What is Casting in Acting ? – What Actors Need to Know

What is Casting ?

Casting is the process of finding actors for a particular production.

This involves actors and actresses filling the roles in a movie, commercial, TV show, or play.

The main aim of casting is to find the right person to tell a story. If you tell the story in a compelling way, you’ll likely get cast.

This can be done by working on the key story elements, finding the emotional core, and polishing your story until you get it right.

Why Is Casting Important?

Casting is the most important part of filmmaking. It is the process of finding and hiring actors, models, voice actors and other people to play the parts in a movie or television show.

It also helps the production team to choose the best actors for their roles and get a better understanding of what their audience wants.

Casting is also a difficult and time-consuming process.

It requires a lot of work from both the director and production team in order to find talent that fits their vision for their films or TV shows.

Cast Types 

Leading actor/actress: It is the largest role. Here he or she is the main protagonist in the film production. 

Ensemble Cast: Comprises multiple principal actors and performers who are typically assigned roughly equal amounts of screen time. 

An example of this would be the hit TV show Friends. Try to picture Friends in your mind minus one of the 6 characters and you’ll get the idea.

Supporting actor:  is an actor that performs a role in a play or film that has a substantial part in the development of the story and relationship with the lead actor(s).

Cameo appearance: A cameo is usually a guest appearance that is not listed in the list of actors. 

By getting a well-known person to appear only for a short time brings the value (both aesthetically and economically) of the whole film up.

Examples would be:  When Brad Pitt appeared in an episode of Friends and Brad Pitt in Deadpool 2.  

The Casting Process 

Black and white image - 2 women and 3 men about to shoot a scene

Entertainers are hired by casting directors. 

Usually, there are 2 types of casting directors on every project : 

  1. Principal casting director 
  2. Background casting director 

The casting process involves multiple auditions.

An audition is used in the casting process to show the level, depth, and range of a performer’s abilities/talent. 

A casting panel consists of ( theatrical production ) :

  • Theatrical producer
  • Theater Director 
  • Casting director 

A casting panel consists of ( TV/Film production ) :

  • Television producer
  • Film producer
  • Film director 
  • Choreographer 
  • Casting director 

Online casting process 

Step 1: Create a free account on one of the casting websites (discussed below). 

Step 2: Create your breakdown, many things are involved in this step like :

  • Project Name
  • Union Status
  • Synopsis
  • Institution
  • Shoot/Performance Details
  • City

Step 3: Add your characters 

  • Role Name
  • Role Rate
  • Role Type
  • Role Gender

Step 4: Your project will now be live  Your Breakdown is now active and up for the world to see!

  • You may go through several casting calls before receiving a part. 
  • The one thing you should do is, be prepared and arrive to perform to the best of your abilities.
  • Don’t forget to bring your resume and portfolios. 
  • If you want to know how to get the role you are auditioning for, check out our other blog.

What is a Casting Director ? 

3 women and 3 men on stage reading their script

Casting directors play an essential role in entertainment and serve as a middle man/woman between actors and producers.

CDs don’t hold auditions; they offer insights to both the production as well as the actor side of the equation, especially with regard to performance, skill, and character development.

How a Casting Director Works

question mark on a piece of paper

“What makes a good casting director is having a good memory, having a lot of patience and having an actual real interest and love of actors and wanting to know what it is about them that makes them good.” – Nina Gold

Casting directors start by meeting with producers, directors, and writers. 

Then read the required notes/scripts. 

After this, they meet up with the actors and hold auditions. 

Once the casting director narrows down the top candidates, they send their information to directors and producers.

Casting office personnel

  • Readers
  • Interns
  • Casting Assistants
  • Casting Associates
  • Casting Director

What is important while casting

  • Trust 
  • Actors listening skills 
  • Actors co-operation 
  • Looking the part 
  • Confidence 
  • Script readability 

The Best Free Casting Websites

1.  Project Casting – Casting Calls, Auditions, Jobs, and More!

They pride themselves as “ The Professional Network for the Entertainment Industry ”.

You can find the latest movie casting calls, TV auditions, Modeling jobs, acting opportunities, acting tips, and entertainment news here.

2. Backstage | Auditions, Casting Calls, Jobs, Talent Seeking,   Advice

Founded in 1960.

Backstage is the worlds leading resource for actors and performers world wide.

As one of the largest casting services,

Backstage is the premier resource for all your professional casting needs. With a vast number of roles, you can easily land auditions that fit your skill set and schedule today!

3.  StarNow: Acting auditions, model jobs, music & extras casting

Star now has been helping people land agents, get jobs and gain industry experience for over a decade!

Thousands of actors have already signed up for their service.

If you need help finding your next role, applying for a position in an industry, or even just getting some acting experience – sign-up today and find the right job!

Download the ios app here.

4. actors access

Actors Access is  an important website for maintaining actors profiles by uploading and maintaining headshots, updating their résumé, adding new skills and attributes, managing performance videos, and more, all online.

Casting Directors are always looking for new talent, and new actors or actresses who are looking for their big break can now use actors access’s services as a resource to find agencies and casting directors that match their skill set.

They are dedicated to:

  • Educating and encouraging actors and filmmakers at every stage of their career
  • Supporting events and symposiums across North America.

5. Casting Frontier: Auditions & Casting Calls | Casting Talent

Casting Frontier provides an easy to use the platform to find, audition, & book top acting talent.

Casting Frontier has the largest talent databases and casting call listing service in the U.S. 

With Casting Frontier, you can easily find, audition, and book top acting talent in the U.S.

The company also provides a database of high-quality headshots for actors to use for their auditions with their profile pictures prominently displayed on Casting Frontier’s website.

6. All Casting

AllCasting is one of the world’s leading casting website. It connects talent and casting professionals in minutes using their unique technology and features.

On the platform you can view 1,000s of jobs in your area and choose to apply or book your next job. No matter your size, ethnicity, age, looks or experience.

7. Casting Networks | The right actor. The right part

With so many opportunities for commercial work, it can be difficult to find the right match.

This is where this website comes in handy.

This is a database of thousands of casting calls and opportunities from film, television and theater companies.

Browse through the listings by location, type, or date and get right right now!

More than a million performers have used Casting Networks to schedule 14 million auditions since 2002.

8. Cast Caller

Castcaller is a platform that connects actors and models with casting directors and agents.

Their platform helps their clients create a portfolio of photos, videos, auditions, demos and resumes, and connect them to casting directors, agencies, film production companies, and more.

9. www.nycastings.com

NYCastings is one of the major established casting networks and has been in business for over 20 years.

They cast Actors, Models, Dancers, Singers, Voice-Over Artists and live Acts all over the industries hot-spots.

NYCastings is a Casting Breakdown Service used by Castings Directors, Producers & Content Creators to Cast SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity Association & Non-Union Talent. 

10. The Mandy Network | Jobs for actors, performers, filmmakers and production crew

Mandy is known for being; the largest, most diverse creative community for actors, film and TV crew and other professionals across many different areas.

With over 6,500 new auditions and production jobs posted every month, the Mandy Network provides industry-leading tools which empower creative professionals like you to connect and find jobs across all sectors of Film, TV, Theatre and Commercial Production.


Casting is the most important part of filmmaking.

It is the process of finding and hiring actors, models, voice actors, and other people to play the parts in a movie or television show.

An audition is used in the casting process to show the level, depth, and range of a performer’s abilities/talent. 

If you need help finding your next role, applying for a position in an industry, or even just getting some acting experience – sign-up to one of the above casting websites and find the right role for you!

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