What is the BREAKDOWN Service?
What you just read is from a movie script and is called the “Character Breakdown.” Essentially, it is the written description of the acting roles needed for the film. This “Character Breakdown” will be sent to casting directors and talent agents though Breakdown Service. Breakdown Services is a Los Angeles based company whose staff reads scripts from TV episodics, pilots, feature films, movies for television, commercials, print projects, theater, student films, industrials, reality TV, and many other types of projects that require acting talent and then writes the “character breakdowns” for every single acting role. Talent agents are able to instantly view the “Breakdowns” (Showbiz Lingo) and submit their clients’ pictures, resume and videos via their website to casting directors. Agents pay a fee for the Breakdown Services which provide daily casting information for what needs to be cast in Los Angeles.
Actors are not allowed access to the Breakdown Services! Unfortunately, many actors finds ways to illegally acquire the casting information and then contact their agent and ask to be submitted. I say unfortunately, because not only are they breaking the law, but they are not getting the final accurate up to the minute character description. Agents discuss with producers the nature of the acting roles and the specifics many times change dramatically (pun intended) from the original character breakdown to when the agent sends the actor the audition notice. You’ve probably seen posts or ads that look something like this:
Sam: 13 years old (12-15 range). Quiet, bright, guilt ridden about his mother’s death. He also has a crush on Suzy.
Suzy: 12 years old (11-14 range).
Beautiful blonde girl, a young Cameron Diaz type, adventurous and very outgoing. She likes to be the boss of everything.
Timmy: 5 years old (6-8 range) Suzy’s younger brother. He is quick tempered and has tantrums.
When you get your audition notice read the character breakdown carefully and prepare as any good actor would, but remember you could be asked to change acting roles, characters etc. So always “expect the unexpected” and have FUN!