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From Availability Check to Booking: What Actors Need to Know About the Casting Process


As an actor, understanding the various stages of the casting process can help you better navigate the industry and manage your schedule. There are several terms that are commonly used in casting, including Availability Check, On Hold, Right of First Refusal, and Booked. Each term represents a different level of commitment from the actor and the production team, and it’s important to know what they mean to avoid any confusion or miscommunication.

Availability Check:

An Availability Check is the first stage of the casting process. When a casting director is interested in considering you for a role, they will reach out to your agent or manager to see if you are available during the filming dates. At this stage, the production team is simply trying to get a sense of your availability, and you are not committed to the project in any way.

If you receive an Availability Check, it’s important to respond promptly and let your representative know whether you are available or not. Keep in mind that an Availability Check does not guarantee that you will be offered the role, as the production team may be considering multiple actors for the part.

On Hold:

If you receive an On Hold notification, it means that the production team is seriously considering you for the role and is interested in holding you as a potential option. At this stage, you are not yet committed to the project, but you should be prepared to hold the filming dates in case you are offered the role.

When you are On Hold, you should not accept any other offers for work that conflicts with the dates of the project. It’s important to keep your agent or manager informed about any potential conflicts and to be available to communicate with the production team if necessary.

Right of First Refusal:

If you receive a Right of First Refusal notification, it means that the production team has offered you the role but has given you a window of time to make a decision. During this time, the production team cannot offer the role to anyone else, but you are not yet committed to the project.

If you accept the Right of First Refusal, you will be given a set amount of time to make a final decision. If you decline, the production team can offer the role to someone else.


If you receive a Booking notification, congratulations! You have been officially offered the role and are committed to the project. At this stage, you will receive a contract that outlines the terms of your agreement, including your compensation, filming schedule, and any other details related to your role.

It’s important to review the contract carefully and to ask any questions you may have before signing. Once you sign the contract, you are legally obligated to fulfill your commitment to the project.

Understanding the different stages of the casting process can help you manage your schedule and make informed decisions about your career. Whether you receive an Availability Check, On Hold, Right of First Refusal, or Booking notification, it’s important to communicate with your representative and the production team in a timely and professional manner. By doing so, you can build a strong reputation in the industry and increase your chances of success as an actor.


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