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:
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!).
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On the other hand, if you do use it please make sure the information isn’t out of date – if your agent thinks you’re currently unavailable they can’t put you forward for jobs!
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
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
Showreel Day – professionally filmed and edited showreel package with all equipment, scripts, filming, editing, actors and locations included
See you on screen!