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What’s a Slate Shot and Why Should I Care?

Jeremy Bustin
1 June 2023
10 min read
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A Slate Shot in Your Actors Access Profile is a Game Changer

This is one of the best questions you could ask because a Slate Shot in your Actors Access profile is a game changer. Everyone who submits via Actors Access or other casting sites should have at least one Slate Shot in their profiles.

If you don’t know what Actors Access is and why it’s critical to a successful acting career, you should start here.

Slate Shot and Slate: Is There a Difference?

Many actors have heard of slates when doing an audition but are less familiar with the Slate Shot. The first is a very specific request for a very specific audition. They usually want your height, availability for shooting, etc. The latter is a five to seven second live headshot of you saying your name. It should absolutely match the vibe and wardrobe of your acting headshot. It gives casting directors a tiny glimpse of your personality and lets them see what you look like on video.

Why is a Slate Shot Important for Actors?

Most of all, the Slate Shot boosts your status on sites like Actors Access. I’ll demonstrate why.

More than one-hundred actors will be competing for that role you want. Usually, several hundred to thousands depending on the caliber of the project and the role. Casting directors are busy people and don’t have the time to look at every single person, so there’s a bit of a hierarchy on Actors Access.

In addition to seeing your headshot, which needs to pop off the page, casting directors can see if you have a resume, photo gallery, reel and Slate Shot on your account.You want your submission to show up as close to the top as possible for the best chance of being seen.

Be Seen: The Hierarchy of Actors Access

  1. If you have a headshot, a Slate Shot and a reel, you will be among the first listed when casting directors are viewing submissions.
  2. If you have at least a headshot and a Slate Shot, you will appear in the next grouping of submissions a little bit down the page.
  3. If you just have a headshot, you will be among the very last listed and may not even be seen at all.

What If You Don't Have a Reel?

I know what some of you are thinking. But I don’t have a reel! That is perfectly okay as there are a significant number of people who don’t have a reel. The majority of people submitting for roles right now in this market only have a headshot. By having a Slate Shot that matches your professional headshot, you are keeping yourself in the game.

A casting director recently said that it’s a good idea to have one neutral Slate Shot on your Actors Access account and attach it to every single headshot. If you go this route, keep it simple with a plain black t-shirt that lets us focus on you.

Best case scenario is that you would have a Slate Shot for every headshot you have on Actors Access, but one is a great start.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about Slate Shots or getting started on Actors Access.

Intimate portrait of a woman with short curly hair, gold nose ring, and a contemplative expression, wearing a burnt orange collar shirt layered under a black top, set against a muted gray background - Premium Atlanta Headshots Photography