How much does it cost to join?
Shields Agency does not charge any joining or admin fees; we work solely on commission.
However, there are some costs which all actors should expect to pay in order to have a good
chance of work.
Spotlight is a casting website which allows your child to be selected for upcoming auditions, this
allows casting directors to see your headshots and CV.
It's an incredibly competitive market, and casting directors often find the talent they need
on Spotlight and don't need to look any further.
We recommend that all our clients pay for a listing in The Spotlight. This currently costs £103 per
year; clients also require professional headshots which will take place with our resident Agency
photographers to capture the best photograph possible. This is a very important part of the casting
process and the photo should be able to give an honest representation of the actor.
For Academy costs, please email and you will be sent all of the costing
What ages do you represent?
We take on clients from 7 - 21 years old.
If we see any emerging talent, we may invite you to be part of our professional training Academy.
Can you guarantee work for your clients?
Like any agency, we can't guarantee work for our clients; neither can we guarantee auditions!
We receive casting breakdowns every day, and we suggest our clients for all the roles that they are suitable for. However there are many, many young people looking for acting work today, and only a limited number of appointments. For this reason, we ask that clients let us know in advance if they are going to be unavailable for castings or filming.
How do we decide that we would like to represent you?
Our talent is carefully selected and they are usually interviewed at one of our casting audition days where they perform a section of a script or asked to also bring along a short monologue with them.
Our agents and casting panel are looking for the extra little something special!
Confidence in front of the camera is very important, as well as good expressive dialogue while giving an honest and individual performance.
Taking your child to castings, which will often be in London requires a lot of commitment from the parents or guardians.
How much notice will you give us of auditions?
We try and allow as much time as possible before appointments but often casting directors can give upon to 24 hours notice for a casting. As appointments are like gold dust, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend.
Where do jobs take place?
A lot of the castings often take place in London or Manchester. However, jobs can take you all over the world! It is not unusual for the opportunity to be filming in a different locations around UK and sometimes abroad. Theatre work mostly takes place in London however there are often opportunities for UK touring.
Can I be represented by more than one agency?
We insist on having sole representation of our clients, and ask that all work offers are directed to us. The reason being, we run our practice in appliance with Children's performance legislation and guidance England so we need to make sure the work your child is doing follows the same practice and the correct fees are paid. It also helps us manage your child's career In the right direction.
What is a self tape?
Self taping is increasingly becoming the norm for the first stage of the casting process, meaning that you can send a video to the casting director in the first instance, and only travel to London if you are brought through to the second round.
This means filming yourself reading the lines, using a smart phone or tablet (though a DSLR or video camera is fine if you have one).
If they like what they see on the tape, they will then bring the actor in to meet in person, or sometimes bring them straight in for a meeting with the director.
This is a good thing, as it means that many more actors get a chance to be considered for a role than would be possible with traditional first round meetings. It also saves you the time and expense of travelling into central London for a role that you might not be quite right for.
Simple suggestions...and be yourself!
choose a brightly lit room to record in,
Use a plain background- a light grey wall is best. Unless you're told otherwise, you only need the head and shoulders in frame. Don't film in high quality mode, or the resulting file will be huge, and it'll take you hours to upload it!
Someone to read with- ask a parent or friend to operate the camera, and to read the other characters' lines. They should make sure that they are not too close to the microphone, and that they speak quietly, otherwise their voice will be much louder than yours!
No Wobbly camera work- It is distracting and detracts from a good performance. If you don't have a tripod, improvise! If you're using an iPhone, a blob of blu-tak and a suitably high surface will do.
Landscape format- If you're not sure what this means, look at your TV set- your video should look like that.
Send your video to us- If you can use WeTransfer.com as it's free and straightforward to use. Just visit the website in your browser, type in your address, the recipient's address, attach the file and hit send.
If you're using a smart phone or tablet to record, you can download the free WeTransfer app which allows you to send the video directly from the photos folder on your device.
You should only send videos to us; please don't upload them yourself to YouTube or similar. In many cases the script that you are asked to film is confidential, and it's important that it doesn't get leaked out to the public.
All our Teachers and Agents
are Enhanced DBS Approved