Updated: Jan 15, 2021
There's no doubting how hard 2020 was for actors, agents, casting directors, producers and the whole TV, Film and Theatre industry alike.
Although it was a challenging time to start a new community to support actors, it also felt like an important time for FlairBox to start bringing actors together remotely. Across 2020, we were struck by just how devoted and dedicated the acting community can be — especially in such testing circumstances.
To our members: your encouragement, engagement, and support has really shone through over the past few months. To those considering joining FlairBox: you'd be joining a casting platform with actors who really care — and with casting directors who are keen to find the best talent on our easy-to-use app. To every single one of you that got through the year, congratulations: we're proud of every little bit of effort you've poured in to your career, and the careers of others.
Annoyingly, we can't turn the clocks back and make 2020 more easy — but we can certainly do everything in our power to make sure 2021 is far and away the best year in your career so far. It's fair to say the ingredients for a bumper year of castings and very happy actors is laid out before us - here's what we have in store for our incredible community during the next 12 months.
We spent 2020 making FlairBox the world's leading digital stage, giving actors the opportunity to share their work and get cast online without lifitng a finger or touching up a CV. In 2021, we're going to make our platform more social, more informative, and more useful for actors everywhere. We're adding:
Instant Messaging — Coming up soon on our list of big feature releases, instant messaging will allow you to connect with other actors directly on FlairBox. Whether you're looking for someone to read a scene with you, a fellow actor to chat through a script with, or a new friend to congratulate on their work, instant messaging is going to make our communuty fizz and pop with chat, advice, and new connections.
The Forum — Just like the Roman Forum of ages gone by, our forum will allow you to see everything that's happening on the FlairBox platform. From castings to headshot recommendations; industry news to platform updates; tips and tricks like this to interviews like this, the forum will provide as much information and assistance as it can possibly hold to make your life as an actor easier. Plus, it'll be another outlet for you to make connections with industry professionals and fellow artists.
Scene Share & Scene of the Week - Following the success of our monthly #SceneShare on Twitter, we've started a weekly #SceneOfTheWeek too! Every Sunday we'll pick the best scene uploaded to FlairBox during that week and share it with our ever growing Twitter audience which includes agents, producers and casting directors galore. Plus, our monthly #SceneShare prizes are getting bigger and bigger with one-to-one general meetings with some of the industry's biggest casting directors up for grabs from January's competition onwards.
More than 1,200 actors have set up profiles on FlairBox since we launched in October 2020. We don't want to brag, but all signs are pointing towards our app growing to actor numbers in five figures by the end of this year. More actors on FlairBox means more casting directors looking to find the next best thing. You can think of yourselves as a herd of wildebeast, and our casting directors as a ravenous pack of lions. You're all walking steaks, basically. But that's a good thing — and there's strength in numbers.
With the increase in actor numbers will be an increase in self-tapes and video content uploaded to FlairBox. Our monthly scene share is getting bigger and bigger, with casting directors already offering their time in personal meetings as prizes for the best few videos every month. We won't stop there though: we have some VERY exciting prizes lined up to help the actors on FlairBox get a step ahead of the industry. Keep uploading and your graft will pay on our casting platform.
On the app side, we're making it completely pain-free and frictionless for casting directors to let you know the outcome of an audition, whether that's a yes or a no. We're also going one step further and revolutionising how easily casting directors can leave you feedback after castings. We know how rare good feedback can be for actors — despite being the best way that you can improve. All our design innovations are to help make you, our wonderful gang of actors, happy.
Our casting tool has already convinced some of the industry's very top casting directors to start finding talent on FlairBox. Which isn't necessarily that surprising, given how good you all look in your videos.
From Manuel Puro to Fiona Weir and Sarah Crowe, more than 20 well-regarded casting directors, their boots full of exciting new roles, are already casting or planning to cast the wonderful actors on Flairbox for roles in huge TV & Film projects.
But it doesn't stop there. We are talking to new casting directors week after week who absolutely love how easy FlairBox makes their lives. Actually, barely a day goes by when we're not contacted by an industry professional who can't believe something as simple as FlairBox exists. We fan our faces in such moments, blinking away the tears.
The list of new casting directors includes the likes of Nancy Bishop, Dixie Chassie, Ceri Bedingfield, and many, many more over the coming weeks and months. With more casting directors come more roles — which, at the end of the day is what we're all here for.
As with casting directors, we're seeing a bit of an influx of agents onto FlairBox since the turn of the year, including the likes of United Agents, whose actors are now showcasing their work on FlairBox. As you'll know, this means agents from those agencies will be keeping a keen eye on their client's work on our feed. If your work happens to tick the boxes for one of those agents — or any other of the top agents and agencies on — they may get in touch. We're expecting these kinds of connections to increase in frequency this year.
We're also concentrating on releasing tools that will allow these agencies to track how their actors are performing in auditions. Tools which allow casting directors to leave feedback really easily will also mean actors and agents alike are more in the know about their performances. This means actors can actually learn from feedback, work on their performances and make themselves more likely to get cast the next time around.
Things are already looking a lot brighter since the end of 2020. TV and film sets are opening worldwide, throwing open their doors to new actors in new roles. Although it's been a bit of a bumpy ride thus far, vaccinations look likely to open theatres sooner rather than later. We may even be able to enjoy some of our favourite live shows by the summer. In other words, the roaring '20s are about to get underway in earnest.
With that being said, it's important to be realistic and understand that things will naturally be a little quieter than normal until late spring or summer. I'm sure you will agree that until things do get better, it's vital that we keep cautious and sensible in light of the continued presence of COVID in our lives. We are SO pleased that FlairBox is continuing to be a creative outlet for those locked down this winter.
Looking to the near future, streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime are making series and films with casts bigger than anyone would have dared imagine just a few years ago. See 'Don't Look Up' for a prime example of their new, ambitious works in the pipeline.
Although we are desperate to see cinemas reopen so that we can enjoy films how they're best watched, it's safe to say that whatever happens, more money than ever will be spent on series and films in 2021 as the entertainment industry blossoms once again. It has, afterall, been one of the only things keeping many of us sane these past few months. All the above means more projects, more castings, and more activity buzzing through the FlairBox online casting platform.
Things will look and feel permanently different after the year we've just waved good riddance to. This year will be better. Much better. We can't say just how much fun and success lies on the road ahead, but it's safe to say that the light's bright at the end of the tunnel — and FlairBox is ready to strap itself to the opportunities that come our way in 2021.