Why Team J uses Rosters for its Casting

Posted on February 28, 2016 by admin

Many of you know that Team J helps other people cast their stories. Indeed, Stonehenge Casting, Team J’s online casting service, is a tool we use for our own casting.

Starting in 2016, we’re going to be using Stonehenge Casting extensively to create rosters: folders of actors who may be interested and available for certain types of projects for a particular time period. For example, we’ll probably be helping cast student films this spring, indie features this summer, and political ads this Fall.

We have hundreds and hundred of actors in our database — and not all of them are interested and available for all of these projects.

Although Team J advocates filmmakers starting their casting well in advance of production, we often get contacted to help cast projects when the shoot date is imminent. At the same time, the ‘seasons’ of what types of projects we’re asked to cast is not as unusual. Student films often cast in the Spring. Political ads focus in the Fall and even the summers in presidential election years. You get the idea.

Why are we doing these general calls? Quite simple: it works.

You’ll see this in other industries. Government contractors, something familiar in the DC area, will often put out job notices for positions they might have to fill. They’ve put a bid on a contract that will require database administrators, business analysts, or project managers. People will send in their resumes. These people often get interviews. Then, if said contractor wins the contract, they can staff up faster.

You’ll actually see this in the film and theater community as well. Guess what the Stonehenge Auditions and various other mass auditions are? We’re building up our roster of performers we might call in for various work.

Building rosters of potential hires is something you do when you employ free agents who work only on a given contract. And even if they get to work with the same theater or production company a lot, actors are pretty much free agents these days.

So we decided to use the power of Stonehenge Casting and its availability calendar to help us and help you.

When we know we have been or will be asked for a general type of project for a specific time period, we’re going to put out a general call to actors. If you’re interested in that type of work during that particular time period, you can put yourself higher on our radar.

Sure, we’d like to give you a greater lead time about a specific project. But we’ve found that doesn’t always work out.

FAQs about Rosters aka General Calls

Which casting notices should I submit for?
You can submit for one notice or all of them — depending on your interest. You’re basically pre-qualifying yourself as interested in a particular type of project with a certain pay range for a specific period of time.

When will I hear back from Team J?
You might not hear from us at all.

When we are casting a particular film, we may do a specific casting notice and ask you to submit for it — or we might just contact you and ask you to come in and audition.

But that’s all based on what roles the scripts call for and how well we think you fit said roles.

In Team J tradition, we will follow up with everyone who submitted at the end of the casting period whether or not they were cast.

Should I put these dates on ‘soft hold’?
Absolutely not.

By submitting to the notices above, you are not on hold, “first refusal,” or anything like that. Keep on looking for work as you see fit.

Team J creates these general calls to help us cast projects quicker by pre-qualifying actors who are interested and available. However, we haven’t offered you a job and you haven’t accepted. You’ve simply said you’d be up for this type of work for this time period. If something works out, great. If not, no worries.

What if you ask me to audition for a particular project and it’s not my thing?
Say no thanks.

By putting your virtual hat in the ring for these as-yet-undefined projects doesn’t mean you’re saying yes to audition or appear in any of them.

Some scripts may not be your thing. We’re establishing the general type of work, the general payscale, and specific time period.

What if my availability changes?
Please update your availability in your profile as soon as you know.

Note, we’d love you to keep your availability calendar up-to-date on Stonehenge Casting not just for this project, but for any project we or other producers are casting.

If you are not available because you’ve actually heeded our advice sought work in addition to this general casting notice, congrats! Feel free to submit to future general calls.

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That’s it. We know it’s going to help us find the right actors for projects faster. We’re sure it’s going to help some of you.

P.S. Some casting directors will also hold “generals” where actors can come in for a one-on-one talk and audition with said casting directors. Team J absolutely plans to do this in the future, but in the meantime, we’re using our site, Stonehenge Casting, to its maximum potential.