Entertainment Industry Terminology: Because they don't teach you this in school...
OK, so now you or your child has signed with an agent and you're actually going on castings! Awesome! They only down side? All this crazy terminology they keep throwing your way! Just when you think you are starting to understand this industry they start saying things like SAG and 1st right or refusal (isn't that what your husband wanted when he asked you to marry him?)
I always tell my actors, never say a word if you don't know what it means, likewise before you sign a contract, or agree to a casting or job, it's an absolute MUST to know what you're getting into. Take a deep breath and check out some Industry Terminology 101 below, you can also feel free to email me anytime if you have a question about a term or phrase you have never heard before.
Union- Also known as SAG-AFTRA, Screen Actors' Guild, or the Actors' Union. You must work a certain amount of SAG jobs, and pay a membership fee before you are eligible to join the union. If you are SAG you may not participate in Non-union commercial, television or film jobs. For more information on the Union or joining the Union you can look here http://www.sagaftra.org/
Non Union- Simplified, not a member of SAG-AFTRA. When you are Non Union you may work on both Union and Non Union jobs. You will build up eligibility on every SAG job you work, but unless the job is specifically marked Union/SAG it is considered a Non Union Job.
Exclusive- This means you are held to only one Agent for the parameter set by the agency. It is important to know the area you are held to by the contract. Is it Central Florida? South Florida? Both? Make sure you do your research, and make sure the agency has plenty of clients for you to book with when signing exclusively.
Non Exclusive- You are free to sign with as many agencies as you like, and are able to book yourself on jobs. It is wise to limit yourself to 1-3 good, strong agencies when going non exclusive, too many agents will become cumbersome and loyalty speaks volumes in this industry.
Comp Pull/Picture Request/Headshot Submission- A client or Casting Director has requested to see pictures of you from your agent to see if they would like to book you or have you come in for an audition. This is every talent's best friend, it can lead to a direct booking or cut way down on the number of talent at an audition. Make sure you have good, competitive images and a strong resume to help your agent get you noticed on these!
Direct Booking- You are booked for a job right off of your photos! How awesome is that? Direct Bookings happen a lot, so it is important that you keep your photos up to date with your Agent. You must look exactly like your photos, if you don't this can make things very awkward. Keep those photos up to date!
Callback- You have already auditioned for the job and the client has narrowed it down to a few they would like to see again. These ROCK!
On Hold/First Right or Refusal- You have not yet been booked, but you are being asked to hold the shoot dates upon and not book anything else without notifying your agent. This is usually the last step before booking.
Booked- You have landed the job! Details will be sent to you as soon as they are received by your agency. Please be patient in waiting for details, often times the Agent will not get the details until the day before the shoot. You can however call your Acting Coach, so they can squeal in delight and brag on you! ;)
Released- The client is unable to use you for the job and you may now move forward with your regular schedule.
Availability Check- The client or your Agent is contacting you to see if you are available for a job on a certain date. This does not mean you are booked, but if you say yes, you are agreeing to keep your schedule free for the day or dates indicated. If something arises for the dates in question, you should contact your Agent immediately.
Conflicts- These are any jobs you may have done that would interfere with a new potential job. Most often it would be any competitors (i.e. Coke and Pepsi, Disney and Universal, etc.) Make sure you and your Agent are both up to date on your conflicts.
Usage- This entails what the material you shoot can and will be used for (print, commercial, billboard) and for how long. Keep in mind, the client may ask for a no compete (conflict) for a certain period of time, make sure you are well versed in what you are getting into. When in doubt ask your agent, or myself.
I hope this information was useful. Please feel free to pass it along to your friends, or to contact me at any time if you come across "things that makes you go hmmmmm..." (random 90's reference.) Have a spectacular weekend!