Do’s and Don’ts for Optimizing Your Online Profile

MAY 10, 2021
A woman with a green check mark and a man wearing sunglasses with a red x.
Example of a good profile photo (left) | Example of a poor profile photo (right)

Now that you’ve had time to familiarize yourself with your online profile, we want you to know what we look for in the type of information you add and how to use your profile photos to your advantage.

If you haven’t already, the first step is to claim your online profile. It’s easy, just select the “log in” button in our website menu and choose the “claim profile” option. Claiming not only gives you the ability to update your appearance details, but prepares you for future features that require a login. At Central Casting, integrity of information is extremely important. Not only can updating your profile help you show up in searches for roles you fit, but it gives Casting Directors confidence that they are booking using your current information.

Do add your playing age

When booking for a certain age range, Casting Directors will look at your photos to determine if you can portray that age. You can ensure you show up in searches for specific portrayable age groups by filling out the “playing age” field in your online profile. Please be honest when choosing your playing age and ask someone you trust to help you figure it out if you’re not sure. It’s important to be realistic about your look, Casting Directors will still look at your photos to determine if you can portray a role.

If you do not select an age range, you will not show up in searches for portrayable age. A playing age does not lock you in to roles only in that range, but is another tool for Casting Directors when they’re booking specific looks.

To add or update your playing age, select the “key information” section of your online profile and scroll to the “playing age” drop down.

Do add as much vehicle information as possible

If you’re willing to work with your vehicle and have it insured, then there’s a chance you could get cast with it. We book all kinds of cars, from modern styles in good condition to older models that have seen better days. To add vehicles to your profile, go to the “vehicles you own” section and include as much information about your car/truck/motorcycle/etc. as you can. More makes and models will be added to the platform, but if you don’t see your vehicle’s specifics, skip those fields and at least select the type, color, and year.

When adding photos of vehicles to your online profile, please only upload photos of your actual car, not dealership or ad photos. If possible, take pictures at an angle where the front and side of your vehicle are clearly visible.

Do upload quality current photos

When it comes to adding pictures to your online profile, quality is key. The main photo in your profile will always be the headshot you took at your Central Casting office. Since Re-Registration and Updates have been suspended due to COVID-19, we know it’s likely these photos no longer represent your current look. That’s why we recommend adding photos that represent what you look like now. Casting Directors look at these additional photos to determine if you fit the requirements of a role.

What makes a good profile photo:

  • Only features you and includes your face
  • Is well lit and in focus
  • Taken against a white or solid background (if possible)
  • Unaltered/unfiltered
  • Reflect your current look
Three examples of good profile photos.
Examples of good profile photos

Types of photos that will not help you get booked:

  • Photos where your face and hair are obscured (eyeglasses are ok, sunglasses are not)
  • Pictures with Instagram, Snapchat, or other filters
  • Photos that have been edited or altered
  • Images with other people
  • Dark or blurry pictures
Three examples of poor profile photos.
Examples of photos that will not help you get booked

Do add unique and distinct photos

Photos of you in unique looks, specialty wardrobe, and costumes are a great opportunity to show off the different types of roles you can portray. These photos should follow the same guidelines as your current look pictures and should only include wardrobe you own and have access to. But what if you were dressed by production on a period project and want to add a photo to show you can portray that look? First, you should never take photos on set. Second, you do not own wardrobe provided by production and would not be able to show up to set with that exact look, so these types of photos should not be added to your profile.

Don’t add multiple photos of the same look

Having access to your online profile and the ability to upload photos is exciting, but keep in mind it’s a tool Casting Directors use when considering you for work. When thinking about which photos to add, quality over quantity is always a good place to start. For example, you may have five really great formal outfits, but you do not need to upload photos in each outfit. Pick one and take a well-lit photo of yourself to represent all your formal looks.

If you’re looking for an optimal number of profile photos, you should always have a current headshot, full body shot, and a variety of unique looks. Keeping your profile to 20 or less total photos shows you are a professional Background Actor. More than that will only clutter your profile.

Don’t edit or alter your photos

Accuracy in your photos is extremely important to Central Casting. Pictures you upload must be of you and must accurately reflect what you look like. Editing or altering your photos in any way (ex: smoothing wrinkles, removing tattoos, changing body type, etc.) is not permitted.

Casting Directors use your pictures when booking; inaccurate portrayals of your look cannot be sent to production or used to determine if you fit a role. You will be expected to show up to set with the same look as the photos in your online profile.

Don’t skip your availability calendar

Your online avail calendar is a useful tool to let Central Casting know when you are available and interested in background work. Filling out and managing your calendar is simple. Just tap a date once to turn green for avail and tap twice to turn red for unavailable. Be sure to read our guide How to Manage Your Online Availability Calendar for best practices on how to use this feature.

Don’t forget to update your sizes and info

Now that you can log in to your profile whenever you choose, it’s your responsibility to keep your information up to date. If your appearance, sizes, contact information, vehicles, or any other details change, be sure to update your profile so Casting Directors can consider you for the right types of roles.

For more tips on how to be a professional Background Actor and get booked by Central Casting, check out First Avail: Everything You Need to Know and How to Determine Your Look.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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