So what exactly makes an actor castable? That’s easy, right? It’s an actor who is talented and can act whatever part they are given…uhmm…Not exactly. We all know actors, from classes or work or life, who are not really all that talented. Some don’t even seem to care or want it as much as the rest of us, and yet, they keep getting called in for auditions, and often, they even get booked. What’s up with that?

Simple…talent will always win out in the end (so keep working out those acting muscles in classes and workshops), but just being talented won’t get you in the door.

The Castable Actor is a series of workshops, lectures, one-on-one coaching sessions, and sequence of articles that helps actors acquire the keys to open those doors. Agents, managers, casting directors, and producers need to be able to look at you or your headshot or your reel and know that you are castable before they even decide to bring you in for an audition or meeting. Meaning, they need to know exactly who you are and what they can do with you…they need to know that you are a marketable commodity. After all, this is a business.

The Castable Actor helps actors find their places in the business…who they are and how they fit in. It teaches actors to expand how they view the industry, and most importantly, how to look at themselves the way the industry sees them.

Before we look at some of the castable traits that I explore throughout the course of The Castable Actor, there are three words that you need to etch into your brain: Honest, Realistic, Specific. These terms are extremely important in all aspects of your acting life, but it is especially vital to keep them on the forefront as you try to incorporate into your acting life the aspects of The Castable Actor:

-Knowledge. The actor that is not only castable, but also capable of building a career, is one who understands the business of this industry. Film and TV is so much more than red carpets, premiers, and huge paychecks.  The Castable Actor is one who can pull back the illusion and magic of acting to reveal a job with rules and parameters like any other profession.

-Self –Awareness. Knowing who you are and how you fit in this industry is the first and most important step to becoming castable. I am still amazed that 9 out of 10 actors I work with don’t even know their specific Type. As I always say: “No one is going to get you, til you get you.”

-Marketability. Part of knowing who you are and where you fit in is knowing what jobs or roles that you can be cast in today…not roles you want to do or dream of doing, but understanding and accepting the level you are currently at…this is when those three words (Honest Realistic Specific) play an important part.

-Presentation.  You know who you are, how you fit in, and the roles you can be playing today…now you need to start presenting yourself in that light. This is a visual business…look the part, and you will be asked to act it.

 -Individuality/Branding. When you are sitting in the waiting room with 25 other actors all your same type and marketability, what do you bring unique and special to the role that the others don’t? This is your Brand.

-Packaging. Understanding the importance of Packaging separates the actor who is castable from the part-time “I think I want to act if I don’t really have to do anything” actor. It is bringing everything together in a recognizable, branded, individualized package, including you, your image and presence and all marketing materials: headshots, reel, postcards, website, web series, etc.

-Image Maintenance. Once you figure out who you are, and how to best package your self and your brand, if you want to remain castable, you need to learn how to maintain and alter those aspects, while always staying true to yourself, in an ever-changing industry.

-Flexibility. Being flexible is a great quality of the Castable Actor. Not only do you need to be able to “Yes and…” in the acting arena, you should be as open to changing your image, look, dress, branding, etc. in order to constantly present the best most marketable you.

-Acknowledging Limitations. No, you can’t do everything, no matter what your mother told you, but what you can do is “be you” better than anyone else. Becoming the best at doing what you do within your own limitations not only creates a Castable Actor, it creates a memorable actor.

-Confidence not Cockiness. Confidence is an attractive attribute. A Castable Actor is one who knows who s/he is and more importantly, owns it…warts and all.  Cockiness is just a cover-up for insecurities and no one wants a cocky insecure actor on set.

-Goal Setting. Start thinking about your acting career from today plus five years. Let go of who you were or what you did in the past. That year you booked a couple jobs, or that month your hair looked amazing, sure, they were great, but the Castable Actor is far too busy to stay in the past. Look to where you want to be and set realistic honest and specific goals to get you there.

So there you have a number of the aspects that we will fully explore throughout The Castable Actor; aspects that can help make an actor more marketable, more desirable, ultimately, more castable, I invite you along on the journey, to take a workshop, read the articles, and put the information to work in your own acting life (remember Honest, Realistic, and Specific). Along the way you’ll acquire the keys you need to get in the door…not only for an audition or two, but if you’ve got the talent to back it up, The Castable Actor could lead you through the door to a successful career.


Tom Burke All in One Headshot, Not Just a Pretty Face, The Castable Actor Tom, a working model and actor, teaches seminars and gives lectures on the importance of headshots and discovering an actor’s image. He is currently consulting and coaching at Keep It Real Acting Studios in North Hollywood, CA where he also teaches the exclusive classes: All-In-One Headshots Package, The Castable Actor, and Not Just a Pretty Face.