"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin
I was recently offered a free one month subscription to the new Los Angeles Auditions submission service offered by CAZT in order to write a review. The owner, Moses Kagan, seemed very interested in receiving completely honest feedback in order to ensure the site is something that actors can benefit from using. That said, here are my thoughts...

Pros
*There seems to be an abundance of student films and indie films that are using this service. This is FANTASTIC because each time one of them puts their project on CAZT, that's one less project that is casting out of their apartment complex because you know as a woman I don't do those auditions AT ALL #notworththerisk.

*Their submission service allows you to upload your pictures, not for $10 a pop like Actors Access and certainly not the outrageous price that LA Casting charges but for Free99.  Yes 100% free which is a major money saver, especially if you change your photos on a regular basis. This goes for your reel(s) as well.

*The facility itself is in a central location with free parking in the Target lot right around the corner or free street parking a few blocks over if you're inclined to walk.

*And of course the strongest perk they've got going is that you can see your auditions afterwards to analyze how you did and hopefully learn from each one. In addition, you're supposed to get feedback from the casting director and when that does happen it's invaluable.

Cons
*The pricing, while arguably low, is still not low enough for me to justify the expense as some of the postings I submitted to were also found on Actors Access. Personally, until these casting notices become exclusive to CAZT, I can't see myself forking over more than $5.00 per month. That may not be profitable for them but that's my honest opinion. Then again, at 5 bucks a month they may get a slew of actors to sign up who otherwise wouldn't.

*No submission report feature. To be fair, LA Casting doesn't offer this either but Actors Access does and it's one of the main features that all actors LOVE because it allows us to see the details of the casting notice after it's been removed and it also allows us to see which headshot we submitted. Most importantly, at the end of the year it's a good tool to help us evaluate how many opportunities we actually received from this service. I must say, though, when I initially mentioned this to Moses before even using the service he seemed really open to adding this feature so hopefully it's on the horizon.

*Feedback is hit or miss. Sometimes casting directors leave it and sometimes they don't. As a company that uses this as a part of their main advertising, this needs to change.

Suggestions
So all things considered, here are my suggestions that I think will improve the services that CAZT has to offer to increase its value to actors...

1. Consider lowering the monthly fee. As the new kid on the block going against 2 already very established submission services, your pricing shouldn't be anywhere near their's at this point. Actors Access is $65 per year (though I do understand that they don't include photos & reels like you do) so at $9 per month, your site is almost twice the cost of their's. That needs to change.

2. If feedback from the casting director will continue to be advertised, then it must be given. I know you can't force a person to do anything but since they're not being a charged a dime to cast in your location, there needs to be an agreement that they sign that holds them to their word. In addition, holding their money hostage certainly helps most people make more responsible decisions. I propose you have a copy of the casting director's credit card on file or you receive a check from them that you hold onto as a security deposit if they are new to your facility. Once they post feedback they're given back their check or their cc is never charged. However if they don't post feedback within a week, there's a fee. Plain and simple. If someone is planning to uphold their end of the bargain and actually provide feedback then this shouldn't deter them in the least.

3. Give actors the ability to select which headshot they want to send. Many of us have a variety of looks so it would be incredibly helpful to be able to choose which one is the primary photo that the CD will see. I've heard from a few actors that this is in the works but at the time I used this service that was not an option.

4. If you're interested in finding another way to bring in revenue that won't ruffle actors feathers, have one room that is dedicated to self-taped auditions. Since the lighting is already pretty good in most of the rooms, all an actor needs to do is bring a friend or pay a CAZT employee to be the camera operator. Seeing how most places cost more than $100 to do this {madness I tell you!}, this would be a great way for you to make extra money while at the same time offering actors a much more affordable alternative.

So there you have it folks. My 2 cents {well more like a $1} worth on CAZT as both a submission service and casting facility. My hope is that you'll check them out for yourself and weigh in with your feedback as well. As I said in the beginning of this post, the owner is incredibly receptive to feedback, even if he may not necessarily agree with it. The fact that he's open to discuss it though, is very much appreciated.
1 Response
  1. Giacomo Says:

    Thank you for all the hard work and input. Well done. I've had friends hire me over the years to be 'Featured' in film/TV (43 productions) but, I've never used these companies & never have had an Agent. It is my wife's area of expertise. I just like being in tv/film 'part time'. and having some fun doing it. I have gone to TWO auditions at CAZT and they are nice people. The entire area is full of entertainment pro's. I guess if I were much younger I'd use them all but, having an Agent is key if you wish to become the next Pacino, Jolie, Pitt, or Character actor working 'full time' whatever! Using these sites and secondary casting companies I don't think will get you to higher pay & noticed by top directors/producers for the 'long term'. It is a very tricky industry. Lots of luck involved too with 160,000 SAG/Aftra members and others trying their luck in the industry. Thanks again!


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