What: Backstage offers to help members find acting and voice-over work, but you pay to join and jobs are not guaranteed. 

Expected pay: none

Husl$core: $$$

Commissions & fees: $12.50 per month

Where: National

Requirements: None listed

Backstage Review:

Like Explore Talent, Backstage says that it will help you find acting jobs. But to apply for positions, you’ve got to pay for a monthly subscription and there is no guarantee that you’ll get work.

On the bright side, Backstage is a respected industry publication that publishes free job listings. And, if you want to apply through the site’s subscription plan, they at least charge less than Explore Talent. Be aware, however, that if you sign up for a monthly plan, it will auto renew — possibly without notice — and there are no refunds. The site says it emails subscribers about pending renewals of 6-month and one-year subscriptions in advance.

Fees

Backstage fees amount to $12.50 per month or $150 per year. But this price is frequently discounted. Recently, the site was advertising a rate of $75 a year for the annual subscription. (Monthly subscriptions cost twice as much.)

Non-union & student productions

The site appears to offer mainly non-union work and casting calls for student productions. So this is not the site for seasoned pros. Of course, seasoned pros are likely to have agents, and probably aren’t trolling casting sites anyway. And, if you’re just trying to break into the industry, Backstage will send you dozens of job alerts each week for roughly the same cost as a Spotify membership.

Recommendations:

If you’re serious about acting, you should also consider Actor’s Access, which has a free sign up and profile process. That site will also try to sell you a premium subscription but it’s not required. (More on that on the Actors Access page.)

You can also list your acting and voice-over services on Fiverr, which has a surprisingly good record with finding work for many thespians. With Fiverr, you list for free, set your own terms and prices and only pay a commission to the site when someone books you for a gig.

You can also search for jobs at Playbill, which operates a free job board. And hire an agent.

Want to try Backstage?

Here’s a direct link to sign up

What their users say:

“Seems geared toward the beginner or those willing to work for free. Little value to the working or semi working professional. Further, in an industry clearly defined by Union, Non, Theatre, Film, TV, Commercial, etc., this site is awfully vague and offers little in the way of filtering unwanted material.”

“Backstage has furnished a plethora of VO jobs, but their range of jobs offered is too wide. I’m an 86-year old man, and my voice can pass for 45 years up, but I get constant calls for women, children etc. I spend at least an hour a day searching through leads that simply do not fit my voice. Then Backstage shows me a disclaimer saying my age range (45-86) does not meet the requirement of the VO submitted. They should apply the parameters more closely to mine.”

“I thought it had a lot of great auditions and submissions but never got any response back about anything. I felt like I was just a small fish in a large pond. 

“How desperate does this site have to be to post theme park auditions? I can see details and time of auditions for free if I just go to that theme parks web site? This isn’t professional at all if they’re showing us auditions that do not require their subscription fees for us to find. No one should ever have to pay to look for casting calls, it’s like looking for a job. This is just another scam talent agency trying to rob money out of those that don’t know how the acting/entertainment industry works.”

“You’ll find this to be huge waste of time, some of the listings are fake, and they will go away/be filled weeks before the date ends – actually conveniently after you apply. Don’t bother! Get a good agent, and do it the right way. NO FAMOUS PEOPLE USED THIS TO GET ANY NOTABLE ACTING JOB!”

Updated 10/27/2021

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