We get emails with the below questions quite commonly. Scroll through and see if you can find answers to some of your questions!
I hear there's a shortage of trans actors. Where do I sign up?
Media reports have been incomplete in explaining what the shortage is. We have shortages in trained, experienced actors. We have shortages in actors that would be a good draw at the box office (also known as star power). So, if you have good training, good experience, good credits, are in a union (ie. SAG, AEA, etc.) then yes, you could find work more easily than a beginner.
If you're thinking of starting out, you have lots of work to do, but in our opinion, it will be worth it in the long run.
I'm just starting out. What do I do?
First begin by taking acting lessons or classes. You can typically find them through local community colleges (like a theater arts program). To get experience, join a local theater group, improv group, or comedy group. You can also do your own videos and post them on Youtube or similar.
By taking classes, you'll learn acting terminology, techniques and learn scene study and character development. You'll also learn to be directed in what you do, and work with other actors in developing your skills.
I live outside the USA. What can I do?
Transgender Talent is focused only on USA casting calls. If you live outside the USA, you would need to have permission to work here. (Commonly that's an O-1 visa.) The process to get an O-1 visa is neither fast nor inexpensive either. The cost of transportation and hotel is fairly high. So you would either need to be very good in order to land a very good role, or you need to expect to lose money coming here to perform.
The US State department evaluates a person applying to work here based on their success that can be evidenced through reputable sources. In practical terms, you need to already have great credits in, for example, the country you reside in, or awards from international film festivals. So if you don't have that yet, and it's impossible for you to do so, due to the culture, politics, or religion of where you live, you'd have to try coming here another way, such as applying for political asylum. You should seek legal advice on this, if that is the case.
I would like to list with Transgender Talent. What do I do?
First, have your resume ready. List only things pertinent to your career. Use the fairly standard format for your resume, which is different than a typical business resume. Examples can be found here, here, and here.
Next, if you intend on being on screen, get headshots done if you don't already have them. A headshot is exactly just that - your head, and a little bit of neck and shoulders. Most headshots will be viewed as a thumbnail, so you can't have much else in the picture. You should have multiple ones, like smiling or no expression, and if you have vastly different looks, have one for each. Headshots can be very expensive. In a pinch you can have a friend take them with the best camera or camera phone you can find, taken against a solid white wall (like in a well lit hallway somewhere). Selfies are not acceptable in most circumstances.
Next write to us through our Contact Us page and we'll get you directed to the correct email address that you can email that info to.
I'm under 18 years old. What can I do?
Transgender Talent will list child actors. It's different for minors working as actors. Once a child comes out as trans in film, television, or new media (like the internet), they're out for life. So, one stipulation we have is that the child must already be out before we will list them. Usually they've been doing public speaking about it at their local school, social groups, and religious organizations, and you've got a video of it posted on social media, or a news article in a magazine or news site that you can refer us to.
We can start submitting the child actor for casting calls, and once they get a role, certain things have to be done before they can come on set and perform.
First you need to have a Coogan account to have the funds saved for when the child actor turns 18. Next you usually need some type of permit from the government. You have to allow plenty of time for this before the shoot. You could have them before they start looking for work, or once the auditions begin.
On set, there's special rules too, limiting how long the child can be on set, and how much time they must spend in school that day.
I don't live near where the auditions are being held. What do I do?
If you can't be at an audition, even if you live local to it, you need to be prepared to do a taped audition. Your location doesn't matter for the audition. But you need to be prepared properly if you land the role and it's not being shot near you. You could lose money on it, but the exposure and experience can be worth it.
Write us for details in how to do taped auditions. There's lots of details.
I want to do behind the scenes work. What do I do?
We are beginning to see more and more opportunities for those behind the camera. This could be for crew, for producers, directors, and so on. Use the Contact Me pages to reach us for details.
Do you list people who do not identify as transgender?
We will list those who are gender expansive in some way, and there's lots of labels people use for themselves. What we don't list is cisgender people, with one exception - the partners of qualified people who already are listed with us. That is especially if they perform together as a couple at times. We handle this on a case by case basis, so please inquire before assuming we'll list someone.