July 7, 2017

An Actors Dictionary to Help Understand the Business


AEA: An acronym for the Actors Equity Association

AFTRA: An acronym for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. It is a union for all TV performers.

Agent/Agency: A third party who helps find bookings for an actor. They receive a percentage for booking.

Blow Up: An enlarged photo from a negative or a slide.

Booking: A job an actor is assigned.

Book Out: When you inform your agent/agency that you will be unavailable for certain amount of time. Reasons could be another job, a vacation, etc.

Breakdown: Further information about a possible booking. This can give details about the pay rate, a role, the usage, and more.

Buyout: An advance payment for future use of a print ad or commercial for a certain amount of time.

Call Back: Second audition/interview to further narrow down the selection for a role; this means you are in further consideration.

Call Time: When an actor is due on set.

Casting: Choosing a model or an actor for a specific job.

Casting Director: The person who selects the suitable actor/model to represent a comp or story board.

Cattle Call: A casting call where agencies send similar typed models to a casting session.

Client: A company who hires the agency and pays the actors/models fees.

Cold Reading: A reading of a script that happens for the first time in front of a client, without any time to memorize the lines.

Commercial: A promotional advertisement on TV, radio, and other media.

Commission: A percentage of an actor/models fee required to be paid to the agent/agency.

CSA: An acronym for the Casting Society of America.

Demo Tape: An actor’s audio or video tape that an agent uses for audition purposes.

Dresser: Someone who helps models dress backstage in fashion shows.

Extra: Acting job where the actor has no speaking lines and stands in the background to add to the atmosphere of a scene.