Today Samantha and Jen talk about what they’ve learned from casting. We’re still accepting submissions on Backstage and on until mid March!

Where to cast online, and how to save $$ doing it

  • You can get coupons from Backstage to put free (depending on your project) and discounted casting calls on there! Sign up for their mailing list, and they might send you one!
  • There are a bunch of other casting websites to choose from, including We’ve got a list of casting resources for you in our free Indie Film Booklet, here (!

How to stand out as an actor

  • Actors: having a talent or skill that stands out makes you stand out! Breakdancing! Hebrew! Whoa!
  • Actors: we learned as casting directors we liked you better when you included a note or cover letter. Wouldn’t you include a cover letter when you applied for any job? Also, wouldn’t you spell check it???
  • Actors: make the casting director afraid not to cast you. From what we’ve seen so far, anyway, that’s a good strategy. Be so awesome, and tell a story with your package, with a consistent theme, so that the casting director is afraid to miss out on you. If your pictures and reels set the same mood, and create a character, that’s so cool!

Standing out in a bad way

  • Caveat to the above: don’t start asking about money in your cover letter/cover note! It makes it seem like you’re not really into the film at all, and it doesn’t get us excited about you. Ask about that after the audition, because once you’re in, you can always say no!
    “You should never ask about money in the first job interview. Let someone else bring it up.” as Samantha says.
  • Actors: we think casting directors like you better when you follow directions! This is a job application. If we asked for a reel, we’d like to see a reel! And even a video of you delivering a monologue in front of a camera is better than no video at all as long as you’re fun and charming!
  • For actors, you have a better shot when you fit the criteria being asked for. We were asking for a dress size 6 and above Black woman, and a preferably Korean-descent Asian-American male. So when skinny dress size 0s apply, that’s going to be an instant no. We also had white women applying for our Black role?! You were all lovely, but not what we were asking for!
  • Managers! When your manager submits for you instead, make sure they say something about you! We don’t care about you, manager, so don’t talk about yourself, talk about your client! And don’t submit several clients to the same casting call without telling me about the clients! I’m not going to consider these people without a resume or a reel or something.

Sam killed Jen? Jen has arm-wings? 16:40

Casting is hard

  • We hate the judgy-judgy thing of casting. It sucks that bodies are a thing when it comes to evaluating your suitability. Casting directors must be horrible people to want to do this as a full time job, j/k j/k.
  • If you want to learn more about holding (or acing) auditions, directing actors, or casting in general, you can take a USC class by Nina Fochs on Udemy. It’s produced by George Lucas, so you know it’s legit. Use our Honey code to get up to $15 off.  One of the things Nina Fochs mentions in that class is that being an actor is so difficult because you have no control over so much of what you’re judged on: your appearance. Casting directors should be aware of that and approach it with sensitivity.

Representation starts with casting directors!

  • Casting across races means you’re going to see age and type differently. You might need to consult with people of other races while you’re casting. Case in point: to Samantha, a lot of these Asian guys look really young. To Jen, who has Japanese family, they look older. And Jen does the opposite with Black people, seeing some of our Lashonda candidates as younger than they are. Which is why casting director diversity is important! We need different eyes to see people differently!

Thank you, and don’t believe the hype!

  • Finally, we were deeply touched to receive so many talented submissions. We have received over 220 applications for our little film from amazing Black and Asian actresses and actors, and we want you to know we see you. We know you’re real. We know it’s a LIE when Hollywood says movies about you don’t sell, and you are our evidence from experience that yes, there are enough Black and Asian talents out there to make new movies happen. Yes, you do want to get into film, and yes, you are willing to work to get there, and we need to start breaking down the walls and the stupid excuses that are stopping that from happening.


We appreciate you, and we’re going to keep fighting for you.
Thank-you for coming along with us on this amazing ride.


Looking for a representation-friendly romance to check out?

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