Breakdown Services / Actors Access
Transgender / Non-Binary Talent Features
As an innovator and influential leader in film, television and theatre, Breakdown Services is committed to being on the leading edge of diversity, inclusion and breaking down barriers. We meet and are in regular consultation with leaders from the LGBTQ community* regarding education and sensitivity as it relates to Casting, character breakdowns and the authentic portrayal of the LGBTQ community in the media.
Established in 1971, Breakdown Services is the leading resource for casting film, television and theatre projects in North America. We provide services for Actors, Talent Representatives and Casting Directors across the United States, Canada and Europe for everything from Actors Access (the largest, most comprehensive, professional, user-generated database of talent available) to Eco Cast (the ground-breaking virtual audition system used by the majority of Casting Directors in North America).
We are the pioneer of script Breakdowns and endorsed by the Casting Society of America (CSA). The industry relies on us to breakdown scripts (including character and script analyses), facilitate the distribution of Breakdowns to talent and talent representatives and provide comprehensive online systems for casting, auditions and actor services.
Breakdown Services conducts regular educational and sensitivity training with its employees and is proactive in reaching out to productions to clarify what it is they are looking for to ensure they are not misinformed about, marginalizing and/or demeaning the characters they are creating. This is often an unappreciated communication but we are committed to advocating for actors and being part of the change. We strive to only release Breakdowns that follow the current guidelines given to us from the community.
Recently we added Transgender on Actors Access actor profiles. After actors indicate whether they can play “male” or “female,” they can also check a box indicating whether they are transgender. We’ve now updated that option to, Transgender / Non-Binary.
The actor remains in complete control and chooses whether they want to include this information. It will not appear on Actors Access resumes. And checking the Transgender / Non-Binary box will not preclude actors from appearing in searches for non-transgender roles.
If an actor chooses to include this information, a select group of established Casting Directors who have been given the ability to search our database will be able to search for and audition talent who are authentic to these roles. We are highly sensitive to an actor’s privacy and do our best to strike a balance between giving talent the opportunity to make themselves available to Casting and limiting access to this information.
We are 100% in support of the initiatives that are being undertaken and are proud to be contributing to changing overall negative stereotypes, misrepresentation and attitudes in the film, television and theatre industry with a goal to a broader reach beyond, “entertainment.” We believe the most direct way for us to effect change is to provide the mechanisms which allow all actors to be considered without prejudice.
Breakdown Services is eager to participate, listen, learn and talk about what we are seeing in scripts, stories and character development.
We are excited to offer Casting Directors the ability to find authentic talent, to give Talent the tools to be cast based on their ability, to identify their uniqueness to Casting if they choose and to give Agents the power to better represent their clients.
We want to empower the Actor wherever possible, no matter what stage they are at in their career, or what challenges they may face.
We give every Actor the opportunity to have a complete Actors Access profile (including headshots, a SlateShot, resume, size card, union affiliations, disabilities, special skills etc.) regardless of socioeconomic or geographic obstacles. No barriers, no impediments. That means every actor gets a free Actors Access account. No one has to pay to shine.
Though we are implementing many tangible solutions that address the challenges confronting LGBTQ talent, we are always eager to learn more and add our unique perspective to this discussion.
Gary Marsh – President, Breakdown Services
* Thanks to:
Nick Adams – Director, Transgender Media Program, GLAAD
Ann Thomas – Founder, Transgender Talent