Actors Access: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

Imagine how great it would be to have access to casting breakdowns from some of the biggest casting directors and studios in the US & Canada, and be able to submit yourself for a chance to audition for genuine, paid acting roles. If you’re based in the UK, check out this article instead to learn how to join Spotlight.

Actors Access is a digital platform where actors are able to manage their online profiles and submit to thousands of casting breakdowns that are shared every year. You don’t even need an agent to join.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking for your next serial drama, understanding how Actors Access works is essential. So today, we’ll be discussing how to get started, the best practices, tips for success, the costs of the platform along with how it shapes up in comparison with other popular casting websites.

Table of Contents

Actors Access Pricing

Signing up to Actors Access is completely free and I’d suggest claiming your profile, even if you don’t want to pay for the platform. But if you want to submit yourself to roles and have a more expansive and customisable profile on the site, you’ll need to pay.

There are two ways of paying for Actors Access:

The pay as you go account is completely free to create and comes with limited features, but it’s a great starting point for those looking to dip a toe into the industry.

If you’d like to submit to castings, you’ll have to pay $2 per submission, and there’s no guarantee that those submissions will turn into auditions meaning actors will have to submit to multiple castings before even getting the chance to audition. These fees add up quickly, so make sure you’re strategic about the roles you pursue.

For those ready to dive deeper and submit for more roles, the paid Actors Access Plus account costs $68 USD per year and gives you unlimited submissions. That’s equivalent to 34 submissions on the pay as you go account, or 2-3 submissions per month making it a no-brainer for any actor looking to take their career to the next level.

Getting Started with Actors Access

Actors Access Homepage

Joining Actors Access is extremely easy. There are paid plans that will allow you to get the most out of the platform, but it’s completely free to get started and claim your profile. Go to, click on ‘register’ and follow the instructions.

If you’re under the age of 13, you’ll need a parent or legal guarden to register on your behalf.

Once you’ve signed in, you’ll be asked to complete your profile, edit your resume, manage your headshots, media and SlateShots. This may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry, we’ll go over each one of these!

Building Your Profile

Actors Access Dashboard

To stand out amongst the thousands of actors using Actors Access every year, it’s important to complete your profile with your most recent credits, headshots, media, sizing info and training. Check out this blog post on the best acting techniques.

Uploading Headshots

Headshots are the first thing that the casting director see’s. They’re your “logo”, or your “store-front”. First impressions are incredibly important. In fact, headshots are the most important part of an actors portfolio for this very reason.

To upload headshots and SlateShots to Actors Access, go to the purple PHOTOS & SLATESHOTS section of the main dashboard. Here you can directly upload images to your profile. You get 2 image slots for free, additional images are $10 each.

When choosing headshots, the general recommendation is to go with between 3 and 5 professionally shot headshots that represent you. Remember that the casting director will expect you to look like your headshots when you audition, so ensure they’re up to date.

If you have bushy beard in your headshots but walk into the audition room with a baby face, the casting director will have a few questions. Even if your headshots are getting you auditions, if they’re old and misleading, you’ll never land the role. It would be better to get less auditions for roles that actually suit your type.

Uploading Media

Actors Access Media Page

The second most important thing, after headshots is the media on your profile. Casting director’s are much more likely to ask you to audition if they’ve seen you act before. A solid demoreel will show the casting director everything they need.

To upload Video and Audio to Actors Access, go to the orange VIDEO & AUDIO section of the main dashboard. Here you can directly upload your demoreel and voice reel to your profile. This costs $22 per minute of video and $11 per minute of audio.

A good demoreel should be around 1-2 minutes of quality acting. If you don’t have any on screen credits yet, many actors have success creating their own or paying for a professional reel service to write and produce scenes for them. Alternatively a well done self-tape can also work really well.

You can also take advantage of media uploads by sharing video clips that display special skills or unique talents. Think beyond basic acting ability – can you do acrobatics, perform martial arts, or play an instrument?


SlateShots are brief, seven-second videos that serve as dynamic additions to your Actors Access profile. These clips can be vital in giving casting directors a real-time glimpse into your appearance, voice and personality.

Unlike a static image, a SlateShot allows you to briefly speak, showcasing your natural voice and mannerisms, allowing casting directors to get a sense of the real you, and can significantly increase your chances of being called in for auditions.

When creating a SlateShot, it’s recommended to record in landscape and against a plain background. As for what to say, that’s entirely up to you! But most actors go with a simple, “Hey, I’m Reilly Featherstone” (or whatever your name is).

Your Online Resume

A resume is arguably one of the least impactful part of an actors portfolio. It’s not entirely unimportant though, as it’s more than just a list of roles that you’ve had. An effective resume should highlight your acting journey and should emphasise your training, skills and experience.

To update your resume on Actors Access, navigate to My Tools > Manage My Profile > résumé. It’s recommended to use the first column for the project title, the second for the role and the third for the director, production company or theatre.

Most actors won’t have much experience (if any), when first joining Actors Access and that’s completely okay! Instead, focus your resume on the training that you’ve had or are currently engaging in, as well as any special or unique skills.

Every actor gets their first role from somewhere. So aslong as you have a quality headshot and demoreel, the length of your resume won’t matter.

How To View Auditions on Actors Access

Actors Access Breakdown

Submitting to castings on Actors Access is SUPER easy! If you have an agent, they will usually do this for you, but if you don’t, you can do this yourself by either selecting the pink Breakdowns button on the dashboard or navigating to the Breakdowns menu in the header.

Select a Region

Once you’ve done this, you can select the region that you’re based within. Actors Access breakdowns are split into 22 different regions between the United States and Canada. Here are the ones that you can choose from:

Submit an Audition Request

After navigating to the breakdowns page, you’ll be met with a long list of projects in your selected region. Each project lising has the below information:

  • Uploaded Date
  • Project Title
  • Project Type (i.e. Theatre, Feature Film, Episodic, Student Film, Ad Campaign, etc)
  • Casting Director
  • Project Start Date
  • Union or Non-Union

You’re then able to click on each project to view more information such as:

  • Production Company
  • Shoot Dates
  • Pay Rates
  • Each role & their breakdowns
  • Any other relevant information

Once you find a role that you’d like to audition for, decide which media you’d like to submit and include a note for the casting director. Use this note wisely. Describe why you’d be great for this role, do you have skills, unique traits, abilities or experience that would lend itself to the role.

The casting director will then look at your submission and the additional material that you’ve provided and decide whether they’d like to see you audition for the role.

What is Eco Cast & Eco Cast Live?

If you’re one of the few that lands an audition for the role, the casting director will request either an Eco Cast audition or an Eco Cast Live audition. These terms seem complicated, but in reality they’re very simple.

Eco Cast

An Eco Cast audition is simply a self-tape that is sent through the Actors Access platform (they have to brand-ify things). Once casting has requested an Eco Cast audition, it’s super quick and easy to work with.

You will be given any information that’s needed for the tape such as the sides, any further character information, self-taping instructions, along with a deadline for the tape. Prep and film the self-tape, then once done, upload it to the Eco Cast portal. That’s it!

Eco Cast Live

Eco Cast Live is just like Eco Cast but, you’ll never get this… It’s live! Rather than a self-tape request, you’ll be sent an invite to an Eco Cast Live call (which is just like a Zoom / Teams call through the Eco Cast Live portal).

You’ll also receive the materials needed for the audition, along with a specific date and time, so make sure you’re not late!

Live, virtual auditions can be difficult so make sure you’re setup long before your audition time. You don’t want to seem unprepared. Test your video and audio quality and make sure there’s no feedback through the mic/speaker.

Oh, and if you or the casting team have internet problems, don’t worry, just keep calm and professional. It’s not something you can help, and the casting director will understand.

Managing Casting Notifications

Actors Access Cmail

As an Actors Access member it’s important that you’re correctly managing your keeping on top of your notifications and staying up to date with audition requests.

When logged into Actors Access, you can see a mail icon at the top right of the page, this is your cMail inbox.

I’d highly recommend enabling email notifications to ensure you receive emails any time a casting director contacts you. You don’t want to miss out on auditions because you missed the message.

This should be enabled by default, but you can check this by clicking into your cMail inbox, selecting ‘cMail Preferences’ in the bottom left and ticking ‘Notify me by email when I have new Cmail messages.’

How to Succeed with Actors Access

Actors Access is competitive, there’s no doubt about that. You’ll be competing with actors that have years of professional experience, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance. Here are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance at succeeding with Actors Access.

Regularly Updating Your Profile

You’d be surprised how many actors forget to update their online profiles. They leave out recent credits, forget to update their headshots or keep their old, unflattering reels, this is an easy win!

Consistently updating your profile with new headshots, credits/resume information, and media ensures that you remain current and relevant to casting directors. Keeping your special skills and SlateShot videos up to date is crucial for standing out in submissions.

Best Practices for Submitting for Roles

It’s extremely important that you don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to your submissions. Trust me, the casting director will know if you’ve blindly submitted to every role on the platform.

Instead, tailor each submission by including personalised notes that highlight how you are the perfect fit for the project, and use headshots that subtly hint towards the role.

This is why having a variety of headshots can be extremely beneficial as an actor as it allows you to select the headshot that best fits the role. For example, let’s look at the below character description:

The kind of cop you don’t mess with, no doubt about it. Rocking a badass leather jacket, she’s got that face that says, “I mean business.”

In this scenario, would you be better off submitting your intimidating headshot or the one that says “girl-next-door?”

This tailored approach shows that you understand the role, that you actually care as you’ve taken your time to think about it and gives the casting director more to work with.

Actors Access Mobile App

The Actors Access app is simple and provides iOS users all the access they need on the go. You can quickly and easily view roles that align with your filters and can also process submissions. (Just don’t let your boss know that you’re submitting to acting jobs during work hours!)

Along with this you can also view your audition requests and manage your appointments by confirming your availability or requesting to reschedule. The app has everything you need on the Actors Acces platform, so give it a try!

Casting Platform Comparisons

There are so many casting platforms that it can seem overwhelming for newcomers. Actors Access is definitely the cheapest of the lot at $68 per year for the standard membership, although that doesn’t include the cost of extra headshots and media.

Actors Access also tends to list more more professional work, although it’s incredibly competitive. Other platforms, whilst more expensive, often list more smaller and therefore less competitive roles.


Many people get roles from Actors Access, and it’s definitely worth having if you work in the US or Canada. By creating a standout profile with good headshots and compelling media, actors can increase their chances of catching the eye of casting directors.

Remember to regularly update your profile, roles and skills. And follow best practices when submitting to roles by choosing media that fits the breakdown and providing related info in the notes.


1. What is Actors Access?

Actors Access is a platform where actors find casting calls and auditions for upcoming projects and manage their online resume and portfolio.

2. Is Actors Access legit?

Actors Access is 100% legit. Whilst already established actors will get their auditions from Casting Directors sending out breakdowns to their agent, Actors Access gives the every-day, working-class actor access to thousands of legitimate breakdowns for feature films, TV shows, short films, theatre, commercials and much more.

3. Do I need an agent to join Actors Access?

You don’t need an agent to join Actors Access, but it’s common consensus that your experience on the platform will be much better by having one.

4. Does Actors Access have Non-Union and SAG-AFTRA roles?

Yes, Actors Access has auditions for both SAG-AFTRA roles and Non-Union roles, so whether you’re part of the union or not, there will always be something for you.

Reilly Featherstone

Reilly Featherstone

Reilly Featherstone is an actor & musician based in Wales, United Kingdom, who works actively on both stage and screen. Most recently working on Rage by award winning writer Simon Stephens, Closure, and Man For The Job. Reilly studied a Bachelor of Arts in Acting at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (2017 – 2020). Since graduating Reilly signed with a talent agent and is now focusing on developing a full-time career in the arts.
Reilly Featherstone

Reilly Featherstone

Reilly Featherstone is an actor & musician based in Wales, United Kingdom, who works actively on both stage and screen. Most recently working on Rage by award winning writer Simon Stephens, Closure, and Man For The Job. Reilly studied a Bachelor of Arts in Acting at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (2017 – 2020). Since graduating Reilly signed with a talent agent and is now focusing on developing a full-time career in the arts.

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