What is a “Breakdown”?
Once posted and released, talent agents can submit talent for consideration; talent who they believe fit the breakdown
(by AM Staff)
A “breakdown” is a brief description of a forthcoming production, along with the characters and roles featured in that production. It is created and released to begin the process of casting the actors who will perform those various characters and roles.
Breaking It Down:
When a producer or production company is ready to cast actors, they will prepare, or have a casting director prepare, a description of the project and all the acting roles they are seeking to fill. These descriptions are known as “breakdowns”. They usually include things like:
*The name of the project
*The description of the project
*The name of the character
*The age range of the character
*The gender of the character
*A description of the character
*The name of the casting director or casting company
*The pay rate
*The location where filming will take place
*The dates and times for auditions to be held
These breakdowns are then sent out to talent agents and managers directly, or are posted onto websites, like Breakdown Services. Once posted and released, talent agents can submit talent for consideration; talent who they believe fit the breakdown. If the casting director believes the submitted actor is a fit for the role, he or she may decide to invite the actor to come in for an audition (or submit a self-tape).
The actor, then, receives the breakdown directly or via their representation. They are able to review the breakdown and other instructions, along with any accompanying sides or script to prepare for the audition.
Smaller productions (and, occasionally, some larger ones) usually make their breakdowns viewable to the entire acting community, including to actors. This allows actors to self-submit, instead of being submitted by an agent or manager on their behalf.