FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I get seen by Wright/Laird Casting?
If you have a head shot & resume, follow the instruction on the Submission page. If you don't, you can still be considered for projects by submitting photos and information about yourself. Please follow carefully the instructions on the Submission page.
As a rule, we do not do general interviews - specifically for the purpose of meeting new talent. We keep your pictures on file and if you are right for a job, you will be contacted for an audition. Also, once you get an agent they will be proactive about getting you in front of us.
How do I or my child get started as talent?
Reading about the business of being an actor or model is strongly encouraged. Most books are published about Los Angeles or New York, but the same principles apply in a smaller market like Kansas City. Ultimately you will want a talent agent for representation, you will need professional head shots and/or a comp card, and you will need training, all of which you can find here in Kansas City. By researching and reading about working in the entertainment and advertising industries, you will be armed with the right questions to ask as you move forward. Keep in mind, it is not a casting director's or agent's job to tell you how to do this. That's where your research and training come in.
What is an Agent? What is a Casting Director?
That's a good question and one that often confuses new talent. A TALENT AGENT works for you to get you acting or modeling jobs. Your agent will tell you what you need in the way of pictures, resumes, comp cards, demos, etc. in order for them to market you most effectively to potential clients. CLIENTS can be production companies, producers, photographers, ad agencies, casting directors, and sometimes the actual client, the company who is buying the advertising or video like a local car dealership or a company like Garmin or Hallmark where they have their own in-house production facility.
A CASTING DIRECTOR is hired by the producer to organize the process of finding talent for a particular job. The casting director works with the talent agencies from which talent are requested to attend a casting session. A casting director will only contact you directly if you do not have representation but in general it's better to have an agent. Casting directors only work on the larger, bigger budget projects. Smaller jobs go directly to the talent agencies (like Hallmark). If you have an agent, you will be considered for all of the jobs. A common misunderstanding is that casting directors choose the actors or models for a job. We do not - that is what the director, producer, and client do. We filter through the talent pool to select who is invited to the casting session.
Should I have to pay to see a casting director?
No legitimate casting director will charge for you to attend a casting session or get a job. The Casting Society of America is VERY clear on this rule and I am a CSA member. Casting directors are paid by the producer and work for them. However, sometimes casting directors offer workshops and they can be very informative. Since the casting director works closely with the directors and producers every day, they have a clear idea of what talent should do (and not do) and can help them be their best at auditions. In any market, your agent or others may well encourage you to sign up for a workshop with a casting director. It is NOT a requirement, and will not insure you an invitation to a casting session or job in the future. It is simply one of many educational opportunities that can help you advance in the industry. When I moved to Los Angeles as an actor in the 80's, the first workshop I took was with a commercial casting director and it was an eye-opening experience!
Should I have to pay to get an agent?
No, and yes. Anyone who asks you to pay them up front to represent you is not an agent. Talent agencies make their money on a commission collected from the work you do. HOWEVER, the things that you will need to move forward in this business do cost money and sometimes you will be getting those things from your agent. This is especially common in smaller markets where agents wear multiple hats and serve additional functions besides just representing you. Your agent may set up your photo sessions, offer training, require you to pay for your photo upload to their web site, etc. Some agencies take talent to industry conventions. All of these things cost money and you may be writing checks to your agent for them. If you have questions about the legitimacy of a talent agency in Kansas City, just Google them. It's pretty easy to figure out if a place has a bad reputation. If you are still unsure, email me at email@example.com and I will confirm if the agency is one of the 10 that I do business with in Kansas City. I will not "recommend" a specific agent for you, but I will tell you if I work with them or not.
Where can I (or my child) get training?
At Wright/Laird Casting, we teach workshops for adults and children periodically throughout the year (see the Workshops page for more information). You can join our Wright/Laird Casting Facebook group page for timely notifications of upcoming workshops.
Some of the talent agencies offer classes. Other places to consider for workshops are:
The professional theatres in Kansas City often offer workshops. You'll need to reach out to them for information: The Coterie, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, The New Theatre, Theatre for Young America, to name just a few. Local community centers, arts centers or community theatres often offer acting classes, especially during the summer.
For the Filmmaker & Film Student
If you have a project that is funded, I am happy to read your script and provide you with an estimate for casting services. For student projects, or films that do not have the budget to support hiring a casting director, I am happy to post your casting notice on my Facebook page. We have more than 2,000 members and most are in the business or want to get involved. And my members are great about sharing the posts so the word can really get out. If you are sending me your notice, please keep it short and to the point. List the title of the project, shoot dates, pay (if any) or indicate that there is no compensation, brief synopsis, and a general range of ages, genders, and races (if applicable) for the roles. Include either a link or email for more information. You can post this on the Wright/Laird Casting Facebook group page and then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org requesting that I approve the post. You can look at other posts on the site for examples.