October 4, 2018

An Actors Dictionary to Help Understand the Business: Part 2


First Refusal: Same as a hold except if you have multiple holds, you honor this one first.

Fitting: When the talent books a job they usually have a fitting first to make sure that they fit the clothing being used for the shoot.

Go see: “Going to see” the client. Go-see is another term for casting or audition.

Headshot: A photograph focused on the actor’s face, usually taken from the shoulders up. A headshot is used mainly for acting.

Hold: When someone is put on hold for a job, this means that the client is very interested in booking them for the job, but not 100% sure yet. Being “on hold” for a certain day means you need to keep this day free and cannot take any other jobs or make other plans for that day.

Industrial: A type of educational video to inform or instruct.

Improv: Short for improvisation, improv is where the plot, characters, and dialogue are made up in the moment.

Junior Model: Either a model for “juniors” clothing or a younger model between the ages of 8 and 12.

Line: Contained within a script, a line is a sentence spoken by the actor.

Manager: Organizes and helps an actor’s career; Often work with agents to get their talent submitted on projects.

Monologue: A speech made by an actor.

New Faces: A division in a modeling agency for models who are just starting.

Non-Union: When an actor has not yet joined the union (SAG).

Open Call: An audition where you do not need to be personally invited; anyone who wants to audition can show up.

Producer: Someone who oversees the production, this person plans and coordinates the many different aspects of the film, commercial, play, ad, etc.

Photographer: Someone who takes photos. There are certain photographers who only take headshots, some photographers who work for companies to shoot campaigns, etc.

Photoshoot: (also referred to as “a shoot”) When a model poses for a photographer. A photoshoot can be used to take headshots as well as modeling clothes, jewelry, or any other product.

Principal: The main actor in the production, who usually has a speaking role.

Print: Another word for modeling. The print division of an agency works only with models. A print model appears in magazines and other advertisements for goods and services.

Project: A commercial, print ad, movie, play… Anything that is being worked on by the agents.

Portfolio: Usually a physical book/album or online arrangement of a model’s tear-sheets and/or any other photos used to showcase themselves.

Release: When you are on hold for a job and the client decides to book a different actor, you will be released from your hold.

Resume: A document containing all past work of an actor, including experience, training, skills, and stats.

Reel (or demo reel): A compilation of an actor’s work. The purpose of a reel is for an actor to showcase themselves to clients or potential employers. A reel may include clips from commercials, tv shows, or films that an actor has appeared in. For a voiceover talent, a reel would be solely audio.

SAG/AFTRA: An acting union representing about 160,000 actors, dancers, hosts, recording artists, singers, and many other types of performers, often referred to as “SAG” for short. SAG stands for Screen Actor’s Guild and AFTRA stands for American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Script: Written text of a commercial, film, play, broadcast, etc.

Set: The location where the scene is being filmed.

Sign-In Sheet: A sheet at a casting office where talent signs their name, agent, and phone number. Talent are usually taken to audition in order of when they sign in.

Slate: A video stating your name, stats, and agent’s name for an on-camera audition. An actor usually slates before starting the scenes necessary for their audition.

Self-tape: A video that is sent to casting instead of auditioning in person. A self- tape is usually composed of a slate, and a scene or two from the role you are auditioning for.

Short Film: A motion picture that is not long enough to be considered a feature film, usually 40 minutes or less.

Sides: Another word for a script. Often referred to as “sides” in TV and Film auditions.

Stand- in: A person who stands in for another actor for lighting and camera set-up. A stand-in is usually similar looking and similar size to the actor they are substituting for set-up purposes.

Stunt Double: A trained professional who stands in for an actor to perform dangerous or highly skilled activities.

Taft-Hartley: Also known as the National Labor Relations Act. This allows non-union actors to work their first union job and any others within a 30-day period without having to join the union.

Talent: The actors or models working on a job.

Tear-sheet: A page torn from a magazine or print publication to add to a model’s portfolio.

Turnaround: The number of hours between dismissal one day and call time the next day.

Understudy: An actor who learns a principal role to be a substitute if the principal actor is unable to perform.

Voucher: An invoice signed by the client and model at the end of a job. A voucher includes pay rate, hours worked, travel mileage, and other details pertaining to the job.

Voice Over (V.O): A narration in a movie, broadcast, commercial, or film, not accompanied by an image of the speaker.

Waiver: A document recording the waiving a right. A SAG Waiver is used when a non-union actor is allowed to work on a union job, under a SAG contract.

Walk-On: A minor role consisting of a brief appearance on the screen, usually without credits or dialogue.

Wardrobe: Any article of clothing worn on set.

Wardrobe allowance: A fee paid to the talent for the use of their own clothing.

Wrap: The completion of a day’s filming or of the entire production.

W/N: Will Notify. Written on a call sheet to tell the actor that they will work but a specific time has not been decided yet.