A Few weeks ago, we asked Kids Casting Call Pro, if they would like to answer some questions for us, to help our students and their parents understand a little bit more about this actors resource. Amelia Forsbrook (Site Manager at KCCP) sent us the following answers:
Totally Lit (TL): Who can join Kids Casting Call Pro?
Amelia Forsbrook (AF): Kids Casting Call Pro (http://www.kidsccp.com/uk/register) is designed to help launch the careers of actors aged between 5-18. We’re always on the lookout for young people who are enthusiastic and engaged with performance, and who have at least one performance credit. This credit can be anything from treading the red carpet in Leicester Square, the boards at The Globe or the stage in the school hall – we’re just searching for something that tells us that you’ve given the performing arts a try and feel that they are for you.
TL: Is it different to Casting Call Pro and do I need to be on both?
AF: Casting Call Pro is for actors aged 18 and older, as the older sibling who brings around all the coolest friends. Because of CCP, we know all of the UK’s leading casting directors, and so some of the best castings come through our site.
It’s not possible to be on both Casting Call Pro and KidsCCP as you need to be 18 to join the older site. You also need to have some professional experience under your belt so the rules are a lot stricter.
TL: How much does it cost?
AF: KidsCCP costs £12 per month or £96 per year. While all members of the site get tailored job alerts, premium users will be able to put themselves forward for castings, appear in our directory (searched by employers across the UK every single day), and will have full access to a whole host of resources (http://www.kidsccp.com/uk/faq_membership) designed to hone the career of a young actor.
TL: How do I get an Acting Job through you?
AF: We display of our live casting calls on our jobs board (http://www.kidsccp.com/uk/jobs.php), but providing you take a little time to tell us about your child or teen’s skills, when we hear about a job that we think is suitable we’ll let you know by email. You will then be able to apply to express your interest in the role and submit a cover letter (http://www.kidsccp.com/uk/page.php?uid=1673) . Employers will then get notified, and will get in touch if they like what they see.
TL: Do I need an agent?
AF: It's not obligatory to get an agent (http://www.kidsccp.com/uk/page.php?uid=1542), but it is advisable. Agents are the conduit between directors, casting directors and the actor. Trusted agents with an established reputation can act as a filter for casting directors, making their life that bit easier by putting forward people whom they deem to be the right match for the project. A good agent will also take responsibility for all the necessary paperwork, for example license forms.
TL: Does my photograph need to be taken by a professional photographer?
AF: A professional headshot is one of the criteria for being a member of Kids Casting Call Pro. This is used as another quick way to help ensure that all our actors have invested in acting. It also means that there is consistency between profiles, which employers find useful.
TL: Do you recommend Photographers or Agents?
AF: We don’t need to endorse particular photographers or agents, but parents and guardians on KidsCCP are free to browse our directory of agents (http://www.kidsccp.com/uk/asearch.php) and directory of photographers to find a service provider who meets their needs. Once on the site, you are free to contact other members to find out about their experience of a particular agent or photographer. Our forum (http://www.kidsccp.com/uk/forum.php) can also be a great place for gathering feedback.
TL: How do you monitor the ‘Casting Calls’ with regards to keeping children safe?
AF: While we ask that all profiles are managed by someone over the age of 18 for security reasons, we do also run a number of regular checks to ensure that everyone on the site is behaving in a fair and responsible manner. For instance, we keep a close eye on who is using the site and the communications they make. We also urge employers to be proactive with licenses, and offer as much guidance as we possibly can. We run checks on every new employer who posts on the site, and if we have any doubts about the content of a particular production, we won’t post the job until we’ve read the script and are completely satisfied with the employer.
TL: What kind of advice do you offer to people about the best way to prepare for a casting?
AF: Positivity is easier to preach than to practise, but try to see each new casting as an experience where you can develop your skills and confidence while meeting new people.
If it’s drama, have a good hard think about the characters you’ll be playing. Try to get your head around their motivations and, putting your own nerves aside for just a minute, allow yourself to come to terms with what they are thinking.
What we often find with commercial castings, especially those that require children and young people, is that casting directors are just looking for a natural performance. No matter how stressed you may feel, it’s important to give the impression of calm.
TL: What advice or help do you offer to people regarding their profile page and photographs?
AF: At KidsCCP HQ we have an enthusiastic team who are always willing to offer bits of advice and guidance. If you have any doubt about which headshot is best or how credits should be listed on the site, just give us a call or drop us an email. Occasionally, we offer free extensive profile reviews or team up with leading photographers to give away studio sessions – so keep an eye out for that.
TL: What if I have no previous experience?
AF: If you’re yet to find that first credit, your first steps should be to ask around at your school or college and find out if any drama clubs exist, and to look online for evening or weekend drama schools in your area. For newcomers to the acting industry, there plenty of information online – and our Guides Page <http://www.kidsccp.com/uk/guides.php> is a good place to start!
TL: Why should I be on KidsCCP, if I already have an agent?
AF: KidsCCP rewards the proactive, by providing extra opportunities. A lot of the UK’s biggest agencies have a presence on our site, so it’s a good first port of call for employers who wish to choose from a number of suitable candidates. In short, it’s another chance to get noticed!
TL: If I don’t have an agent, how does an audition get arranged?
AF: After viewing your cover letter, an employer will be able to get in touch through the site. At this point, you can sort out a mutual time and location for castings online. All that's left to say from us is "good luck!".
Thanks to all at Totally Lit for chatting to us!
Site Manager Kids Casting Call Pro
This is our company Blog, re-capping previous weeks sessions.