Actors: Make Your Headshot and Resume Stand Out to a Casting Director

Hosted by Marin Hope

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Marin Hope

Webinar hosted by: Marin Hope

Casting Director, CSA (HBO's BESSI, AMERICAN MADE, Emmy-winning HOMELAND)

Marin Hope is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson,COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Marin is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA). She was nominated for an Artios Award for casting in 2018 for her casting of a short film entitled, Plea and was the recipient of an Artios Award for casting in 2020 for her casting of the Center Theater Group’s 2018 production of Sweat. For a complete list of her film and television credits click here. Prior to her current role, Marin joined Define American as their Entertainment Media Manager. Define American is a nonprofit media and culture organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, who’s mission is to use the power of storytelling to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America. She moved to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and landed a position at ABC Primetime Casting under casting executive, Marci Philips. She would go on to work for casting directors, Judy Henderson, Suzanne Smith-Crowley, Jessica Kelly, Billy Hopkins and Ann Goulder on projects such as Showtime's HOMELAND, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, ABC’S PAN AM, THE WOLVERINE, LABOR DAY, ABC's ZERO HOUR, NOAH, THE MAZE RUNNER, and NBC'S THE BLACKLIST, before returning to Los Angeles. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

As an actor, there are so many elements that go into being successful. Craft and method, scene study, poise, rehearsal, memorization, building your brand and identity. The list goes on. Yet in the end, getting cast in a project might come down to just two pieces of paper: your headshot and your resume. It’s often the very first impression casting directors or producers have of you and may dictate whether or not you get in the room to audition in the first place. Considering how much can come down to your these two items, it’s critical you make them as effective as possible to put your best foot forward.

There are tons of online resources, articles and videos on the do’s and don’ts of actor headshots and resumes, many of which contradict the next. Acting coaches, agents, managers and industry professionals are quick to define what makes a headshot “pop” and what to include on your resume. But what do casting directors really look for? And what can make your headshot and resume stand out from the stack of others that a casting director receives?

Over her career, casting director Marin Hope has cast hundreds of actors in film, TV, theatre and commercial projects. The winner of the 2020 Artios Award for Casting, Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, and most recently MOLLY, starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Marin’s deep experience in acting has made her a foremost expert in what it takes for actors to get the job, and she’s back exclusively with Stage 32 to reveal what she knows.

Marin will reveal from a casting director’s perspective what makes an actor’s headshot and resume effective. She will discuss everything from hair and makeup to how much you should spend on headshots to what makes a headshot stand out. She’ll provide details on how to best format your resume and what credits you should and should not include. She’ll also discuss what a casting director looks for when reviewing actor materials and why one actor may be selected to audition over another based solely on their headshot and resume. You’ll learn all of this from an esteemed casting director's perspective, which will give you a unique and valuable understanding of how to best curate your materials.

 

Praise for Marin's Previous Stage 32 Webinars

 

"I thought I was just going to revisit what I already know about self-taping but Marin brought forth valuable new information."

-Michele C.

 

"I think Marin's webinar is excellent and covered everything that an actor would want or need. I like her no nonsense approach. Takes a lot of the fear factor away."

-Sondra C.

 

"The information was informative, Marin gave a lot information that is extremely invaluable to me in this industry and I look forward to many more webinars with Stage32 because of this."

-Michael C.

 

"Well, done. I have made it into several movies and missed getting into others. There are several things I learned which I will incorporate in future auditions."

-Kenneth W.

What You'll Learn

  • Understanding the Casting Director’s Submission Sorting Process
    • What is a casting director looking for when sorting through submissions for a specific role?
    • How does a casting director decide whether or not to invite you to audition for that role?
  • What Does a Casting Director Want in a Headshot?
    • What do casting directors look for above all else when reviewing a headshot ?
    • Glamour vs. personality
    • How do you capture your personality and essence?
    • How can you best curate your headshots appropriately for specific roles?
  • Preparing for New Headshots
    • What should you wear?
    • Hair and makeup - should you get it professionally done?
    • Where should you shoot your headshots?
    • How many looks do you need for theatrical headshots?
    • How many looks do you need for commercial headshots?
    • How do you find the right photographer?
    • How much should you spend?
  • The Biggest Mistakes Actors Make When Taking Headshots
    • And tips on how to avoid these mistakes
  • What Does a Casting Director Look for in a Resume?
    • The one thing casting directors look for above all else when reviewing your resume
    • Quality vs. quantity
  • Resume Basics
    • The basic info you should include on your resume
    • What contact info should you include on your resume?
    • What credits should you include?
    • What credits should you not include?
    • How to tackle special skills
    • What should you include regarding education or training?
  • How to Best Format Your Resume
    • Page length
    • Formatting do’s and don’ts
  • Examples of Great Headshots and Resumes
  • Q&A with Marin

About Your Instructor

Marin Hope is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson,COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production.

Marin is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA). She was nominated for an Artios Award for casting in 2018 for her casting of a short film entitled, Plea and was the recipient of an Artios Award for casting in 2020 for her casting of the Center Theater Group’s 2018 production of Sweat. For a complete list of her film and television credits click here.

Prior to her current role, Marin joined Define American as their Entertainment Media Manager. Define American is a nonprofit media and culture organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, who’s mission is to use the power of storytelling to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America.

She moved to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and landed a position at ABC Primetime Casting under casting executive, Marci Philips. She would go on to work for casting directors, Judy Henderson, Suzanne Smith-Crowley, Jessica Kelly, Billy Hopkins and Ann Goulder on projects such as Showtime's HOMELAND, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, ABC’S PAN AM, THE WOLVERINE, LABOR DAY, ABC's ZERO HOUR, NOAH, THE MAZE RUNNER, and NBC'S THE BLACKLIST, before returning to Los Angeles.

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A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

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If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Breaking Down the Casting Process: How An Actor Wins the Role

There are a wide array of audition classes, books, and online resources that provide important actor insight and audition technique and etiquette. However, very few actors or industry professionals have an understanding of how the entire casting process works. If you're an actor, you may focused on winning the room. If you're a filmmaker, you may be focused on finding the best performance the quickest way possible. If you're a producer you may be focused on getting the best talent to bring audition to your package. Either way, every person involved with the project controls an important piece of the overall puzzle. If you're an actor it's important that you understand how the entire casting process works so you can build champions, win the room and book more work. If you're a filmmaker or producer, it's important that you understand the casting timeline to prepare for pre-production. Have you ever wondered what happens behind closed casting office doors, both before and after an audition? This is crucial information that helps you determine how you can best contribute to the overall casting puzzle. You need to understand project breakdowns, actor submissions, audition scheduling and director callbacks. You will need insight as to why one actor may be selected to audition over another and you’ll also need to know about the many factors that determine which actors advance in the casting process and ultimately book the role. Marin Hope, CSA is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director, who won the 2020 Artios Award for Casting. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Marin has cast hundreds of actors in film, TV, theatre and commercial projects and is back exclusively on Stage 32 to detail the casting director’s process, beginning to end. Marin will walk through the entire casting process from her perspective as an accomplished casting director. She’ll begin by discussing project and character breakdowns, how they’re composed, what details are included, and the various forums and databases these breakdowns are posted. She’ll go over what details actors should not before submitting to a role and how to know ahead of time if you’re right for the role. She’ll teach you how to submit yourself for a role or how to get your agent or manager to do so. Marin will give you an inside look into how casting directors sort through actor submissions to choose who to audition and what elements will help a casting director notice and choose you. Next, Marin will discuss how casting directors schedule actor auditions, how many actors are generally schedule in a single day and what you should do as an actor if you’re unavailable for your audition date or time. She will delve into the process of 1st call auditions, who is typically in the room, what you should expect, how you should prepare, and what the casting director’s process is after a day of 1st call auditions. She will also give you a peek into who views your 1st call audition tapes. Marin will then similarly outline callback auditions, how they work, how they differ from 1st call auditions, and how decisions are made at this stage. Next she will talk about 2nd callbacks, chemistry reads, and test shoots, including how best to prepare for these, how decisions are made at this stage, and what to expect for a test shoot. She’ll delve into what it means to be “put on avail” and how to navigate when you’re “on avail” and when to know if you are “released” or have been booked for the job. 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Mastering the Self Audition Tape - Tips from a Casting Director with Video Examples & a Resource Sheet

Today, more than ever, self tape auditions are an integral part of the casting process. This is even more true in the age of social distancing. Additionally, due to the convenience self tapes provide and tight deadlines casting directors often operate under, more roles are cast via self tape auditions than ever before. Understanding how to set up, craft, and shoot a self tape can be the difference between landing more roles or having your talents fall by the wayside.  When a casting director requests and accepts self tapes to assist in their casting process, they inevitably wind up with tapes of varying quality and content. Whether it's picture quality or sound quality fails, a bad self tape immediately gets bypassed. Actors often think that their talent will always win the day. In a room, that might be true. But on a self tape, quality matters. Fortunately, there are some very simple, but comprehensive steps you can take that will make a massive difference in what you present to a casting director. The goal is to keep the attention off cosmetic or sound flaws and on your acting, where it belongs! Marin Hope, CSA is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director, who won the 2020 Artios Award for Casting. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Over her storied career she has seen thousands of auditions and hundreds of casting self-tapes and she's back here exclusively on Stage 32 to impart her wisdom on what can help you get a leg up on the competition when it comes to your self tape.  Marin will talk about the need for self-tapes and why they are an essential part of today's casting process. You'll get insight as to why some jobs rely on it vs. others who require in-person auditions. She will go over your question on whether or not you should use a self-tape facility or film from home. When it comes to shooting at home, you will learn background, lighting, angles, wardrobe choices and equipment you will need, as well as whether or not you should film horizontal or portrait. Finally, Karen will teach you the do's and don'ts of a self-tape and share with you examples of good and bad auditions. You will learn all of this from an esteemed casting director's perspective which will give you the unique insight into how your own self-tape is viewed. PLUS! Marin will share with you: Videos clips of do's and dont's for casting videos A resource sheet of tools and equipment that can help you with the look of your casting tape     Praise for Marin's Stage 32 Webinar:   "I thought I was just going to revisit what I already know about self-taping but Marin brought forth valuable new information." -Michele C.   "I think Marin's webinar is excellent and covered everything that an actor would want or need. I like her no nonsense approach. Takes a lot of the fear factor away." -Sondra C.   "The information was informative, Marin gave a lot information that is extremely invaluable to me in this industry and I look forward to many more webinars with Stage32 because of this." -Michael C.   "Well, done. I have made it into several movies and missed getting into others. There are several things I learned which I will incorporate in future auditions." -Kenneth W.

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In addition to the lessons where Raquelle teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with her directly about your specific project. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full TV project development lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".   PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a manager and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at edu@stage32.com for more information   Plus! Raquelle will also provide you exclusive, confidential and helpful documents for you to download and use for your own projects including: Option Agreement Shopping Agreement TV Pitch Deck Examples TV Pitch Template TV Pilot Examples Current Network needs (current list of buyers and what they’re looking for) Current POD deals for TV Comprehensive Showrunner list

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Simply put, those who understand the strategies and methods that can help your investors see a return get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring along more investors if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, there are smart ways to find money that you may not have thought of, and there are also ways you can expand your dollars once you start raising funds for your project. In addition, there is a well-known group of professionals and creatives that have been working on films in this budget range for years and it's important that you know who they are, how to approach them and what the expectations are once you do. Founded by Elsa Ramo, one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry today and recently named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,”, Ramo Law PC provides comprehensive legal services to its clients in the entertainment industry with a specialized focus in representing financiers, producers, directors, distributors, studios and production entities in all transactional aspects of film, television and digital content. The firm provides experienced legal services to optimize its clients’ financial, legal and business position in the financing, production, and exploitation of their content. Ramo Law has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Clients include Imagine Entertainment, FOX, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of QUEER EYE), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for CHEF’S TABLE) and Skydance. Elsa and her associates are bona fide experts when it comes to the nuts and bolts of finding financing for your independent film. Elsa and her senior associates Zen Raben and Sean Pope will join forces to demystify the film financing process so that producers, writers, directors, and financiers can understand the basic yet crucial components of how independently financed films are funded. They will begin by discussing entity formation. They will explain why you need to form an entity for your production and what type of entity you should form, as well as what state you should form it in. They will go over the information you will need to form the entity, the forms that need to be filled out with the state, and how operating agreements work. They will also teach you what a waterfall is and why you should include one in your operating agreement. Next, Elsa, Zev, and Sean will delve into important things to keep in mind specifically for your LLC formation, including the state of formation, deciding if it will be member-managed or manager-managed, who should be in control of creative decisions and who should be in control of business decisions. They will then talk about equity investment and go over who exactly provides equity investment, what investors get out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Next, Elsa and her associates will explain debt financing. They will teach you the four common types of collateral in debt financing, and four types of debt you will be dealing with. They will go over the key terms and considerations you should know, and just like equity investment, they will explain who provides debt investment, what the investor gets out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Elsa, Sean, and Zev will even stage a mock closing call between a producer and senior lender to demonstrate what it looks like to lock in funding from an investor. Finally, Elsa, Sean, and Zev will give you an invaluable closing checklist, walking you through everything you need to keep in mind when going after funding. Expect a thorough, comprehensive and undeniably helpful guide to give you the tools you need to find the funding for your next project. This is designed for all levels but particularly effective for those that are currently producing and/or packaging a feature film.     Praise for Elsa's, Zen's and Sean's Stage 32 Webinar:   "It was absolutely brilliant! One of the best webinars I've attended yet! Loved the mock call. That was so educational!" -Becca G.   "They are all knowledgeable and had a great presentation" -Carlos B.   "Great webinar financing. Will be watching again." -Martin R.   "AMAZING WEBINAR!!!" -Stephanie D.

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