The CDA is an alliance of professional UK Casting Directors dedicated to upholding professional standards within the industry.



Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

If you have a question not addressed here or elsewhere on the site, please get in touch and we will certainly see if we can help.

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What is the CDA?

The Casting Directors Association is a recently formed interest group of UK based professional casting directors who work primarily in the commercial sector.

What is the purpose of the CDA?

The Casting Directors Association exists as a organisation to foster best practice in its membership; to discuss and to encourage the development of improvements in the activity of casting in the UK; to share and communicate professional knowledge between members; to act as a resource of up to date information and practical support for Casting Directors; and to work for the highest standards in our industry by seeking cordial agreement with other relevant bodies representing the interests of actors, of agents, and of producers.

Who can join the CDA?

All casting directors or casting professionals recognised as such by their peers, colleagues, and current membership. Members agree to adhere to a written code of conduct.

What is a Casting Director?

A beautiful and noble being who works at the interface of art and commerce.

Of course they are, but what do they actually do?

The main function of the Casting Director is to be a talent filter, providing the production process with the best possible choices for any acting or performing parts. This may involve script analysis and character breakdown, composition and circulation of casting briefs to agents or other sources, selection of talent to bring to audition, and directing casting sessions and recalls. In a commercial context the Casting Director is often asked by a producer to suggest talent budget information during the pre-production phase. This is an area to which the CDA hopes to bring greater clarity through the sharing of financial information and structured consultations with actor, agent, and producer bodies.

Are Casting Directors agents?

No. This often causes confusion, and is not helped by the common misuse of the term ʻcasting agentʼ. At its simplest agents derive their income from representing actors and creative artists, while casting directors derive their income from working for production companies or advertising agencies. There are a few Casting Directors who have a parallel business interest in a performers agency but the CDA maintains that where this applies to any members these activities are kept entirely separate.

I am a Casting Director interested in membership – How do I join?

Have a look at our Casting Directors section for all the information you need.

I am looking to hire a Casting Director – Where do I start?

A good place to start is with our searchable database of Casting Directors.

I am an actor – how do I get an Agent?

There are several ways to gain representation. Inviting agents to productions you are featuring in or a showcase you maybe performing in. Sending your photograph, showreel and CV to agents is also very important. It is useful also to check an agency’s website to see if they are taking submissions, agencies from time to time will open their books looking for new talent. ‘Contacts’ printed by The Spotlight is a fantastic resource for finding information about agents.

I am the parent of a child actor – How do we get an agent?

Parents need to research this very carefully. There are many fine child agencies but in the last number of years many agencies have set up without much knowledge of the industry and are charging parents a lot of money to join. Parents should not be paying for representation. Having to pay a website subscription, photo-shoot or small admin charge is understandable but these charges should be made clear from the outset. It should also be made clear from the outset that no child is guaranteed an audition. Parents should check the agency’s website for admission process. If an agency has a weekly drama group then perhaps the child should part-take in that before joining the agency full time. Parents should remember that its all well and good thinking your child is a ‘performer’ but it is very different and nerve racking to put the same child in a room to be auditioned by strangers. ‘Contacts’ printed by The Spotlight is a fantastic resource for finding information about agents.

How do I get into casting?

The most common path into casting usually begins with a job as a Casting Assistant.

Getting into Casting