Why do Casting Directors call you in?

There are a few different reasons as to why casting directors call you in (and why sometimes they don’t!).

You’re a match!

The first thing is that you’re a match to what they are looking for (or what they think they are looking for). When casting directors go through submissions they have an idea of what they are looking for. As they look at all the headshots that are submitted, you’re either a match for what’s in their head or you’re not.

It’s not personal. So don’t take it personally. It’s not something that you should take to heart whether they call you in or not, or make you question your ability to be an actor, skill or ability. It’s not about that.

It’s also not because you have a pretty picture. They’re not just calling you in because your headshot is pretty or handsome. It’s about the match to what they’re looking for. Their vision for the role. When a casting director reads a script, they have a vision as to what they want the role to be so they are trying to make that match with what they see (i.e. your headshot) and what’s in their head. It’s not personal. It’s not about being pretty or handsome.

Your headshot portrays the character

Before they even look at your resume, they look at your headshot. When casting directors see submissions, the first thing they see is your headshot, not your resume. They use your headshot as a decision-maker to decide if they want to click and see more. Your headshot is your entry point in so it has to be unstoppable.

It’s not just the casting director who makes a decision

Casting directors are also creative artists and they have an instinct as to how to utilise your talent, looks an abilities in the project that they’re casting for. They think “yes, there is something about them!” while at the same time, they need to take into consideration the requests of the producer, director, studio and network. So from an outsider’s perspective, while it might seem easy to shortlist actors based on headshots, casting directors actually have so much going on while viewing all of the submissions!

So don’t get bogged down in trying to understand why you didn’t get shortlisted for a role. You, with blonde hair, didn’t get shortlisted but your friend with blonde hair did – yes, you have the same colour hair but you don’t look the same!

Take away tips

  • Know how to accurately represent your brand so that when a casting director looks at your headshot, they know exactly what to do with you in one glance.
  • Focus on your craft. You’ve got to have the goods. Focus on improving your audition techniques, on top of good acting skills, you need to be able to audition well.
  • Change your mindset so that you are fearless in choosing to let go of anything you can’t control, like the casting process. Control what you can like your headshot and training.

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