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Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have a question not addressed here or elsewhere on the site, please email us at email@example.com.
What is CSA?
The Casting Society of America is the premier organization of theatrical Casting Directors and Associates working in film, television, theatre and new media. The membership consists of more than 550 of the top Casting Directors and Associates working in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Africa. At our annual Artios Awards, CSA honors the work of its members who have shown extraordinary achievement and artistry in their work.
Is CSA a union?
CSA is not a union. It is a professional organization open to all Casting Directors and Casting Associates. Unionized Casting Directors and Casting Associates are organized under Teamster locals 399 in Los Angeles and 817 in New York. CSA and the Teamsters are two separate organizations and while cooperative do not have the same functions in the professional lives of Casting Directors and Associates.
I'm interested in membership in CSA. How do I join?
The Casting Society of America invites all Casting Directors and Associates who meet the eligibility requirements to join the world’s premier organization of casting professionals. To apply for membership, click on the 'Join' tab. There you will find the requirements for both Casting Director and Associate-level membership. If you qualify, simply fill out the online application completely. We will use the contact information you provide there to get in touch with you. Please apply online only.
Casting Director vs. Casting Agent
The correct term is Casting Director. Although the term 'Casting Agent' is frequently used incorrectly by those outside the business and in the media, it is not accurate. An Agent is defined as “a person or business authorized to act on another’s behalf.” In the Entertainment Industry a Talent Agent procures jobs and negotiates deals on an actor’s behalf. For this service they receive a fee usually based on a percentage of the actor’s wages.
Casting Directors are hired by Studios, Networks or Production Companies and are employed to present actors for consideration. Casting Directors also negotiate, on behalf of those companies, the deals to hire the actors selected. Casting Directors and Casting Associates do not represent actors or receive any fees from the actors they present for hire.
I have a project and I'm looking to hire a Casting Director. Where do I start?
You can search for a CSA member by clicking on the 'Find a Member' search in the upper right of the screen or go to the 'Find a Member' page. If they've made their contact information public it will come up in the search. If they have not, the CSA cannot release it to you. However, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with all the information regarding your project and we will be happy to forward it on to the the casting director you are seeking.
If you would like to post a project click on the 'Post a Project' link in the 'Producers' tab. An email will be sent to CSA members interested in receiving notices about your project. If interested, the Casting Director will contact you, using the information you provide when you register your project.
How do I get into casting?
The most common path into casting begins with a job as a Casting Assistant. A Casting Assistant is an entry-level job in casting. Qualified assistants are responsible for answering phones and emails, sorting mail and submissions of head shots and resumes, setting up casting sessions, getting audition materials to the websites which actors access, preparing and filing actor audition sign in sheets and basically administering to the clerical functions of a casting office.
Some assistants will also be required to assist in casting sessions and run camera, note the auditions and post auditions to websites for distribution to those who make the final casting decisions. If you are seeking a job as a Casting Assistant it is important to have good people and phone skills, be efficient at typing and have highly developed computer skills.
At this time Casting Assistants are not eligible for membership in CSA and they are not covered under the Union Teamster Contract. For a fuller explanation, and to register to receive relevant emails about job postings, click on the ‘Getting into Casting’ tab on the ‘Join’ page.
I'm an actor. How do I get an Agent?
CSA is not a resource for actors seeking representation. However, the SAG-AFTRA Agency Relations page provides a search feature. There are a number of websites and reference books which provide resources and information for actors seeking representation.
I'm the parent of a child actor. How do we get an Agent?
As with adult actors, CSA does NOT provide referrals to Agents. However, the SAG-AFTRA Agency Relations page provides a search feature. And the Children in Film website also has information about children working in the entertainment industry.
Note: If you’re interested in getting your child involved in acting professionally, remember that a legitimate agent will never charge a fee, but will only take a 10% commission on jobs that your child actually books. Occasionally there are unscrupulous individuals who will take advantage of unsuspecting parents, so be sure to protect yourself by being cautious and well-informed.