SPOTLIGHT

Once you’re on Spotlight (and congratulations on that) and until you become a household name, the “home of casting” is likely to be the site from which you secure the most work.

Despite the rise of other casting platforms, Spotlight is still the largest and most popular and is the place where the biggest films, TV dramas and commercials are cast from. It’s a harsh truth but for most actors, “if you’re not on Spotlight, you don’t exist!”

So getting onto Spotlight is a major milestone for actors but what is equally important is making sure your profile is complete and regularly updated.

In addition to our acting classes and industry masterclasses across Yorkshire, YAFTA also runs the YAFTA Talent Agency, representing children, teens and adults for professional screen work. The following is the exact advice we send our own clients.

Check out our top tips to make sure your Spotlight profile is the best tool it can be:

Skills.

This is the big one. So many Spotlight profiles are quite empty when it comes to skills and we’re pretty confident that you have hidden talents as well as acting skills.
While you need to be competent in a skill to list it, you don’t have to be an expert. (If you are highly skilled remember to put the asterisk). If you play certain sports at school or as a hobby those can be included. If you have skills from a day job; typing, CPR, dog walking…include those. And don’t forget to think outside the box – sometimes you can get called in to audition for the strangest reasons! Eg. Because you have experience working at an abattoir (true story!).

Playing Age.

Another thing to think carefully about. Ask for opinions and ask us for advice if you’re uncertain. Your playing age should be an honest representation of ages you could play and shouldn’t be larger than a maximum of a 10 year band.

Currently appearing section.

Do you use this feature? It’s a great way to give extra info – eg. currently shooting, currently appearing as * in a play, latest film has just been to Cannes etc.
On the other hand, if you do use it please make sure the information isn’t out of date – if your agent thinks you’re currently unavailable they can’t put you forward for jobs!

Credits.

If you only have a short list of credits keep them in one section on Spotlight. This helps to make you look active. Once your list is getting long consider organising them into sections on Spotlight; Stage, TV, Commercial, Short Film, Feature Film etc. If you have a lot of credits and have appeared in an entire series or multiple series of a TV show consider grouping credits rather than listing every episode individually.
eg. Brilliant TV Show – Series 1, Episodes 1-10

Accents.

If you say you can do an accent on your Spotlight profile it will be taken that you are competent in it and put you up for roles. Do not have any accents listed that you don’t feel comfortable with.
That said, don’t miss out any accents you can do and remember to asterisk the ones that are native. This can include both RP/Standard and a Regional accent.

Bonus Tip: Media! Updates aren’t just for the written content of your Spotlight profile. Make sure your headshots are up to date and really look like you. If you don’t have a showreel, consider creating one ASAP. It’s very hard to get seen without one because casting directors just don’t want to take that risk. Even if you only have one scene do think about uploading a clip as something is always better than nothing and you can gain material by doing short/student films or attending a YAFTA Showreel Day.

While these are all simple things, it’s amazing how many actors don’t have their Spotlight profiles up to date. This directly impacts your ability to book jobs. The few minutes it takes to check your profile and add any new credits or skills is time well spent. Do it now!

If you’re in need of new headshots or a professional showreel to get your Spotlight up to scratch, check out these offers from YAFTA:

Headshot Day – professional photo shoot and 5 retouched images
www.yafta.co.uk/headshots

Showreel Day – professionally filmed and edited showreel package with all equipment, scripts, filming, editing, actors and locations included
www.yafta.co.uk/showreels

See you on screen!

Elliot Laurence trained at ALRA North after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University. Continuing to work as an actor he has worked with companies such as Bolton Octagon, HOMEmcr, Collingwood Learning and Sheffield Theatres.
Read More
Adam received his training at The Academy Of Live And Recorded Arts (ALRA), where he studied stage, screen and audio performance. Since graduating Adam has been cast in various productions in a versatile range of mediums including voice over, theatre, music video, and film. Adam has experience working as a teacher with children, adults and vulnerable groups too.
Read More
Anna Dawson is an Actress, TV Presenter and Musician alongside being a Writer and PR/Marketing Exec. Additionally Anna works in production and has worked as production manager on various feature films such as the recent Scott & Sid which filmed in Yorkshire. With a degree in Politics from Durham University and a long list of acting credits in film, TV and theatre, Anna was chosen to become the Public Relations Officer for the Equity Yorkshire Ridings General Branch Committee.
Read More
Lee Maxwell Simpson gained a first class degree in Drama from Manchester University before training as an actor at London's Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating, he appeared in a number of commercials, notably for Thomson Holidays and Moonpig.com, and various short films and stage productions, including a National Youth Theatre tour to the Middle East and a spoken word European tour with the novelist Jonathan Coe.
Read More
Ian Puleston-Davies is a professional actor who has recently filmed Marcella, Beowulf and Lewis. Ian played Owen Armstrong in Coronation Street for 5 years prior to his recent acting achievements. Ian has an impressive acting CV having been in most major soaps and dramas in the UK over the past 20 years. Some of his credits include Eastenders, Waterloo Road, Silent Witness, Life on Mars, I'm Alan Partridge, Dalziel & Pascoe to name a few. He is currently writing his own screenplay and working as an actor but will also be finding the time to teach YAFTA masterclasses. Ian supports the development of actors at YAFTA.
Read More
Charlotte is the Managing Director of YAFTA. She is a TV Presenter, Actress, and Agent. Charlotte also owns YAFTA Talent Agency and YAFTA Consultancy. Charlotte is currently working as a TV Presenter for various companies including Made in Leeds TV. In 2015 Charlotte had her own TV show called ‘Challenge Charlotte’ which aired across the Made Network in Leeds, Tyne & Wear, Bristol and Cardiff, the show is set for a second series in 2016. She also played the role of Hannah O’Rourke in BBC1’s Happy Valley and played various roles in TV Comedy Sketch Show ‘Cool Beans’. In January 2016, Charlotte filmed the part of Jane in Coronation Street. She will also be one of the judges for Made in Leeds’ TV Programme ‘Star Made’.
Read More
Charlotte is the Managing Director of YAFTA. She is a TV Presenter, Actress, and Agent. Charlotte also owns YAFTA Talent Agency and YAFTA Consultancy. Charlotte is currently working as a TV Presenter for various companies including Made in Leeds TV. In 2015 Charlotte had her own TV show called ‘Challenge Charlotte’ which aired across the Made Network in Leeds, Tyne & Wear, Bristol and Cardiff, the show is set for a second series in 2016. She also played the role of Hannah O’Rourke in BBC1’s Happy Valley and played various roles in TV Comedy Sketch Show ‘Cool Beans’. In January 2016, Charlotte filmed the part of Jane in Coronation Street. She will also be one of the judges for Made in Leeds’ TV Programme ‘Star Made’.
Read More