Every business needs to track trends, keep records, and organize information. As a talent and business owner, keeping good books is paramount to growth and success. So what do you need to be tracking and recording?
The first thing I suggest talent track is their casting to booking ratio. Create a spreadsheet (or use whatever version of bookkeeping will keep you coming back) using excel or a similar computer program. If you like old fashioned pencil and paper, a journal notebook would be great. The most important thing is that you choose a method that fits your lifestyle, personal quirks, and one that you will keeping coming back to over and over in the future. In fact, visiting your document spreadsheet or journal should be a joyous occasion – you were seen and are able to practice the craft that fulfills you!
I like spreadsheets, which are noted in the image below, but your method can look different as long as you have all the important fields of information.
Note that in the spreadsheet image, the categories to track include DATE, CLIENT, CASTING DIRECTOR, CHARACTER, and then fields to tabulate only when you are active at a CASTING, CALLBACK, or get BOOKED.
For now we will focus on the last three columns. Getting the CASTING is one thing, but sometimes things out of our control happen and the casting doesn’t end up becoming a reality. It’s still important to note that you were considered, but if the job was pulled before you showed up to the casting, leave the space blank. The fact that you filled in all the other information can remind you later that this was an extenuating and unusual circumstance. I’ve only seen this happen when a character changed ethnicities or gender after casting had already started.
If the option for a CALLBACK is available, you’ll want to notate it in this field and then additionally notate if you are seen at CALLBACKS. The way I would write this is to put “AVAIL” in the CALLBACK box until I know if I am being seen again. If so, I would change the “AVAIL” to a tally mark (“x”). If not, the AVAIL would tell me that I was only considered through my initial audition.
Lastly, if the process runs it’s full course and I was seen for the casting, callback, and BOOKED the job, I would tally in the BOOKED column. There might also be situations where a talent is direct BOOKED in which case I would only tally in the BOOKED column and leave the CASTING and CALLBACK fields blank to notate I was booked off of my materials directly.
Knowing what your work looks like on paper can help those business minds partnering with you advise on areas of growth and strength and give better pitches when projects relating to your area of expertise present themselves.
We’ll jump into the math of finding your Casting to Booking ratio in the next blog. What do your records look like right now? What system of bookkeeping will work best for you? Share your ideas – someone else might share something that will help you stick to your plan and grow your business!