18­-TO­-PLAY-­YOUNGER: ­A performer legally 18 years old, who can convincingly be cast as a younger age.

A.D.: ­ The Assistant Director.

AD LIB: ­ Extemporaneous delivery without relying on a prepared script.

BACKGROUND: ­ The Extra performers. On the set, “Background!” is a verbal cue for the Extras to start their action.

BACK TO ONE!:­ The verbal cue for performers to return to the mark where they started the scene.

BEAT: A deliberate and slight pause (short on long) in dialogue or an action. Most normally in dialogue to emphasize emotion or thought.

BLOCKING:­The actual physical movements by performers in any scene. Also can refer to the camera movements.

BOOKING:­ A firm commitment to a performer to do a specific job.

BOOM: An overhead microphone, usually on an extended pole.

BLUE SCREEN: ­ Shooting in a studio against a large blue or green backdrop, which allows a background to be superimposed later on the final image. The actors must imagine the set they are on and be aware of the limitations of their movements.

BUYER: ­ retail store employee who purchases clothing from the manufacturer; models show the line of clothing to store buyers.

BUY OUT: – a one ­time fee paid by the client for the usage of said image or material for a specified period of time.

CALLBACK: ­Any follow­ up interview or audition.

CALL SHEET:­ A sheet containing the cast and crew call times for a specific day’s shooting. Scene numbers, the expected day’s total pages, locations, and production needs are also included.

CAMERA LEFT: Actors or subjects are positioned (or asked to move) to the left side of the camera frame (from the operators view/perspective). Screen direction is the opposite of stage direction ​(SEE CHART BELOW)​. To move camera left, the actor would move to his/her right side. Whereas on stage, an actor would move to his left for stage left.

CAMERA RIGHT: ­ Opposite of camera left. Actor moves to his/her left side. ​(SEE CHART BELOW)

CASTING DIRECTOR:­ The producer’s representative responsible for choosing performers for consideration by the producer or director.

CASTING FACILITY: A studio or space used by one or more casting directors for holding audition taping sessions. Many casting directors have their own casting facility and others rent facilities for their auditions as required.

CATTLE CALL:­ An audition open to many, many actors at once. ​*OUR AGENCY DOES NOT SEND TALENT TO CATTLE CALLS. CLIENT: Production Company who hires the agency to supply models.

CLOSE­UP (CU): ­ Camera term for tight shot of shoulders and face.

COLD READING: ­ Unrehearsed reading of a scene, usually at an audition.

COMPOSITE CARD, COMP CARD, ZED CARD: Card with 3­5 photos of model and their height, eye and hair color and size information to promote and distribute to prospective clients.

CONFLICT:­ Status of being paid for services in a commercial for one advertiser, thereby contractually preventing performing services in a commercial for a competitor.

CONTACT SHEET: Proof sheets used to determine best shots.

COPY:­ The script for a commercial or voice over.

CRAFT SERVICES:­ On­ set beverage and snack table.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: ­Ad agency employee who determines the model type.

CUE:­ Hand signal by the Stage Manager

CUT!: The verbal cue for the action of the scene to stop. At no time, may an actor call, “cut!”

CUTAWAY:­ A short scene between two shots of the same person, showing something other than that person.

DAY PLAYER (DAY PERFORMER): ­ A principal performer hired on a daily basis, rather than on a longer ­ term contract.

DEMO TAPE:­ An actor’s audio or video tape that agents use for audition purposes.

DIALECT:­ A distinctly regional or linguistic speech pattern.

DIRECTOR: The coordinator of all artistic and technical aspects of any production.

DOUBLE: A performer who appears in place of another performer, i.e., as in a stunt.

EDITORIAL SHOT: A photograph used to illustrate an article in a newspaper or magazine.

EXT. (Exterior): A scene shot outside.

EXTRA: Background performer, used only in non ­principal roles.

FIRST A.D.:­ First Assistant Director; person responsible for the running of the set. Gives instructions to crew and talent, including calling for “first team,” “quiet,” “rehearsal,” and “take five.”

FIRST TEAM: The production term for the principal actors in a scene.

FIT MODELING: Modeling the original sample garment to test for sizing; clients choose a model whose measurements match the sample size exactly.

FORCED CALL: A call to work less than 12 hours after dismissal on the previous day. FORMAL

FASHION/ RUNWAY SHOW: ­Invited audience; models walk down a runway to show designer clothing.

FREELANCE: Modeling for clients without agency representation.

GO­SEE: ­Job interview, model meets a client and shows portfolio.

HEADSHOT: Photo of head and shoulders. Must be 8 x 10 in size with an updated resume attached to the back.

HOLDING: The designated area to which the Extra Performers report and stay while waiting to go on set.

INDUSTRIAL: Non ­broadcast film or video, usually of an educational nature

INFORMAL FASHION SHOW: In stores or restaurants, walk around, no runway.

INT. (Interior): A scene shot indoors.

LONG SHOT (LS): A camera shot which captures the performer’s full body.

MARK: The exact position(s) given to an actor on a set to insure that he/she is in the proper light and camera angle; generally marked on the ground with tape or chalk.

MARKER!: A verbal cue that the take has been identified on camera both verbally and with the slate board.

MASTER SHOT: A camera shot that includes the principal actors and relevant background activity.

MATCHING ACTIONS: The requirement that the actor match the same physical movements in a scene from take to take in order to preserve the visual continuity.

MODEL RELEASE: Contract in which the model gives permission to use the photo as the client specified.

OFF­ CAMERA (OC or OS):­ Dialogue delivered without being on screen.

OPEN CALL: Casting when the client sees all models suitable for the type requested (See Cattle Call).

OUT OF FRAME: An actor outside the camera range.

P.A.: ­Production Assistant.

PAN: A camera shot which sweeps from side ­to ­side.

POST ­PRODUCTION: The phase of filmmaking that begins after the film has been shot. Includes scoring, sound and picture editing, titling, dubbing, and releasing.

PRE­ PRODUCTION: The phase of filmmaking before shooting begins; includes writing, scouting locations, budgeting, casting, hiring crews, ordering equipment and creating a shooting schedule.

PRINCIPAL: A performer with lines.

“PRINT!”:­ A call from the director at the end of a take that that particular take is good enough be printed.

PRODUCER: The person responsible for the day ­to­day decision making on a production.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: The company actually making the film or television show.

PROMOTION: Publicity to advance a product, service or person.

PROPS:­ Any objects used by actors in a scene.

PORTFOLIO BOOK: ­Main promotional tool for models.​ Displays select photos in a vinyl or leather casebook which show the model at his/her photogenic best and includes samples of work (tear sheets). PSA: Public Service Announcement.

RESIDUAL: The fee paid to a performer for rebroadcast of a commercial, film or TV program

ROLLING!: The verbal cue for the camera film and audio tape to start rolling. SAMPLE: Piece of clothing from a line, one­-of-­a-­kind.

SCALE: Minimum payment for services under union contracts.

SCRIPT: The written form of a screenplay, teleplay, radio or stage play.

SCRIPT SUPERVISOR: The crew member assigned to record all changes or actions as the production proceeds.

SECOND TEAM!: The verbal cue for the stand ­ins to come to the set and be ready to stand in.

SIDES: Pages or scenes from a script, used in auditions or (if on a film set) the scenes being shot that day.

SLATE: A small chalkboard and clapper device, often electronic, used to mark and identify shots on film for editing; also the process of verbal identification by a performer in a taped audition (e.g., “Slate your name!”).

SPIKING THE LENS:­ Looking directing into the lens during a scene; since it destroys the illusion of realism, actors should ​never​ spike the lens unless ​specifically ​directed to do so for specific effect.

SPOKESPERSON: Person/model chosen to explain the features of a product/service.

STAGE RIGHT: To the performer’s right side, to the audience’s left side. Likewise,

STAGE LEFT is to the performer’s left, the audience’s right. Stage directions are for actors, not audiences; therefore they are always given from the actor’s point of view to the audience.

STANDARD UNION CONTRACT: The standard format/contract approved by the Unions and offered to performers.

STAND­ INS: Extra Performers used as substitutes for featured players, for the purpose of setting lights and rehearsing camera moves; also known as the second team.

STATS: Statistical information of a model, including measurements, size, height, etc.

STUNT DOUBLE: A stunt person who performs stunts for a principal.

STUNT PERSON:­ A specially trained performer who actually performs stunts.

TEAR SHEET: Copy of a print ad that the model keeps in the portfolio as proof of work.

TELEPROMPTER: The brand name of a device which allows a broadcaster to read a script while looking into the lens.

TEST SHOTS, TEST PHOTOGRAPHY: Photos used to build a beginning portfolio.

TFP/TFCD: Time/Test For Print; Time/Test for CD

THEATRICAL: TV shows or feature film work, as opposed to commercials.

THREE BELLS!: An audible warning for QUIET because a scene is about to be filmed.

TIGHT SHOT (Go in Tight): ­Framing of a shot with little or no space around the central figure(s) of feature(s);

TIME­AND­A­HALF: Overtime payment of 1 1/2 times the hourly rate.

UNDERSTUDY: A performer hired to do a role only if the featured player is unable to perform; primarily in theatre.

UPGRADE: The promotion of an extra performer in a scene to the category of principal performer.

UP STAGE:­ (a) The area located at the back of the stage. (Down Stage is the area in front of the performer) (b) To draw attention to oneself at the expense of a fellow performer. ​

USAGE: Additional fees for higher exposure, like a billboard or national use.

V.O.: Voice over. An off­-camera voice coming either from an actor not in the frame, or from a secondary source such as a speakerphone or answering machine.

VOUCHER: Time slip with all pertinent information needed for getting paid properly.

WAIVERS: Union­-approved permission for deviation from the terms of a contract.

WALKAWAY: A meal break in which all cast and crew are on their own to get lunch.

WARDROBE FITTING: A session held prior to production to prepare a performer’s costumes.

WARDROBE STYLIST: Coordinates the fashions and accessories, checks fit of clothing, visual scene.

WEATHER PERMIT­: A location job that is dependent on fair weather may be canceled a day before or that morning.

WRAP: The completion of a day’s filming or of the entire production.



Most of the Performing Arts Unions (including SAG, AFTRA, AEA​, AGMA ​and AGVA) are labor organizations affiliated with the AFO­-CIO under the umbrella of the 4A*s (Associated Actors and Artistes of America). Performers' Unions were formed over 50 years ago to improve basic working conditions and to negotiate minimum (scale) salaries for all their members through the process of collective bargaining. Each Union has its own entrance requirements, initiation fees, dues structures, constitutions, bylaws, rules and regulations, and governing bodies. The following is a brief description of various union jurisdictions:

1. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (​AFTRA​) has Sole jurisdiction over performers in live television, radio program, radio commercials and musical recordings. In addition, AFTRA shares video tape jurisdiction with the Screen Actors Guild with respect to television programming, TV commercials and industrial/educational programs. With locations throughout the country, AFTRA represents performer categories such as: actors, announcers, dancers, disc jockeys, newspersons, singers, sportscasters, stunt persons, etc. AFTRA contracts also cover Contract and Principal Players, "Under­5" and Extras.

2. The Screen Actors Guild (​SAG​) has exclusive jurisdiction over Principal performers appearing in feature motion pictures and in all other types of productions shot on film. In addition, SAG shares video tape jurisdiction with AFTRA with respect to television programming, TV commercials and industrial/educational programs. SAG also represents Extra Players in feature motion pictures, SAG television programming, SAG non­broadcast films and commercials in certain areas.

3. Actors' Equity Association (​AEA or Equity​) has jurisdiction over theatre and "live" industrial productions. It covers performers appearing on stage (both Principals and Chorus), as well as stage managers and, under some contracts, directors and choreographers.

4. The American Guild of Variety Artists (​AGVA​) covers performers in Las Vegas club showrooms and cabarets, live performances in musical variety shows, comedy showcases, dance revues, magic shows and amusement park shows, and many arena and auditorium productions on tour. Jurisdiction between AGVA and Equity is sometimes not clear and may require case ­by ­case determination.

5. The American Guild of Musical Artists (​AGMA​) covers singers, dancers and other performers in operas and other classical music productions and concerts.


1. The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (​ACTRA​) is a national organization of more than 21,000 professional performers working in the English-­language recorded media. ACTRA handles artists working in feature films, TV, radio, digital media, corporate videos and commercials as dramatic actors, comedians, dancers, background performers, voiceover specialists, singers, puppeteers, stunt performers, etc.

2. The Union of B.C. Performers (​UBCP​) is a trade union in the Province of British Columbia and the B.C. Branch of the ACTRA. UBCP is dedicated to protecting the rights of professional performers to fair remuneration and the fundamental respect for their craft and artistry.

3. Canadian Actors' Equity Association (​CAEA​) is the professional association of performers, directors, choreographers, fight directors and stage managers in English Canada engaged in live performance in theatre, opera and dance.



High Fashion Modeling is the modeling of designer clothes, either at fashion shows or in publications. Sometimes, modeling of jewelry and cosmetics fall into this category. Although hours are long and pay is low, high fashion modeling provides the model with a lot of exposure and has launched a great deal of successful careers. The advertisers' expectations run very high for this type of modeling so agencies choose models with a proven track record of success. These models have to fit into specific criteria for consideration. Men must be 6'1 or taller, and females must be 5'9 or taller. High Fashion Models have very stringent requirements for measurements and must keep their bodies well toned and in top-shape at all time. High Fashion models whose measurements fit an actual standard clothing size can be used for designer runway shows.


Editorial Modeling is similar to High Fashion Modeling, except that the model works for a particular publication, and the photos will be used to illustrate an article. The photographs for these publications are aimed at the target audience of their readers. Images in the non­-advertisement sections of a fashion magazine are a good example of this type of modeling. The physical requirements are less stringent for Editorial Modeling than for High Fashion Modeling. Many more models are needed for Editorial Modeling, and Editorial experience can open up opportunities in High Fashion Modeling.


There are no established physical requirements for Glamour Models, other than the model must be beautiful and/or sexy in the photographs. This type of modeling is used often for jewelry, cosmetics, and hairstyles. Pay rates can be very high for these projects.


While some Catalog Modeling involves posing with products, most is done wearing store ­brand clothes. It is desirable to get booked as a Catalog Model because hours are consistent and repeat­ modeling opportunities are high. Look through some mail­-order catalogs to get an idea of what is involved. Physical requirements are not stringent, as the clothes can be pinned to fit models with variations in measurements.


Models with long fingers and well­-manicured nails have opportunities to display their hands demonstrating domestic products. For men, a demand exists for husky, masculine hands, or alternatively, more elegant hands with long fingers. Women with well­-proportioned feet are needed for shoe advertisements. Advertisements for stockings, pantyhose, and razors require women with nicely shaped legs. Hair products call for female and male models with good hair. There are numerous other Specialty Modeling opportunities. However, you should not start by concentrating solely on Specialty Modeling. Instead, prepare a standard portfolio, including a few photographs that emphasize the best areas of your body. Most agencies pick models for Specialty work from their regular modeling pool.


Some jobs require models with an everyday look such as a truck driver, grocery clerk, school teacher, cleaning person, appliance repair person, etc. All models in TV Commercials are character models. TV Commercials offer a growing area of opportunity to models with some acting background. Many modeling agencies now include a TV Commercial Department since these opportunities arise so often. Because of this, basic acting courses are recommended even for those specializing only in modeling.


These shows typically use female models to demonstrate products, hand out brochures, and answer questions about products.


Showroom models are hired by designers who are trying to show their current line to a potential buyer. The model would be wearing the designers' dress, outfit, shoes, etc, to showcase the look. Showroom jobs pay very well and similarly to catalog models showroom models are often chosen over for consistent bookings.

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