Backstage offers a subscription service to alert actors to casting calls and other work
Expected pay: Varies widely
Commissions & fees: 0 – $150 per year
Like Explore Talent, Backstage says that it will help you find acting jobs. But none of the jobs you’ll find here are unique to the site. It simply passes on notices about casting calls that you might find with dozens of other casting services.
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If you don’t have an agent, nor the time to check various casting services regularly, you can sign up to get a free daily email from Backstage. But to apply for positions, you’ve got to pay for a monthly subscription and there is no guarantee that you’ll get work.
The good news
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. Click here to sign up.
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 many non-union jobs and casting calls for student productions, too. 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.
If you have some experience in film or TV, the better place to search for work is StaffMeUp. StaffMeUp is a well-established job board that requires that all help-wanted advertisements pay at least minimum wage in the jurisdiction they’re listed; have insurance; and follow-through with any promise made in the advertisement. However, you need at least two film or tv credits to post a profile here. If you are brand new to the industry, Backstage may be your best bet to get those necessary credits.
You may 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.)
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.”
Waste of time
“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!”