FAQ : Talent

Welcome! We are glad you are here.

The information on this page and on following pages is important. Please take the time to read and understand it. These pages are designed to answer many of the questions asked of us. If you have one we haven’t addressed, please do not hesitate to ask it.

Production can be tremendous fun. At the same time, it can be challenging. But when it comes to casting talent, our experience has shown over the vast majority of times, even those people who had no prior experience or were reluctant or skeptical in the beginning, after meeting the production crew and experiencing the thrill of acting in or participating in a production, well they look forward to doing it again and again.

Experience has shown through decades of casting, too oftentimes neither the best interests of the talent nor those of the client were being consistently met. Our industry has been in a state of change and so it seemed to be a good time to invest in exploring and improving upon the casting process. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. At NIKO Casting, we’ve invested significant time, effort and resources toward the design of a new concept we believe best serves everyone.

For you our talent, we provide you with all the tools to easily register and create your profile without cost. It’s not. We’re not managing you, we’re simply providing you with the information you need and an outlet to be found. It’s up to you to be prepared, to be dependable and to follow direction when opportunity presents itself.

In this industry, you are nothing if you are not dependable. We want photogenic people in your community and in cities and towns across the country, people of all ages, ethnicities, shapes and sizes to populate our site. If you can help introduce us to photogenic people from other cities and states, we hope you will tell them about us. In this way we will create positive change.

Instead of our taking a percentage of YOUR earnings as is typical in the industry, our sole income is derived from a small fee we charge our agency and production company clients each time they cast someone from our site. You pay us nothing.

Your personal information is your personal information. We do not and will not ever sell any of the information you present on our site. All the information we request of our talent is carefully stored for optimal privacy and security. We do not profit financially from acting workshops nor do we sell photo packages to our talent. That’s not to say we don’t encourage our talent to be prepared or to have professional looking photographs produced.

If you have performance experience from high school and college productions or community theater but went on to follow another career path, NIKO gives you the opportunity to break free from the day to day monotony of your job and on occasion, put your skills to use. If you have no experience but have been told you photograph well, have a unique look or that you should be on TV, in the movies, or walking the runways in Milan, by registering and completing a profile, you’ll let production companies, ad agencies and films casting in your area know you are interested and available. And of course, aside from the fun, typically talent are generously paid.

Point and shoot cameras and cell phone optics have become so advanced, you likely have a friend or relative who will be able to produce professional looking photos and your short video introduction at no cost. We suggest this is likely the best way for you to start. Your photos must be current as you are now. No one casting will be interested in how you used to look. If you’ve lost weight or grown a beard or changed your hair style or color, you will need to remove your old photos and update your profile with your new ones. Any changes to the way you look need to be updated on your profile.

Well, that’s a quick overview of the most important stuff. In order to fully understand the process, we encourage you to take a moment and go through the answers to other questions below.

We hope you’ll have fun completing your profile and when the time comes and you are cast, please do remember to send us a video testimonial of your experience so we can share it.

We’re glad to have you with us.


    Once you decide to complete your profile and once we approve your registration, your profile will be posted live to our site for agencies and production companies to discover you. Likewise, once an advertising agency or production company or professional photographer decides to register their business and once we have reviewed and accepted their registration, they too become a client.

    We have created a secure platform where you can load up to 20 photos at a time, each with a 2gb limit and a 15-30 second video introduction accessible only to those vetted professional agency, photography and production company clients searching for talent to cast in their productions.

    No one will ever have access to anything more than your photographs/video clip, first name and last initial until an offer has been made identifying the client and outlining the scene, how it will be used, your role, the location, date(s) and time(s) and the amount of money offered. It will be delivered to your encrypted email through our site. Once you research their company, review their offer and accept their terms, then and only then will the contact information you provide be released. If you decline their offer, of course, none of your information is released.

    Once an offer is accepted, each party will be required to complete agreements outlining the agreed upon terms. We have researched third party ecommerce vendors and selected Stripe as our ecommerce service provider. You’ll see they have an impeccable public reputation. The agency/production company client you have agreed to work with will have provided credit card information to Stripe. The amount you have accepted will be processed on their credit card. Once your part in the production is satisfactorily finished, the following business day monies will be prepared for automatic deposit directly to you through STRIPE. NIKO has no access to the secure financial information provided by you nor do we have access to the financial information provided by our mutual client. We’re providing this service so our talent are never waiting 30 days to be paid. Of course you may prefer the agency or production company issue you a check. For that matter, the agency may prefer that as well. In those instances, both parties will need to make those arrangements in advance.

    You should be prepared to provide a W-9 and Invoice for the agreed upon amounts. Your invoice should include the date, your name, address, phone number, EIN or SS number, the client’s name address and phone number, the production title and job number. You should also include a description of the work you performed.

    A W-9 can be printed here. And we have created an interactive invoice template here that you are welcome to use.

    Once you accept the offer and agreements are signed, someone from the production team will likely be calling to introduce themselves. They may confirm clothing sizes and make wardrobe requests. Typically, they will deliver a call sheet via email identifying the production location, your arrival time and directions and contact information. Again, it is imperative you are prepared and arrive early or at least, on time. Both parties will be rated by the other once the production is complete. Good ratings should result in more casting opportunities.

    We encourage our talent to take photos while on set ONLY when allowed to do so. Please always be respectful of the production. Certainly no flashes and no photography while the client is filming, about to film or reviewing. We also encourage our talent to film a brief cell phone video testimonial about their experience, being careful not to disrupt any work in progress but with the set or some portion thereof in the background. We hope you’ll share those with us so we can feature them on our site.


    Nope. If your profile is approved, you will be an independent contractor and not an employee.

    If approved, part of your registration will involve your entering into a basic and exclusive agreement with us. Talent Agreement. We are not opposed to your performing in productions outside NIKO but we will need to approve each on a case by case basis.

    We have invested significantly toward this business both in time and money. And there will be necessary changes to update and improve upon the services we offer. As with any successful business, we expect to profit from our relationship with you and with those we serve so that we may continue to enhance everyone’s overall experience.

    The agency/production company/photographer is our mutual client. We are giving you all the tools to make this work. All we ask in return is that you act in a professional manner at all times. We will represent you well and we expect you will represent us well too. There is a wealth of information on this site to help you prepare. We hope you will use it to your advantage.


    There are standards we have identified for such instances which may come about as a result of unpredictable weather or a client’s changes in creative or other instances beyond our control. There are so many moving parts in a production, it’s rare when everything goes as planned. Although these guidelines are put in to place to protect you, it’s important you are understanding and do all you can to work with our mutual client through any changes that may come about.

    These are the terms we have outlined for your protection:

    If a talent’s booking is cancelled or rescheduled within 24 hours of the talent’s call time, talent shall be paid the full rate of the agreed upon talent fee.

    If a talent’s booking is cancelled within 48 hours of the talent’s call time, talent shall be paid half the rate of the agreed upon talent fee.

    If a talent’s booking is postponed within 48 hours of the talent’s call time and the booking is rescheduled within 7 days, there is no charge. If it is postponed and rescheduled within 7 days a second time, talent shall be paid half the rate of the agreed upon fee. If postponed and rescheduled a third time, talent shall be paid the full agreed upon talent fee.


    You don’t. But if you don’t try, you never will. If you are photogenic and have an outgoing personality or if you have a unique look, we hope you’ll register and complete a profile.

    In French, the word “NIKO” stands for an attractive and yet humble person. These are the people we want on our site.

    We all know people who may be beautiful on the outside but internally challenged, continually lacking in the ability to get along with others. Cameras don’t lie. If you are regularly at odds with others, perhaps you should pass up this opportunity.

    We all know people who are constantly running late and cannot be depended upon. Some people regularly suffer from migraines, allergies, fatigue and other ailments beyond their control. In this industry, you are nothing if you are not dependable and responsible. If you share any of these traits, perhaps you should pass up this opportunity.

    We are searching for dependable people of all ages, all colors, ethnicities, shapes and sizes with the common characteristic of photographing well. If this sounds like you, we invite you to join us.


    A talent agency may recruit you as a talent but most will then begin to sell you on the need for expensive professional head shots and acting workshops. Ironically, they offer both. We do not profit financially from acting workshops nor do we sell our talent photo packages. That’s not to say we don’t encourage our talent to be prepared or have professional looking photos produced and loaded to their profile.

    We have access to a network of professional photographers in cities across the country who are available to you but the cost may exceed your budget. This is further complicated by the fact that adults should update photos annually or as physical features change. Children who are seven and under should update photos every six months.

    Who’s to say how long it may be before you are cast? Certainly if you were investing significant amounts for photos and you were not cast your first year, the odds of your continuing would be slim. We prefer this process cost you nothing but a little time. Cell phone optics and point and shoot cameras have become so advanced, you likely have a friend or relative who will be able to produce professional looking photos of you at no cost and that meet our requirements for quality and consistency.

    Check out

    You may load up to 20 photographs at a time at a maximum size of 2 gigabytes (gb) each. It will be in your best interest to keep poses relaxed and casual and as you are day to day. Your main profile photo should be a straight on head and shoulders shot. Smiles are always best. You should have a mix of indoor and outdoor photos in complimentary light and although you may want a serious photo or two, be sure others reveal your fun side. Include some full body shots. Remember agencies and production companies want to see the real you and not what you look like under layers of makeup or “dressed to the nines.”

    You need to also post a simple 15-30 second video introduction so clients will be introduced to the authentic you. Have fun with it. It’s generally best not to script anything but to speak from the heart. Share something about yourself. It can be as simple as, “Hi my name is ------I love to travel… someday I want to go to------ so I can experience-------. I look forward to being cast in your production!

    If you want to pursue having a professional photographer produce photos for you, click here to find someone in your area.


    Most of us don’t like the sound of our voice. A lot of us don’t like the way we photograph. We can’t begin to count the number of times we’ve approached someone wanting to cast him/her in a production only to be told, “You don’t want me. I don’t photograph well.” We can’t count the number of times we’ve cast those very people and they’ve given remarkable performances.

    Being photogenic is important but being “real” is more so. When we put someone in a scene, being believable is imperative.

    Generally we search for extroverted people with outgoing personalities. There is a natural tendency to be drawn to those who enjoy performing and being photographed and yet, oftentimes those people are not the ones best suited for a particular scene. There are scores of people who may not be outgoing, who may be a little nervous at the thought of being in a commercial or on a photo shoot but who have talents they’ve never tapped into.

    You never know until you try.


    Most of the time, non-professional talent cast from this site will be selected for non-speaking roles. More and more, we’re seeing this “slice of life” imagery in commercial campaigns. By that, we mean people pretending to do the kinds of things we do every day. So you may be cast in a scene where all you are asked to do is sit at a table and listen to someone. Maybe you’re pretending to read a book or visit a sick friend or play with a dog. These are all the kinds of things you might be asked to do and do naturally. Yep, it could be that easy.

    Those who have performed and have experience in speaking roles on stage or in front of a camera may be selected for voice on camera (VOC) parts in TV commercials, online and industrial videos and films.


    Well, sometimes yes but generally they’re not. Productions have to account for weather forecasts and where the sun is at various points of the day. Oftentimes there are limits on the availability of a filming location. Clients may well be juggling other productions. Budgets may affect scheduling. All kinds of factors come into play when scheduling a production.

    If you are a parent planning to register your child, be forewarned that your child’s casting may be dependent upon their availability to miss a little schooling for auditions/productions and your availability to take them.

    If you are absolutely unavailable Monday thru Friday, 8AM-5PM, your opportunities will be limited. Then again, plenty of production takes place on weekends.


    As with adults, we want to cast children of all ages and ethnicities, all shapes and sizes. But it is imperative children have outgoing personalities. Please do not pursue registering your child if he/she has clammed up in front of a camera or has a tendency to be shy.

    I was that shy child. It’s the reason my parents enrolled me in a acting workshop. It was the best thing they could have done. It brought me out of my shell, introduced me to lifelong friends and taught me confidence. If your child is shy and introverted, try a performance or theater program of their choosing and reach out to us if and when your child says he/she is ready.

    If your child is old enough to walk and talk, your child must BOTH enjoy being in front of a camera and be able to take direction in order to be selected to participate in NIKO Casting opportunities.


    People may not have been selected for any number of different reasons. Our decisions are based on a number of factors from talent category saturation, duplication and changing trends to a simple gut reaction. Of course, we have to be selective but that doesn’t always mean we’re right. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you are not selected today, you won’t be selected next year.


    We’ve cast all kinds of animals through the years from dogs and cats to horses and goats, birds and lizards, giant millipedes, turtles and frogs. We know someone who cast a zebra once. If you have a unique pet or one that is wonderfully photogenic, these opportunities can be a lot of fun, not to mention, a way for your loyal companion to contribute to their room and board. We encourage you to complete a profile for your pet and include current photos and video.

    Even if you have already completed a profile for yourself, please be sure to include at least one current photo of you and/or other family members with your pet.


    Those who own collectible vehicles know firsthand the ongoing expense in maintenance and upkeep. It sure is nice when a car you’ve invested so much into can provide you an occasional stream of revenue.

    A script may simply call for stationary vehicles in the background of a scene or it may require vehicles travel through a scene. Oftentimes a scene may require a camera to be mounted to a hood or to a door or to the interior of a vehicle. If you’re a collector of classic automobiles, trucks or motorcycles, we know the thought may cause you to wince a little.

    Those owners who have had their collectible cars or trucks or motorcycles featured in films or commercials or print campaigns have seen firsthand the special care and pride that production crews take when building vehicle rigs. Specialized equipment and padding has been designed for this very purpose. Nonetheless, you should always request and be provided a Certificate of Insurance (COI) as proof of their coverage for your property before your scheduled production date.