Question: “What’s the difference between a casting director and a talent agent?”

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Comment by Bettye Zoller on October 2, 2008 at 1:25pm
Casting director gets paid either by the "head" (each person who auditions means the client pays so much to the CD for that) or by the day or the three day casting period or whatever terms the CD wants to set. Directors, producers, film companies, advertising agencies and others seeking voiceover and on-camera talents and even models use CDs to cut down the field to a few candidates, thus saving time. The biggest CDs are licensed and trained and belong to an organization that signifies they are top pros. But there are many CDs who just start being CDs and nobody seems to mind. One bad thing is when casting directors teach and give workshops. Actors, particularly the younger newer ones, often spend money in the hope the CD will "know" and "hire them." This is seldom the case. Be cautious about attending classes with CDs unless you just plan to "learn" from them and expect "no special favors." Those probably won't happen.

An agent is as Phillip Banks says here so that's about all to say. Just never think of an agent as you friend, your mom, your supporter, your PR agent. They're NOT. They only make money when you WORK and they'll soon dump you if you never earn for them. Agents in the U.S. should be licensed and bonded because they handle other people's money. The states do this on an individual basis. Ask if they are bonded by the state.

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