What is a “Booking Ratio”?
(by Tonya Tannenbaum)
A “Booking Ratio” is a two-number combination that represents the number of bookings an actor receives, relative to the number of auditions the actor went on in the process.
Breaking it down:
Say you are primarily a commercial actor. Your headshots are great. Your agent is terrific. And you have very few “conflicts” and very few companies and products you’d rather avoid. As a result, you go on a lot of auditions. In fact, this year, you’ve done 50!
Of the 50 auditions you’ve been on, you’ve booked 5 commercials. Great! What is your booking ratio? It’s 5:50 (5 out of 50). That means, you’ve booked 5 commercials compared with the 50 total commercial auditions you’ve been on.
Your booking ratio is 5:50. Broken down further, your booking ratio is 1:10. With numbers like that, you might be considered a very valuable asset to your agent’s roster (depending on the agent and market, of course). After all, for every 10 auditions they send you on, you book one of them. Payday is never too far away, for you and them!
One important note about booking ratios: they vary from actor to actor. One actor in one category might get far more bookings than another actor in another category. For example, a female who typically plays “attractive female, ages 20-25″ might have a booking ratio of 1:15. That ratio might be much, much higher than another actress who plays a different type and a different age range, like “Mom-type, ages 45-50″ due to the availability of roles for that type.
At the same time, some “attractive female, ages 20-25” types might have lower booking ratios, say, 1:30 (one booking for every 30 auditions), because, although there are more roles available for that type, it is also one of the most competitive categories. Another actor in a less competitive category, might have a better booking ratio.
The Importance of the Booking Ratio
Why are booking ratios important? Because most talent agents keep track of how often you’re booking, whether they use booking ratios or not, and they use this data when deciding which actors to keep and which actors to drop. That’s why!
Some agencies are more lenient than others in this regard. Others are stricter. In fact, while our example above may seem unrealistic for most actors – one booking for every 10 auditions – it’s not far off from what many agents expect from their clients. Many agents expect their talent to book at least one job for every 15-25 auditions they go on.
If you fail to reach this number for an extended period, you could face the possibility of being dropped the next time your agent reviews their roster.