The Fine Art of Following Direction

Posted by Michelle Swink on 12/03/2016


- The Fine Art of Following Direction -


We love a busy schedule, honestly.

A jam-packed, fully confirmed booking calendar with multiple projects for every single day is a satisfying way to end the week. We’ve been busier than ever before, and we have an impeccably organized, color coded schedule to prove it.

Writing up, deciding who to send to, and submitting for casting calls takes up a hefty part of our job (alongside searching for opportunities, recommending talent to clients, networking, chasing confirmations, invoicing, website management and other secret MAGNA activities) and yet the submission process is the most time consuming.

Not all casting calls are made equal, and those of you who tend to read right to the bottom of them will know that (we know who you are and we love you, by the way).

Actor’s Access, for instance, is a wonderful gift from the casting heavens and you should embrace it in all its talent-pays-nothing, nationwide, casting platform glory. 

Your up-to-date account is all we need in order to submit you for the lead in a feature film, or a big bucks casino commercial shooting two miles down the street. And what’s more, all you need to do is tell us which project you are interested in and a few clicks later you are under consideration by the casting director.

The same is mostly true of clients searching for last minute extras. All you need to do is confirm your availability and then off we go, searching through headshots and resumes on the database and attaching them to our comparison tables. 


If you regularly receive the following response from us - 

“Please follow submission guidelines as noted in the casting call below”

…then this post is for you!

We have many clients, some we’ve been working with for years and some we’ve recently established relationships with, who will tend to request a few little extras from you. 

Sometimes they need your height and specific measurements (an armchair doesn’t look so big when a 6’3” bodybuilder is sitting in it), sometimes they need to know if you have any competitor conflicts (nobody wants to see a spokesperson for vegetarianism in a burger commercial) sometimes they need to know that you’re available over a series of dates. There’s also times when they need you to send an initial video audition, or just to CC us into your self-submission.  

A great deal of the time our clients want a recent selfie and a full length photo in addition to the headshots we already send them (please note that unless you literally have 14 carat gold skin and butterflies living in your hair, snapchat is never appropriate).

Believe me when I say we derive no pleasure from badgering you over the span of three days to find out if you have a tattoo, or because your AgencyPro account lists 3 year old measurements for your 8 year old child. 

Most of the time we do have this requested information at hand – adult heights, city of residence, shoe sizes, for example, and if you don’t supply this information immediately we do usually go ahead and do it for you. We don’t mind if it’s a one off, or if you call to say you’re on the road, but otherwise all that time can add up. 

5 mins per person x 10 people per day = 50 mins. That’s a lot of time wasted.

That is time that we’d much rather spend seeking out casting calls, pitching our actors to a Casting Director, or notifying someone that they have been booked on a big project!

One of our main duties as a Talent Agent, is to find the right individuals for our clients: those who fit the specific role, take direction well, and conduct themselves professionally. When we have to weed through submissions and gather information left out that was originally requested, that tells us who is reading instructions and following directions. If talent won’t follow our instructions on a casting call, it will make us wonder how well they will follow a client’s direction on a job!

We absolutely love our talent! We have some of the best actors in the state of Oklahoma… actors and voice over talent who are creative, talented and passionate about the work they do. We love getting positive feedback from clients, and we love hearing how much fun you had on set.  Our top talent are the ones that take direction, follow all steps, and work with us to help them get cast in amazing projects and live their dreams! 

The Agent/Talent relationship is a partnership, so please work with us so we can get work for you!


--------Michelle & Katie--------


MAGNA Talent Agency

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


[email protected]

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