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Hi I'm Emily Maguire

I'm a UK career coach and business coach for individuals in the creative and entertainment industries and passionate about helping people achieve their career goals. I'm also a top voice on LinkedIn for the Film Industry and a podcast producer and host.

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Emily Maguire UK Career Coach and Business Coach for the arts, creative and entertainment industry

A Guide to 6 UK and Ireland Casting Websites to Find Acting Auditions

Updated: May 18

An overview of 6 of UK and Ireland's most popular casting call websites that actors can use to find acting auditions and work.

uk online actors finding People auditioning for a production
 

Starting Out as an Actor


Starting out as a new actor can be daunting, especially with the multitude of information out there. Some of you will have an agent to help you find acting work, and some will be going it alone. But you will undoubtedly all ask yourself the same question: What else can I do to find auditions and paid acting work?


While that question has many answers, this blog post focuses on six popular casting call websites that casting directors, producers and production companies use to find acting talent.


Remember that at any one time, 90% of actors are out of work at the same time. That means there are fewer jobs than the number of actors applying for them, so it's essential that your self-tapes, headshots and showreels are top-notch for any productions you audition for!


Read the blog post, Actor Mentoring: Career Advice and Guidance for Actors, for tips on self-taping and creating the perfect CV and cover letter.



Below is a list of 6 UK and Ireland casting websites to help you on your acting journey. I've included the costs, features and my thoughts on each.


*Please note that all descriptions and details are taken directly from the company's website, and you are advised to use your due diligence before paying or joining any. No endorsement is intended or should be inferred from being listed below.*


find acting talent - screenshot of Spotlight website homepage

1: SPOTLIGHT


Cost: From £172.50 per year or pay £15.60 per month. *Membership discounts are available to deaf, disabled and neurodivergent performers.*


Membership Criteria: To join, you will need professional experience, training, or a professional recommendation. Performers can find more details of their membership joining criteria here.


Description: "Known across Europe as the most prestigious casting platform in the industry, Spotlight connects you with the casting professionals and roles to help you have a successful career. As a member of Spotlight, people within the industry recognise that you have the skills and experience to make it as a professional performer. You’ll get access to exciting acting opportunities and benefit from discounts and continued development as a performer."


Features: Castings for a range of projects in the U.K., Europe and beyond. You'll create a CV with your stats (such as height and appearance), credits, and skills and can upload your headshots, showreels, and voice clips.


You'll also get access to the Spotlight link board to apply for casting breakdowns. As an actor, you only see a selected number of jobs, typically commercials, theatre, and corporate, and agents are privy to a more significant number of castings, including private lists that only select agencies can access.


As a member, you can also access various discounts, including lifestyle and insurance, and gain access to Spotlight events, which include Open Houses events across the U.K.


Reflections Thoughts: Spotlight offers auditions in London, Manchester and other major cities, including Europe and beyond. Make sure to fill out as much as possible on your CV, but only include your proficient skills. Casting professionals use the search function to find talent matching specific skills and geographical locations when casting productions. You will also find that some agencies prefer you to be on Spotlight when considering you for representation.




casting websites uk - screenshot of Dramanic website homepage

2: DRAMANIC


Cost: Subscriptions start with a two-week free trial. Then the following subscription rates apply:

  • Cheapest - £116.99 for 12 months

  • Affordable - £65.99 for 6 months

  • Popular - £40.99 for 3 months

  • Taster - £14.99 for 1 month


Membership Criteria: Dramanic is only suitable for professionally trained and working actors.


Description: "Dramanic is about discovering opportunities for actors through news and information. If you are looking for a UK casting website with casting calls and auditions information for London and regional theatre, Dramanic is the place for you. Dramanic, launched in 2011, is a leading and unique UK casting and audition information website for the professional working actor, to find work opportunities at theatre companies throughout the UK."


Features: As a subscribing member, you get access to a casting calendar which shows you well in advance which theatre companies are casting so you can submit your CV to productions early. You also access a comprehensive database of contact details for UK actor agents and casting directors.


The Self-employed tax guide for actors helps you record all your income and expenses in one place and alerts you on how much to save towards your tax bill and of relevant HMRC deadlines.


Reflections Thoughts: If you predominantly work in theatre and seek theatre work, Dramanic could be the place for you. The casting calendar is easy to use, and the self-employed tax guide will be a welcome feature for some. With a 1-month free trial, you have nothing to lose in deciding if Dramanic suits your needs.




acting jobs ireland - screenshot of Fishpond website homepage

3: FISHPOND


Cost: Fishpond has different levels of membership.

  • Basic: Register to display your CV free of charge and access low-paid work.

  • Adult: 1-month free trial, after which it's €15 a month for a full 12-months membership.

Membership Criteria: There are no joining criteria.


Description: "It was back in 2007 when Ali Coffey, working as a casting director, longed for one place where she could find the acting talent in Ireland... So she sat down at the kitchen table, drew up some plans, found some techie folks and set about building Ireland's first casting directory, Fishpond. Fishpond 1, the prototype, launched in September 2008 and was warmly welcomed by actors, agents, and all those casting acting talent in Ireland. Since then, it has gathered momentum and indeed size every year."


Features: You can create your own profile page, which is self-managed. Here you can upload showreels, audio files and headshots. Browse and apply for jobs and be visible to over 1000 casting professionals in Ireland and beyond. You will also gain access to using Fishpond's auditioncam® technology for taping and uploading auditions.


Reflections Thoughts: Fishpond is an excellent site for those seeking increased visibility in the Ireland market. They cast a vast range of projects, from commercials to high-profile feature films and television shows. When represented, all inquiries are directed to your agent, who submits you for appropriate roles, and casting can reach out directly to offer you auditions. For those of you who are outside of Ireland and can work local hire, you may wish to join Fishpond to extend your reach into the Ireland market.





acting jobs uk - screenshot of The Mandy Network website homepage

4: THE MANDY NETWORK


Cost: Finding the cost for membership is not an easy find. It seems that you create a profile for free, and once complete, you are then offered the premium membership options.


However, upon emailing support, I was informed that Actors UK's current monthly subscription fee is £17 (excluding VAT), and the annual subscription is £130 (excluding VAT). As always, it's advisable to double-check the prices before subscribing.


Membership Criteria: There are no joining criteria.


Description: Mandy was first launched in 1996 as an online directory for finding work in film and television. Mandy says: "We are the world’s largest creative community of actors, film and TV crew, theatre professionals, child actors, voiceover artists, dancers, singers, musicians, models and extras. We empower professionals to find work in TV studios, on movie sets, in training institutions, events, concert halls, theatre companies and art collectives... We champion professionals as they take control of their careers and introduce producers, casting directors and HR managers to the best talent for their projects."


Features:

  • Standard: A free listing in their directory of professionals and full access to the opportunities board, which is predominantly unpaid work.

  • Premium: Gets you access to an enhanced profile, allowing you to upload unlimited photos and files and achieve a boosted position when companies search for talent. You'll also get access to a paid jobs board.


Reflections Thoughts: Mandy has a range of projects available; some are duplicated on other sites. With a premium membership, you can access paid jobs; however, these tend to be a significant amount of low-budget shorts, feature films, independent productions, commercials and corporate work. However, just one paid job could cover your premium membership, and some actors do use Mandy to get experience, showreel material, fill out their CVs and get some filler jobs towards their monthly income.


As per the membership rates, it's unclear, but it seems that performers are offered a 1-month free trial before committing to any premium subscriptions. If so, you may consider signing up to experience the full range The Mandy Network offers.




film roles and TV jobs - screenshot of Backstage website homepage

5:BACKSTAGE


Cost: Backstage has an annual lump-sum debit fee of £84.99, a six-month fee of £49.99, or a monthly cost of £14.99. They also frequently offer subscriber discounts for those paying annually and bi-annually; promo codes can be found online to reduce the fee further.


Membership Criteria: There are no joining criteria.


Description: “For over 60 years, Backstage has been the most trusted place for actors and performers to find jobs and career advice and for casting professionals and talent seekers to find the right performers for their projects. Today, the company has grown to include the StarNow brand. Thousands of roles are posted every week on the sites, and there are 250,000+ members building their careers on the platforms. Our services are prevalent within the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. While the same company owns Backstage and StarNow, they are unique communities with different job opportunities and talent databases. Having memberships to both platforms will give you access to the most job opportunities and increase your visibility to casting directors and employers.”


Features: With a Backstage membership, you can apply to all the latest casting calls and create a customisable profile which allows you to upload unlimited media, including showreels and voice demos, add skills, credits and attributes and become discoverable by industry professionals who can message you directly. You will also get instant Job Alerts to ensure you take advantage of every suitable opportunity. Backstage is ideal for actors, models, voice artists and influencers.


Reflections Thoughts: You can access and view the job board without paying a premium subscription and find a range of low-paid and unpaid work. You can filter the search to 'paid' only, and paid work is a mix of castings for commercials, extras work, short films, voice-overs, and independent feature films. As per The Mandy Network, Backstage could be helpful to those seeking to build their portfolios and gain onset experience.


film auditions uk - screenshot of Starnow uk website homepage

6: STARNOW


Cost: Bi-annual at £59.99; 3 months at £16.99 per month; or monthly at £18.99 per month.


Membership Criteria: There are no joining criteria.


Description: Founded in 2004 "StarNow receive thousands of roles each week covering every type of project, casting all across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, and New Zealand. A team of casting experts reviews each casting notice posted to ensure the quality and legitimacy of the project, and to quickly reject any illegitimate listings. No other casting service takes the steps we do to protect performers. We take the safety and privacy of our members seriously, with the customer success team always available to respond to any questions or issues you may have on your journey as a performer. Backstage and StarNow are owned by the same company, but are unique communities with different job opportunities and talent databases."


Features: As a member, you can access a range of paid auditions, jobs to submit yourself to, and a listing in the talent database; this gives you visibility to casting professionals who can reach out and message you directly. The new 'navigation panel' allows you to easily keep track of roles you have submitted to and those you have invites and auditions for. With a fully completed profile, StarNow will show you which new roles match your profile criteria. You can also narrow your search by age, location, and specific role categories.


Reflections Thoughts: As per Backstage, you can access the jobs board without paying, which enables you to review before subscribing. Filtering down to 'paid' only, I happily found a range of roles for commercials, feature films, documentaries, music videos, modelling, corporate and short films, some even offering Equity rates. StarNow may be a great source of work for those performers starting to build their portfolios. While searching, some top casting directors and production companies could also be found casting, so even those with experience could find it a valuable source of employment.



Final Thoughts


That gives you a broad overview of the casting sites that are out there in the UK and Ireland.


As always, please remember to stay safe and double-check the legitimacy of listings, especially before attending in person for auditions or work. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can also visit Equity for more advice on staying audition safe here.


You can also follow me on LinkedIn, where I share and repost industry-related news and jobs.

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