Frequently asked questions; if you can not find the answer to your query below, please contact us by visiting the contact page.
Q. How do I apply to join Wilkins Casting?
A. You will need to apply via our website using the registration form. We do not accept postal applications.
When our books are closed you are still welcome to follow our social media accounts, we will announce via these platforms when they re-open.
If we are interested, you will be offered the contract to sign digitally via the Adobe service.
Q. What is the Wilkins Casting joining process?
A. If we like the look of an applicant, and have a space available on our books, then you will offered the contract to sign via Adobe.
The parent/ guardian is expected to complete the registration online, ensuring the profile is at least 80% complete (incl. headshot & full-length image upload) and following reading the contract, they will also be expected to sign on behalf of the child.
Crowd Tracker Pro (CTP) is the agency management system we use. It is how you are notified on the current castings (Availability Checks) and this will also be how the talent is paid following assignments. All the information entered on to CTP makes the same information easily assessable for the agency to supply to casting directors for potential bookings. Information such as location of the child, stats, headshot and contact details will be added to the system by the parent / guardian.
The applicant is expected to complete the registration online, ensuring the profile is at least 80% complete (incl. headshot & full-length image upload) and following reading the contract, they will be expected to sign via Adobe.
Crowd Tracker Pro (CTP) is the agency management system we use. It is how you are notified on the current castings, and this will also be how the talent is paid following assignments. All the information entered on to CTP makes the same information easily assessable for the agency to supply to casting directors for potential bookings. Information such as location of talent (bases), stats, headshot and contact details will be added to the system by the applicant.
Q. Do I need an expensive portfolio?
A. You do ‘NOT’ require an expensive portfolio to apply to any agency. Snapshots are fine so beware of companies claiming to ‘help’ or ‘prepare’ you for this industry. You do NOT need a portfolio to apply to any agency!
We sometimes receive many call per day from parents, models & talent who have paid hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds for completely useless portfolios, websites, z-cards etc.
Companies who provide such things are NOT agencies and parents should be aware that any ‘reputable’ agency will insist on meeting and testing their own models under camera before signing them, regardless of any experience gained in a studio. Any agency that does not want to meet the child models and test them should be avoided as clients insist only those ‘capable’ of the task asked be sent.
Q.Do Wilkins Casting accept all applicants?
A. No. We decline many applications daily to ensure we only have the right artists on our books. Our books close when we do not have availability, they open when we do. Our books are open all-year round for babies and toddlers due to our client demand and the rate they grow. We have a huge number of clients, so need a healthy portfolio of artists to offer for work. However, we must ensure we only take on those we feel will have a look that we feel will appeal to our client base and that we strongly feel will be an asset to our agency portfolio. This ensures that we have only the best artists on our books to offer our clients.
We can receive somewhere in the region of 50-100 applications daily and those who are successful are offered a contract. We are an extremely busy agency securing work for our children & adults, so it would prove impossible for a booker to invite everyone to meet them and carry out their regular agency duties.
As we limit our numbers, the agency will decline most applicants due to space on our books. Our philosophy is to only accept an applicant who we feel would make a fantastic addition to our agency portfolio. If you do not complete your profile, we are not able to review and we will decline registrations that are not above 80% completion and without images uploaded.
Wilkins Casting Children are cute, unique, have a great personality and a temperament to cope with the varying demands of this industry. Wilkins Casting Adults are reliable, eager & committed.
Q. What are the costs to join Wilkins Casting?
A. There are no fees to be merely represented by our agency. Our agency roster is what clients use to select children & adults for work. We take a £40 admin fee from the first job booked with us on the Child contract (this is split per the first 4 jobs) and £42 admin fee from the first job booked with us on the Artist Division contract. This includes the £2 book fee that is taken from every confirmed booking through us. (child division exempt from this fee).
Q. What is our commission rate & are we an exclusive agency?
A. Both our Child Division & Adult Division agency commission is 20% for photographic, TV, Film commercial work, fittings and stage and theatre.
Wilkins Casting are a non-exclusive agency, where you can register with more than one agency; we just ask that you notify us of any other agency you’re registered with as a courtesy measure. We will automatically contract all artists on an exclusive basis if confirmed for a major campaign, or role (that will be for that job only and will revert to non-exclusive following). Signing with more than 2 agencies can become problematic, so bear that in mind and we ask that you confirm available or not available when you receive availability checks (castings).
Many clients will reject submissions from agencies for artists registered with ‘multiple’ agencies, so please be aware of this when joining more than two agencies. You must also ensure you list any work achieved and any other agencies you are registered on your profile to avoid licensing issues and/or conflicting work (see terms).
Q. Do child bookings require any paperwork and how about school?
A. Bookings will mostly be during the weekdays so time out of school will be necessary at certain times throughout the year. It is a professional working industry, and our clients shoot times reflect that.
Some of these bookings can come in with very short notice, usually the next day. Being available to attend will obviously increase an artist’s chances of success with us. We must stress however, that our talent should not feel pressured to be considered for a booking that is not feasible to honour.
We would love it if you can make every casting, we send out but do realise that our talent’s parents have work and other commitments.
When we send out availability checks, we expect our talent to read the full casting and make on honest decision on whether this is suited and if they can 100% attend on the date specified. This is achieved by selecting yes or no and this notifies us also.
If you cannot make it after you have confirmed, you must let us know as soon as possible. This will allow us to replace you/ your child with another and give someone else the opportunity whilst not letting our client down.
The agency and client will need to obtain a child performance licence for all work and school permission for shoots held during school hours. Most schools are aware of how the industry is and a performers licence is obtained from your local education authority – this will generally be the local authority you pay council tax to.
Unless your child lands a permanent role in a feature film, TV show, or stage production, it will just be the odd day here and there. For roles that exceed 2 days in the school term, private education on set is always provided. Our bookers handle the overall licensing on your behalf of the client when the occasion arises. Parents will need to engage with our bookers to complete all aspects of the licensing process.
Children working as a supporting artist, will only be allowed to work 2 days per term weekday and attend school for the remaining 3 days each week. We expect parents to keep record and liaise with the school on acceptable days off school. We will monitor this also.
Parents are expected to provide the requested paperwork in a timely manner (usually within a day or so). To ensure we allow the local education authority enough time to process the application. This may take up to 21 days on most occasions.
Children will also require a chaperone when on bookings, this is generally a registered chaperone.
You will be expected to drop off your child for some bookings such as BBC/ ITV and LIME and you will not be permitted to wait on set.
All applications are checked by the local education as part of their checks when processing child performance licenses.
For some work, but not very regularly, parents are booked to accompany their child on set (paid/ unpaid)
The parent can also register to become a registered chaperone via the local authority and provide their services for other children on our roster. If this is of interest to you, please get touch via email to find out more.
Q. What kind of experience do I need to be represented?
A. We work with experienced talent as well as those who are brand new to the industry- everyone has to start somewhere!
Q. How much notice will you give me for castings?
A. Typically, production companies, casting directors and assistant directors can give us casting briefs from anywhere between 24 hours to 1 month depending on the nature of the work and if they require adults/ children.
Q. Can I be represented by more than one agency?
A. We are a non-exclusive agency, this means you are free to join any other agency if you wish to. Although, if you are booked to appear on a particular production through Wilkins Casting Agency, you will not be able to undertake the same production through another agency. This works both ways for the other agencies you are with.
We will always advise, if you are receiving the same casting briefs from multiple agencies, you must only express interest through one agency. We expect out talent/ parents to make this decision as appearing in look books across different agencies is generally frown upon from the production/ casting director perspective.
Q. What is a self-tape?
A. It’s increasingly common for casting directors to ask actors to ‘self-tape’ for a role instead of bringing them in for an initial meeting with an assistant. This means filming yourself reading the lines, using a smart phone or tablet.
If they like what they see on the tape, they will either book the talent based off that only or to bring them in to meet in person.
This is a good thing, as it means that many more actors get a chance to be considered for a role than would be possible with traditional first round meetings. It also saves you the time and expense of travelling for a role that you might not be quite right for.
For further assistance or advice on how to make a self-tape, do not hesitate to get in touch.
Q. I live a long way from Birmingham, should I apply?
A. We have represented clients from across the UK so it’s certainly possible to be represented by a Birmingham based agency even if you don’t live nearby.
You should however bear in mind that producers will often consider talent with Birmingham agents to be ‘Birmingham based’ and won’t make any allowances for the additional time and expense involved in getting to auditions and assignments.
Q. Are travel costs reimbursed?
A. You are not normally able to claim travel back from castings or shoots. Work secured abroad is always covered for travel and accommodation, rest days and workdays. It should be remembered that nowadays castings are normally conducted by self-tape or zoom, so no need to travel and no cost incurred to the artist. We will always attempt to negotiate but as general rule, work secured for supporting artistes will not cover travel expenses to and from filming.
Q. How often can I expect work?
A. The amount of work an artist is booked for would depend on many factors. It is important to understand it is the client and not the agency who chooses the models & talent for their campaigns. No agency can therefore guarantee work and any who do should be avoided.
Some artists are booked regularly, some occasionally, whilst others may not be so lucky. We do however have an extremely high percentage of our children & adults out daily on shoots and can guarantee that we submit all those to clients when they are suitable, match the brief and have confirmed availability. We also ensure professional, ethical representation at all times.
We typically receive over 30-50 briefs a week (including weekends!) so if you have an up to photos, sizes and have confirmed availability, you will be seen by our clients. We want our children & adults working as much as they do, that is where we earn our money!
Q. How much do talent earn?
A. All jobs are different, and earnings will depend on the age of the talent, client, campaign and how much, how long and where the campaign is featured.
Child rates will generally be 50% of rates for some assignments – in particular Film & TV Supporting Artist rates.