Learn The Lingo.
If your child is new to the entertainment industry, it can sometimes be confusing to hear all sorts of new lingo. Industry lingo can sometimes vary depending on who you are dealing with, but there are some basics that never change, and that you should definitely know.
Talent - The actor or model. You and your child are NOT the client. In industry terms, actors and models that are represented by an agency are known as 'the talent' and your child will be referred to this way by their agency.
Client - The person or company using the services of an agency to look for talent for their shoot. e.g., Casting Directors, Producers, Advertising Agencies, or the designer of a clothing brand.
Booked - This means a client has confirmed that they want to book you or your child for a shoot/job. Congratulations!
Brief - A brief is a notice that an agent receives from a client, either by email or through a casting platform. The brief is an outline of the roles the client is looking to cast for their upcoming shoot. The agent will then send over all of their suitable talent who match the requirements. E.g., 4-year-old girls or 10-year-old boys of Asian descent. Sometimes this can be incredibly specific, such as a 10-year-old girl, with brown hair, brown eyes, and a specific heritage. Or even specific to skills, such as skateboarding or a stereotypical look such as ‘surfer boy’.
Call Sheet - A call sheet may be sent out to the talent before a job. They are basically a detailed document of everyone who is working on the shoot (cast & crew), where they need to be & what time. For TV and film, call sheets are generally sent late afternoon the day before the shoot. They are not always required for modelling shoots.
Call Time - This is the time that the talent needs to be on set. No earlier, no later. This is your set arrival time.
Cancellation - Unfortunately the client, for a variety of reasons, is no longer able to proceed with the scheduled booking or shoot. Some of the reasons can include stock or samples not arriving in time or a change in the brief or marketing strategy. While some clients may not clarify a reason to the agent, so you may not be able to get an answer on why; it is not personal to you or your child. While this can be disappointing, it is an element of the industry that is sometimes unavoidable.
Casting / Casting Call - Talent may be requested to attend a casting (meet and greet / audition) with a client to check suitability for a role they have in mind. Your agent will let you know if there is anything you need to prepare for the casting session or audition, however, sometimes they just want to meet you in person to see if you would be a good fit for the role. Just like a job interview.
Open Call / Open Casting Call - These are usually sent out via text message or email, or they may be posted on social media pages. Open calls are usually done for harder to cast roles. Anyone who fits the brief is welcome to apply. An example of an open call; a client is looking for boys who can do a backflip, or girls that are exactly 145cm tall. This is not something that many agents will know from their child’s profile, so they will send out an open call to find suitable talent to submit for the role. An open casting call can also happen when the client has a brief for a group usually not found on the books of talent agents, such as newborns or children who live far away from city CBD’s.
Chat to Camera - This is basically an "Introduction" video that may be filmed while at your audition/casting session, or you may be asked to send one in as part of your video audition for a role. This helps clients get a sense of who you are & remember you. You may be asked to say your name, age, height, agent, and anything else they request, on camera. It's usually pretty casual - just be yourself!
Checking Availability - Often clients will check availability for more models than they need, then make their final selections from the models that are available for their shoot date. Your agent will usually not have any further information other than often the date at this stage, so you would need to be available for the whole day to proceed to the next stage of casting.
Fit Model - Someone who tries on the sample clothing to make sure they fit before the clothing is released in stores. This is NOT for photo shoot or catalogue work, but you would still be paid for your time. Fit models need to match the very specific measurements of standard clothing size.
On Hold - This means you or your child have been further shortlisted for the role & are being presented to the Director, Marketing Manager, or whoever is making the final decision, along with the other shortlisted talent. You may also be on hold while the client is still confirming aspects of the shoot, so they cannot confirm you until they themselves have everything confirmed. You'll need to be available for the shoot dates and keep the whole day free (on hold) until they have confirmed the final cast/models. If you have been placed "on hold" your agent will always let you know the final outcome as soon as they hear anything.
Self-Test / Video Audition - A self-test is an audition that you film yourself, from home. Your agent will send you detailed instructions on what you need to record. This can be done on your smartphone or iPad. It doesn't need to be fancy or edited. With everything happening in the world at the moment, these have become an increasingly popular way to cast talent!
Wardrobe Fitting / Wardrobe Call - If you or your child are booked for a job, they may ask you to come in on another day before the shoot to try on the 'costume' or clothing that you will be wearing on set. This is usually for TV & film jobs. If the clothing doesn't fit or look good, they will have time to purchase other items or make changes before the shoot day.
Weather Hold - This applies when the shoot is going to be outdoors and is basically a back-up date, in case there is a bad weather forecast. If it's looking like bad weather a day or two before the shoot, they may reschedule the shoot to the 'weather hold' date. You would need to keep this day completely free until we have confirmation on the final shoot date.