Casting with Backstage: Deadlines and Conditions

Backstage edits and formats all listings to fit its casting-site style and editorial guidelines.

All postings (a.k.a. listings, casting notices, casting calls, auditions, etc.) typically appear online immediately, 24/7, and are initially marked as "Instant" items, so you can begin receiving applications from talent right away. It may take between 1-4 business days for your notice to be officially edited, formatted, and approved. Once edited and approved, you'll receive a notification; the "Instant" flag will be removed; and your listing may receive additional exposure and promotion.

Backstage's editors will contact you if additional info is needed to approve your notice for print or online publication. References and other materials may be requested to verify your production. Your casting notice may be temporarily or permanently removed from the site if Backstage has serious questions about your posting. Productions must agree to publish accurate and honest information, and must reveal all relevant details in their listings that are necessary for job applicants to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to apply (including any key details such as controversial subject matter, nudity requirements, contractual obligations, etc.). Backstage reserves the right to publish or not publish any notice in print and/or online regardless of the options chosen at checkout.

Backstage also reserves the right to edit, update, or reject any listing (or close any account) at its own discretion at any time.

Note: Backstage occasionally distributes discount codes. The codes must be used at the time of checkout; they cannot be applied retroactively. Additional pricing rules and content restrictions apply for posting listings related to acting classes, workshops, or other opportunities where the talent may be required to pay a fee. Contact Backstage for details.

Please contact Backstage if you need help updating your casting notice, using the site, or need to delay the print or online publication of your notice. We're always happy to help!



Additional Terms of Use

Backstage's casting system is primarily intended for the distribution of casting calls, crew calls, job postings, audition announcements, offers of representation, and calls for volunteers and collaborators. Other types of listings, such as calls for submissions to film festivals and talent competitions, and opportunities for actors to attend workshops/classes/events, are also allowed, to a limited degree (and at the discretion of Backstage), but must be posted into the appropriate categories for these opportunities, rather than the primary casting/job categories. Contact Backstage for details.

Additional regulations and pricing requirements also apply to all listings being used to advertise products, services, workshops, classes, pageants, competitions, and any other opportunities that require the talent to pay a participation fee.

Likewise, the Backstage Talent Database can only be used to contact actors for legitimate casting and job opportunities. The Talent Database cannot be used to solicit sales, promote services, call for donations, advertise for fee-based pageants and competitions, or send spam or inappropriate messages. Spammers, scammers, and pornographers will be banned. Users and casting notices that generate complaints will be removed. Accounts may also be closed at any time at the discretion of Backstage's editors.



Talent Compensation Requirements

Although Backstage encourages all roles to be paid, whenever possible, it's understood that some indie and student productions are experience-building arts projects that rely on volunteer-based collaborators.

With this in mind, productions on Backstage can cast for both paid and unpaid roles. Above all, Backstage requires productions to be honest and realistic about the rates they'll be able to pay (or not pay) and all other pertinent aspects and requirements of the project and roles, so that the talent will have a complete understanding of the situation prior to deciding whether or not to apply to a project.

Likewise, the productions posting on Backstage must agree that all unpaid and deferred-pay-only opportunities will be tagged with Backstage's "no pay" label (i.e., in these cases the production will choose "No" to the question "Will you be paying talent?" on Backstage's job-posting form). This setting allows for easy identification and filtering of the productions by the talent. (However, any deferred/future pay or other compensation benefits may also be spelled out in the listing's "Compensation" description field, to further clarify the situation for the talent.)

Productions must also agree that most unpaid, deferred-pay, low-pay (pay below minimum wage), "expenses only," and stipend-based opportunities may fall under a status of "volunteering" and/or "collaboration" and may be restricted from mandating certain work hours, duties, or contractual obligations that would be involved in an actual job opportunity.

Many types of productions may also be legally obligated to pay their cast and crew. Productions posting jobs on Backstage are obligated to determine if they're eligible to call for volunteers vs. being a type of production that must pay their talent. Productions should refer to their local labor laws, unions, and minimum-wage regulations for guidance.

U.K.-based projects must also abide by the U.K. National Minimum Wage Act.

Additionally, productions calling for union talent must follow the compensation guidelines set forth by the union contract or agreement they're operating under.



Union Requirements

Both union and nonunion productions may cast with Backstage.

However, productions calling for union talent on Backstage must state the name and status of the union contract or agreement they plan on using. In terms of "status," this would include indicating whether or not the producers "plan to apply for" a particular contract in the future; or if they've applied for the contract and are still awaiting union approval; or if the contract has been approved.

Backstage may ask productions for additional verifications and clarifications regarding their current or intended union contracts and pay rates. Backstage also frequently communicates directly with the unions to verify this information. Providing incorrect or misleading information to Backstage will delay the distribution of your casting call and may be grounds for account suspension.

Productions calling for union talent must also abide by all the regulations set forth by the unions, which may include specific requirements regarding audition procedures, work hours, and compensation.

Only productions that meet these requirements may tag their casting calls with Backstage's "Union" or "Union & Nonunion" status settings. (The "Union" setting is for calling for primarily only union members. While the "Union & Nonunion" setting can be used to call for both union and nonunion performers.) Productions that are not prepared to offer a union contract/agreement to performers must instead use Backstage's "Nonunion" or "N/A" union-status setting.

All productions that are seeking union talent are encouraged to contact the appropriate unions ahead of time (such as SAG-AFTRA, Equity, AGMA, AGVA, ACTRA, FAA/BECTU, PACT, etc., depending on the project) to begin the process of determining what contract or agreement they'll be eligible for and the rules, regulations, and pay-minimums involved.



Print Options

In addition to publishing content 24/7 online, Backstage also publishes Backstage Magazine 31 times a year. Backstage Magazine is distributed as both a full-color, glossy print-edition magazine (in the U.S.) and a weekly Digital Edition Magazine (distributed both in the U.S. and internationally). In every issue, a small selection of casting notices from are chosen for inclusion in Backstage Magazine, to help bring the listings extra attention. When posting your casting call, choosing the "Print Spotlight" posting option guarantees inclusion of your notice online and in the next available print and digital editions of Backstage as long as your notice is still relevant in time for the next edition.

Your casting notice will appear online prior to appearing in print. If all of your submission deadlines and audition dates have passed prior to the next available print-publication date, then your casting notice may only appear online (unless updated info is provided for print).

There is no refund available for not appearing in print. However, if you paid for the "Print Spotlight" upgrade, your notice will receive expedited treatment from Backstage's editors and will still be highlighted as a special Spotlight item in search results online, even if it does not make it into the offline magazine.

To ensure inclusion in print, Backstage recommends choosing the "Print Spotlight" option at checkout and posting your casting notice at least two weeks prior to the day you'd like your notice to appear in print. Backstage magazine appears on newsstands on Thursdays. The official posting deadline is every Friday at 3 p.m. for the following week's print edition; however, some weeks require an earlier deadline.

Casting notices marked with the "Featured" service online, and some especially time-sensitive items, will receive print deadlines extended to each Monday at 3 p.m. Backstage reserves the right to extend or shorten the regular print deadline at its discretion. Earlier deadlines apply during the holidays and some other times of the year.

In print, casting notices may be edited for size dependent on space and wording; contact Backstage for special rates if a guaranteed word-count is required or for other special requests.

Note: Beginning in January 2019, the print edition of Backstage will move to an adjusted frequency. The magazine will remain a weekly publication but with occasional double issues spread throughout the year; the double issues will be combined editions that cover numerous weeks. Currently, 31 issues of Backstage Magazine are planned for 2019. Simultaneously, we'll be growing our online offerings at to bring you even more great content and tools.

For assistance and more details, contact Backstage's casting editors: