tips from gold talent

Here you will find definitions of industry terminology and phrases frequently used in the world of theatre, film, TV, acting, fashion and performing.


Industry Terminology and commonly used Phrases

ADVERTISING AGENCY Creates advertising campaigns for clients, selects models

AFTRA American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, union for all TV performers

AGENT, AGENCY Third party negotiator, receives percentage fee of bookings; could be an individual person or a company BACKDROP Background used in a photographer’s studio

BOOKER Person at agency who sets appointments for models

BOOKING Specific job assignment

BUYOUT Advance payment for future use of a print ad or a commercial for a specific period of time

CALL BACK Second interview after go-see/audition which means they are narrowing down the selection and they are considering you

CALL TIME Actual time you are due on set

CASTING Choosing models/actors for a specific job

CASTING DIRECTOR Selects suitable models to represent the comp or story board

CANCELLATION 24 hour notice before booking is to begin or money is due agency and talent

CATALOG MODELING Posing for mail order items for major retailers CLIENT Company who hires the ad agency, pays the model’s fee

COLD READING A script that you are reading for the first time in front of the client, without time to memorize the lines

COMMERCIAL Promotional advertisement on TV, radio or other media

COMMISSION A percentage of model’s fee required as payment to agency

COMPOSITE CARD, COMP CARD, (Z-CARD) A photo-card with 3-5 photos of model and their height, eye and hair color and size information to promote and distribute to prospective clients

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ad agency employee who determines the model type

DESIGNER Person who creates the idea for a garment

EXTRA Acting job where the actor has no speaking lines, but stands in the background and adds to the atmosphere of a scene

FASHION TRENDS Gradual changes in fashion styles season by season

FITTING Trying on clothes to determine fit and style ∫ usually before a fashion show

FORMAL FASHION SHOW, RUNWAY SHOW Invited audience, stage, music; models walk down runway to show designer clothing

GUARDIAN one parent or adult guardian to be on location/set to ensure and under-age child’s safety

GO-SEE job interview, model meets a client and shows portfolio

HAIR/MUA – Hair / Make-up Artist

HEADSHOT 8 x 10 size photo of head and shoulders

HOLD the client is seriously considering you and wants you to keep the time available for them first (if anything else comes up for that time, you must notify the agency before accepting another job)

MARKET, JOB MARKET any location where there is a lot of work MODEL RELEASE contract in which the model gives permission to use the photo as the client specifies

MODEL AGENCY represents model for employment and receives a percentage of the bookings

OPEN CALL casting when the client sees all models suitable for the type requested PORTFOLIO select photos in a vinyl or leather casebook which show the model at his/her photogenic best and samples of their work

PRINCIPAL main performer in the foreground

PRINTWORK photography taken for catalog and mail order, books, brochures, ads for magazines or newspapers, magazine covers, commercial photography for household products, business products and services, glamour products

PRODUCER person responsible for the day-to-day decision-making on a production

RATES fees charged by the model

RESIDUALS additional money paid when a piece runs in repeat, rates dictated by the unions

RUNWAY a narrow raised platform on which the model walks and shows the clothing  // can also be floor, or carpet based.

SAG Screen Actors Guild, union for TV and film performers

SCOUT the act of actively searching and looking for prospective models or actors

SHOOT photo / video event with models/performers

SLATE to state your name on camera before your commercial audition

SPOKESPERSON model chosen to explain the features of a product/service

STAGE PARENT an adult who pushes and watches too closely over a child performer, may get in the way of the shoot

STYLIST coordinates the fashions and accessories, checks fit of clothing, visual scene //

TEARSHEET copy of a print ad that the model keeps in the portfolio as proof of work

TELEPROMPTER TV-like screen that displays the cue card words

TESTIMONIAL celebrity declaration to the value of a product/service; improvisational endorsement of a product or service that the actor has officially tested, used and approved

VOICEOVER background voices for radio or video recorded separately in a recording studio and dubbed onto visual

VOUCHER three piece form with a model release used to acknowledge hours worked by a model - agency copy uses to bill and get paid