A voice is required for models and actors to communicate with the industry more effectively.

Dear clients, casting directors, production companies and agents,

This is my opinion that is also a reflection of many fellow professionals.

Firstly, we need a media platform that all industry related professionals can be a part of to communicate better.  I am unaware of any publication in print or any online media portal that is regularly read by models, actors, casting agents, model agents, acting agents, photographers, clients, advertising agencies and production companies.

We all need a combined voice to communicate with each other more effectively and help understand everyone’s opinion.

Currently, the modelling and acting industry is being driven into the ground with lower and lower fees, plus there is an increasing lack of respect and appreciation for those of us who attend casting calls. How many times have I gone to a casting to discover the casting director or client has requested 30-40 people for the same single role.  Yet they only want to pay an average of £300-£1500 for the job.  It costs a lot of money and time to traipse across London and many are now forced to live out of town due to low income.  The cost to attend castings for many is becoming prohibitive.

So for example, when it can cost me up to £50 to attend a single casting and my odds of getting the job are 1 in 30/40, you can see how I am going to be out of pocket by several hundred pounds after many castings before I am likely to land a job.  No one is doing the maths here and we are just expected to keep turning up to castings as if it is a privilege.

We need casting directors, clients and agents to me more selective prior to requesting people for castings and keep the odds more reasonable at 1 in 5 /10.  I once went to a casting for a Coca Cola shoot for a £1500 fee.  They required six characters, but called 600 models to the casting.  This has got to stop.  Requesting a casting for less than £1000 should be discouraged.  If you as a client don’t have the budget to pay for the best choice, then learn to select from folios/showreels and book direct through the agents.

At best, lets encourage more selfie castings or skype castings.  The industry has to adapt.  People who have dedicated themselves to being professional models and actors are being hit from both sides.  Clients want to pay peanuts for choice and now street casting is becoming more popular, so the odds are not great for keeping and nurturing talent in the industry.  Equity messed up and now we are all out in the cold without a voice.

Only 2% of professional models and actors earn more than £20,000 per year.

Harness and reward the professionals fairly or lose them and lose your product quality.

Jason Saunders

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