associates from all over the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Africa. CSA was established in order to recognize a standard of professionalism in the casting field and to provide its members with a support organization to further their goals and protect their …

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Monday Myth Debunker – My Agent Doesn’t Submit Me

If you’ve legitimately signed paperwork with your agent and they are franchised; meaning they are licensed by the state in which they operate and have been officially approved by SAG-AFTRA, then chances are, they are submitting you. It’s easy to blame your agent; they are the ones who are “supposed” to be getting you the audition. But it’s usually not their fault. They can only do so much with the tools you’re supplying them. If your reel is outdated and …

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Terminology Tuesday – DPU

Known as a Drop Pick-Up, this is a term that casting professionals and producers use when a production wants to work a day player, drop them for a certain amount of time, and then work them again later without paying for intervening work days. Certain rules must be in place for this. If, at the time of original engagement, the day performer is given a firm pick-up date which is more than 14 calendar days after the close of his …

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Why Most Actors Overlook This Important Tool

If you’ve been in the business for longer than 10 years, you might have been part of many conversations starting with the question, “who did your headshots?” Actors love to obsess over headshots. Why? Not really sure, to be honest. Maybe because it’s the easiest (and arguably) most fun task in the frequently demanding life of an aspiring actor. I’ve found that actors also love to spend an ungodly amount of time on their postcard mailers, headshot drop-offs (usually accompanied …

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Terminology Tuesday – Fi-Core

Fi-Core stands for ‘financial core’. This status is an option within (SAG-AFTRA) which allows actors to work both union and non-union jobs. There are some disadvantages to being Fi-Core. Most notably, you become a “non-member” in SAG-AFTRA’s estimation. Technically, they categorize you as a Fee Paying Non-Member (FPNM), but since you still pay your dues, you have a valid performer number, retain your benefits and are represented in all collective bargaining activities. Some of the rights you lose when you …

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Monday Myth Debunkers – Self Tapes are Replacing In-Person Auditions

So many different “rules”, opinions & ideas are thrown out there, it’s sometimes hard to know what the right answer is.  Self tapes are not replacing live auditions. Self tapes are a great way to still audition for a role when you physically can’t be in the room. Despite this, you still won’t get the advantage of having a casting director direct you into the take that is going to help you get the job. Self tapes are generally used …

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Terminology Tuesday – Top of Show

Top of Show refers to a set amount of money that is budgeted in a show for its guest star roles. For example, a role might say that the show “does not break top of show,” which means that no matter who the actor is, the show will not pay that person more than what their top of show rate is. Top of show rates vary on the type of show (1 hour, ½ hour), and the type of platform. …

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