Glossary of Terms
A&R Director: Record company
executive in charge of the Artists & Repertoire
Department who is responsible for finding and
developing new artist and matching songs with
A/C: Adult contemporary music.
ACM: Academy of Country Music.
A.D.: Assistant Director.
ADR: Automatic Dialogue
AEA: Actor's Equity
AFM: American Federation of
Musicians. A union for musicians and arrangers.
AFTRA: American Federation of
Television and Radio Artists; a theatrical
AGMA: Associated Guild of
AGVA: American Guild of Variety
AIMP: Association of
Independent Music Publishers.
ANNCR: or V/O: Announcer or
AOR: Album- Oriented Rock.
ASCAP: American Society of
Composers, Authors and Publishers.
ASL: American Sign Language.
ATA: Association of Talent
A-side: The side of a single
which is considered to have "hit" potential and
is promoted as such by the record company.
Acoustics: The science of
sound. In performance it is generally used to
describe the quality of sound reproduction in a
room or theatre.
Act Curtain: Curtain at the
front of the stage used to open and close each
act. It may also be used between scenes.
Action: Verbal cue on a
film/video set that indicates that the camera is
Advertising Agency: Companies
that do the artwork and production for
Advertising layout: The art
layout of the advertisement being produced.
Age Range/Age Category: Ages
that an actor can possibly portray. The range
can include the actor's real age but doesn't
necessarily have to.
Agency: Either a model/talent
agency or an advertising agency. The former
handles the bookings of models/talent, and the
latter places advertising for clients, which
involves creating and producing print ads, TV
commercials, and/or promotions.
Air Play: The radio broadcast
of a recording.
American Dinner Theatre Institute:
(ADTI): A clearinghouse for Equity-franchised
dinner theatres in the USA that supplies news of
interest to the theatres and negotiates Equity
dinner theatre contracts on the theatres'
Anamorphic Lens: Camera lens
that distorts a wide image to fit on a narrower
35mm frame of film; the film projector that
later presents the film to audiences must then
also have an anamorphic lens to re-proportion
the image to fit on the wider screen.
Apron: On a proscenium stage,
this is the frontal lip of the stage, the part
closest to the audience.
Art Director: The person who
creates the artwork for an assignment.
Aspect Ratio: The width divided
by the height of a film/TV screen. Modern TVs
and pre-1950 films typically have an aspect
ratio of 1.33; films made after 1950 typically
have one ranging from 1.66 to 2.35.
Association of Hispanic Arts:
An organization supporting Hispanic theatre
companies with technical assistance; planning
and financial management systems; identification
of new and up-and-coming Hispanic playwrights;
Atmosphere: The extras in a
film/TV production that appear in a scene to
help establish the time, place, or mood of a
Audiovisual: Refers to
presentations which use audio backup for visual
Audition: A test or try out for
a film, TV or stage part, generally conducted by
a casting director and/or producer.
B-side: The flip side of a
single promoted by a record company. Sometimes
the B-side contains the same song as the A-side
so there will be no confusion as to which song
should receive airplay.
BMA: Black Music Association.
BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.): A
performing rights organization.
B/W: Backed with. Usually
refers to the B-side of a single.
Background: An "extra".
Backstage: The area off or
behind the stage not seen by the audience.
Bed: Prerecorded music used as
background material in commercials.
Beta: 1/2" videocassette
format. The Beta System uses a smaller cassette
than that used with the VHS system.
Big & Tall Men: Male models
wearing size 44 suit and up.
Bio: Short for biography or
biographical, prepared for public relations or
Blocking: A director's plan for
a scene within the space & time limits dictated
by the script.
Blue Screen: The monochromatic
screen a film/TV actor performs in front of when
the actor's image is to be later manipulated or
superimposed by special effects editors.
Blue Sky: A film term that
involves camera and editing tricks.
Booker: An agency employee who
books the models for their assignments.
Booking Editor: Selects the
models assignments or jobs for the calendar
Boom: A pipe or pole supporting
an overhead microphone, light, or camera.
Box Set: A set made up of flats
enclosing the acting space, usually used to
represent a room or an interior.
Buyer: A person who does the
wholesale buying of products for a company.
Buyout: An agreed-to in advance
of full payment to a performer in lieu of
Buzzer: Sound device used in a
film/TV production that, with a single long
tone, cues everyone to be quiet for a scene, and
with two shorter tones, indicates that scene has
CARAS: (Canadian Academy of
Recording Arts and Sciences): An
association of individuals involved in
the Canadian music and recording
CHR: (Contemporary Hit Radio):
Top 40 pop music.
CIRPA: Canadian Independent
Record Producers Association.
CMA: Country Music Association.
CMPA: Church Music Publishers
CMRRA: (Canadian Musical
Reproduction Rights Association): A
mechanical rights agency. CRIA: Canadian
Recording Industry Association.
C & W: Country and Western.
Cabaret: Generally a restaurant
that features musical or other form of
entertainment while providing room for
Call Back: A second audition
for a part.
Call Sheet: On a film or TV
show, this is prepared daily by the
production office and is a handy thing
to have. Among other things, it contains
a list of the actors who are working the
next day along with their call times.
Call-Time: Time a performer is
due on the set.
Camera Left: The actor's right
as he faces the camera.
Camera Right: The actor's left
as he faces the camera.
Cancellation: After a model has
been booked, he or she can be canceled
out. There is normally a clause
regarding time that may permit a model
to still earn a percentage of the rate
paid. There are time limits to these,
Card: A term you'll hear when
your agent is negotiating your billing
on a film or TV show. Your name might
appear alone on the screen ("separate
card") or with others ("shared card").
Cast Album: An audio recording
featuring music from a live musical
Casting Director: A director of
a film or any model assignment who may
also select the people and models for
Cast Party: Party for the cast
(and often crew) of a theatrical
production, typically after the final
Catalog Photography: Posing for
a catalog assignment. The model will
need to know how to pose to show all the
selling points of the costume provided.
Cattle Call: An open interview
or audition having a large number of
participants all vying for the same
Center Stage: (middle runway,
midstage); The middle point or section
of a stage.
Character Look: Appearance
characteristic of a certain type.
Character Model: A model who is
neither a straight commercial type or an
attractive fashion model type. Character
models usually have very individual or
unusual looks or skills.
Character Type: One of a group
or class of performers having similar
features or personalities.
Chart: The written arrangement
of a song.
Cheat to Camera: To
slightly-turn your face to the camera so
as to show more of your face.
Child Labor Laws: Government
regulations and guidelines covering the
employment of children. They vary from
state to state.
Children's Manager: One who
manages the careers of child performers.
May be a personal or business manager.
Children's Agent: An agent,
agency, or agency division specializing
in the representation of child
Choreographer (dance designer):
One who creates and supervises dance
movement in a production.
Cinematographer (director of
photography): The supervisor of
the many usage's of a motion picture
Clapboard: Two pieces of wood
that are slammed together at the
beginning of a scene, for the purpose of
facilitating the later synchronization
of picture and sound in the editing
Class A Commercial: Part of a
system for the remuneration of
commercial residuals, this is the most
lucrative type. Class A's are aired in
more than 20 cities. Other types of
commercials are Class B (6 to 20 cities)
and Class C (1 to 5 cities).
Classic Look: A timeless
appearance of traditional quality,
Client: A person or company who
hires a model.
Close-Up (CU): Head and
Co-Publish: Two or more parties
own publishing rights to the same song.
Cold Reading: Type of reading
for which the actor is given very
little, if any, rehearsal time before
performing. TV, film, and commercial
interviews often include a cold reading.
Collaborator: Person who works
with another in a creative endeavor.
Commentary: A script used by
the commentator (or announcer) to
describe fashions for a fashion show.
Commercial Casting Call:
Interview or audition for parts in a
Commercial Actor: Male or
female actor who performs in television
Commercial Artist: One who does
illustrations for advertisements in
magazines and other advertising media.
Commercial Children: Children
appearing in television, radio, or movie
theatre commercials. Also kids who are
marketable as talent.
Commercial Copy: Spoken or
written words of a commercial.
Commercial Model: A special
type model needed for an assignment. The
model need not be especially attractive.
Commercial Contract: An
agreement to produce script, direct,
film, tape or act in a commercial.
Commercial Glossy (commercial head shot):
A glossy photo of a television
commercial actor, used for casting and
Commercial Agent: Agent or
agency division representing performers
who work in television, radio or movie
Commission: The percentage of
the model's earnings that is paid to an
agency or manager.
Compact Disc: A small disc
(about 4.7 inches in diameter) holding
digitally encoded music that is read by
a laser beam in a CD player.
Composite: Poster type papers,
usually 6"x8" with printed pictures of a
model in many different poses. The
models name and vital statistics and
where they can be reached are also
included on the composite. Clients keep
these composites on file for future
bookings of the model. Agencies mail
them out to potential clients.
Contact Sheet: A photographic
print sheet made up of all the shots
from a roll of film used to determine
which photos are to be used, and
Copyright: The exclusive legal
right giving the creator of a work the
power to control the publishing,
reproduction, and selling of the work.
Copywriter: The writer of words
in a commercial or print ad.
Cover record: A new version of
a previously recorded song.
Covering: Inadvertent blocking
of the audience's or camera's view of
Creative Director: A person who
creates ideas for advertising
assignments and oversees their
Crossover: A song that becomes
popular in two or more musical
Cue Card: A piece of white
poster board used in commercial
auditions which the casting director
writes the copy with a magic marker.
DAT: Digital Audio Tape.
Dailies (rushes): The selected
and okayed day's film takes with sound
that the director approves for quick
shipment to film and sound labs for
processing and subsequent
synchronization by an editor for next
Day Player: A performer hired
for a production on a day-to-day basis
as opposed to long term.
Day-out-of-days: A term your
agent will use when negotiating your
shooting schedule on a TV show or
movie-how many days you will work out of
the total production schedule of days.
Dealer Spot: A type of
commercial in which the dealers that
sell a particular advertised product all
toss some money into a pot and have
their names tagged on to the spot.
Demo: A tape used for
auditioning, containing scenes from
commercials, programs, workshops, etc.
Also an audio tape used by singers and
musicians for promotion and audition
Demo: A recording of a song
submitted as a demonstration of a
writer's or artist's skills.
Demonstrator: A model who
demonstrates a product in a trade show,
convention, or retail store.
Design Model: A model working
for a fashion house designer used to
show collections in the showroom to
Dimmers: Devices used for
controlling the intensity of lights.
Director: The individuals in
charge of coordinating talent, technical
people, etc., in a production.
Dissolve: Fading out of a scene
while another scene fades in.
Dolly: When they move the
camera toward you or away from you
during a shot, that's called "dollying".
Donut: A jingle with singing at
the beginning and end and instrumental
background in the middle. Ad copy is
recorded over the middle section.
Downgrade: When they hire you
as a principal performer in a
commercial, but your footage winds up on
the cutting room floor, they will
downgrade you from a principal to an
Downstage: This is in front of
an actor as he is standing on the stage
facing the audience.
Dress Rehearsal: A practice
session of a performance or presentation
of a production, which usually uses all
props, costumes, lighting, sound
effects, etc., and is done just prior to
Dresser: People hired to help
models dress for a show. May also be
called wardrobe personnel.
Dubbing: The substituting of a
voice for the on-camera person's voice.
ECU: An abbreviation for
EP: Extended play record
(usually 12") containing more selections
than a standard single, but fewer than a
Editorial Modeling: Job shots
for magazines, newspapers, and other
publications, but not advertisements.
These jobs pay a lower rate than
Editorial Photography: Posing
for a fashion assignment. The model will
be more concerned about mood, feeling,
and costume. Usually more action is
Electronic Media: Work that
appears on radio, television, videotape,
film slides and other audio-visual
presentations made for commercial,
industrial, entertainment, and/or public
Ellipsoidal Spotlight: A
spotlight with a conic mirror for
greater light output and shutters that
control the light shape.
Equity Waver: Term used for
stage production in which the actor's
don't get paid. These plays are
showcases for the actor. Both equity and
non-equity actors may perform.
Evergreen: Any song that
remains popular year after year.
Exhibit Model: Models who host
conventions and other promotion
assignments. They may hand out brochures
for souvenirs or just pose and look good
to help sell a product.
Expense Form: A chart used by
performers to record their expenses
related to jobs and for tax purposes.
Exploit: To seek legitimate
uses of a something for income.
Fashion Photography Model: A
model who poses for fashion pictures
that are used in advertising.
Fashion Show Model: A model who
poses for fashions live in front of an
audience and is capable of doing many
different types of live modeling
including stage, runway, etc.
Fashion Advertising Photographer:
A photographer who shoots fashion
pictures for a newspaper or department
Fashion Coordinator: The person
who selects the clothing for a fashion
show, accessorizes and coordinates the
overall look, and books the models.
Fashion Show Seasons: The
season when the new fashions will be
shown on models and in shows. August to
October for fall; January to April for
spring and summer; May and June for
early fall and late summer lines.
Fashion Print: A term used by
models who are photography models.
Feature Films: Film and
videotape productions intended for mass
release, either via movie theatres or
Describes television programs that are
produced for and sold to independent TV
stations all across the country; this is
an alternative to selling a show to one
of the three networks which would, in
turn, feed the programming to its
Fitting model: A model who
stands while a fashion is being pinned
and draped on her by a designer. May
often work freelance and is hired during
the extra busy season.
Fitting: Time booked for a
model to be fitted into fashions for a
Flipper: False teeth for
children used solely for cosmetic
Floodlight (bunch light, olivette):
An open -faced box on a stand housing a
large bulb for general lighting.
Floor Plan: Schematic or
drawing showing the location of scenery
as propped on the stage.
Foley: To enhance individual
sound effects on a film.
Folio: A soft cover collection
of printed music prepared for sale.
Force Majeure: Legal term used
to describe the right to cancel an
actor's contract under catastrophic
conditions (e.g., a labor strike or
Four A's: Associated Actors and
Artistes of America, the umbrella
organization for AFTRA, SAG, and other
Freelance Model: A Model On
Your Own! One who is not registered with
a model agency. They book and bill their
own jobs and do all their own promotion
and business negotiations.
Freelance: Actors who work
through more than one franchised talent
agent rather than signing exclusive
contracts; models not connected with
agencies who must, therefore, handle
their own bookings, billing, promotion,
GMA: Gospel Music Association.
Gaffer: A film/video crew
member who handles the placement and
positioning of lighting equipment.
Go-fer: A person who does
errands on a set.
Go-See: A term used by
professional models and agencies when a
model is going to interview with a
client for a booking.
Grip: Crewmember who performs
heavy lifting in a film/TV production.
HAU: Hebrew Actors' Union.
HOLA: (Hispanic Organization of
Latin Actors): A liaison between
Hispanic talent and the industry through
a talent referral network, a source
book, showcases, etc.
Hair Stylist: One who styles
the hair for a certain look on an
Hairdresser: One who prepares
model's hair while on assignment.
Hand Model: A model who
possesses hands that are ideal for
Harry Fox Association:
Organization that collects mechanical
Haute Couture: The French
expression for high fashion.
Head Sheet: A letter size sheet
of small pictures of models on an entire
page. Sometimes a small body shot is
next to the headshot of each model. An
agency can place approximately 15 to 20
headshots on one page. These are mailed
out to clients.
Headshot: Black and white photo
of an actor facing the camera, usually
from the neck up, occasionally from the
High Fashion Model: A type of
fashion model who can look more
sophisticated. She is taller, 5'8" to 6"
Hip-Hop: A dance oriented
musical style derived from a combination
of disco, rap, and R & B.
Hit: A song or record that
achieves Top 40 status.
Hitting Your Marks: The ability
to stop on a designated mark or put down
a prop in an exact spot.
Hold: An offer of employment;
whether you work on the day's shoot or
not, you are entitled to a session fee.
Holding Fee: The amount of
money paid to an actor every 13 weeks
for as long as a commercial is being
held by an ad agency-the fee is
generally the same as the original
Hook: A memorable "catch"
phrase or melody line which is repeated
in a song.
House Lights: The soft lights
that illuminate the audience in a
IATSE: International Alliance
of Theatrical Stage Employees and Motion
Picture Machine Operators of the United
States and Canada.
IAU: Italian Actors' Union.
IMU: International Musicians
INT: Interior, a scene shot
inside as opposed to outside.
IRC: International reply
coupon, necessary for the return of
materials sent out of the country.
Available at most post offices.
Illustration Model: A model who
poses with a product representing
anything but fashion.
Improvisation: The creation of
music, comedy, drama, etc. at the time
of the performance.
Indie: An independent record
Industrial: A filmed or live
production used for promotion. It may be
an educational, sales, or instructional
film meant for general release.
Infant Model: A baby usually
between 6 and 18 months old who appears
in television commercials and/or print
Informal Modeling: In a
department or retail store, restaurant,
dress salon, but not on a platform, and
able to converse with a customer if
Interviews: Commonly known as a
"Go-See". A meeting between client and
model to see if a model is right for the
Ips: Inches per second; a speed
designation for tape recording.
Jingle: Usually a short
verse set to music designed as a
Junior Model: A young teen
model who is small-boned, young looking,
and fits the smaller sizes.
LASS: Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase.
LMDA: (Literary Managers &
Dramaturgs of the Americas): A national
membership organization which serves literary
managers, dramaturgs, artistic associates, and
other theatre professionals through conferences
and symposia, insurance, programs, exchanges,
LOA: Letter of Agreement.
LORT: (League of Resident
Theatres): Negotiating body for equity resident
theatres in the USA (LORT theatres produce a
series of plays and are non-profit
LP: Designation for long
playing record at 33 1/3 rpm.
Large Size Model: Model
(female) wearing size 12, 14, 16 and up.
Leader: Plastic (nonrecordable)
tape at the beginning and between songs for ease
in selection. Leg Model: A model who has
well-proportioned legs for showing hosiery
and/or beauty products for legs, shoes, etc.
Lighting Stage Manager: Person
in charge of a production's backstage technical
Literary Agent: A
representative between writer and publisher.
Location: The site of a
film/video shoot out of the studio, either
indoors or outdoors.
Loupe: A small magnifying glass
used to magnify slides and contact sheets.
Lyric Sheet: A typed or written
copy of a song's lyrics.
MIDI: Musical Instrument
Digital Interface. Universal standard
interface which allows musical
instruments to communicate with each
other and computers.
MOR: Middle of the road; easy
-listening popular music.
MOW: Movie of the Week.
MRE: More Remunerative
Major Markets: The most
populated cities. In the USA the largest
markets are New York City, Los Angeles,
Major: One of the two modes of
scales in Western music, the other being
Make-Up Artist: One who is an
expert in applying make-up on a model
for an assignment. May represent a
Making the Rounds: Going to
go-sees, interviews and auditions in
order to get work.
Mark: The spot, usually
indicated with a piece of tape on the
ground, where the actor is supposed to
stand when "action" is called.
Mask: To set or hang scenery
and props so as to prevent the audience
from seeing backstage.
Master Reel: An audio demo tape
made by a voice-over talent agency to
present to clients.
Master Property Man: The
stagehand in charge of all props and
Master Electrician: The
stagehand in charge of all lighting and
of the lighting crew.
Master Carpenter: The stagehand
in charge of all scenery and the crew
that handles the scenery.
Maxi-single: The cassette
equivalent of a 12" single. Also called
Maxi-cassettes or Maxi-plays.
Measure (bar): A grouping of
musical notes and beats that appears
throughout a musical piece.
Mechanical Right: The right to
profit from the physical reproduction of
Mechanical Royalty: Money
earned from record, tape, and CD sales.
Mini-profile: A small
Misses: A model who is more
mature looking than a junior model and
may be a little taller. More of a
college student type.
Mix: To blend a multi-track
recording into the desired balance of
Model Agency: A company that
registers models and has models
available for job assignments. A small
percentage of the model's fee is paid to
the agency for services rendered.
Agencies promote, book, bill, protect
and pay models.
Model's Book: A model's
profile of pictures; an important item
Motion Picture Modeling:
Modeling in all types of movie films.
Movie Commercial: A filmed ad
for film, up to three minutes long,
played in movie houses. A shortened
version, usually 20-30 seconds, is aired
on TV. Also called a movie ad, movie
spot, film commercial, film promo, or
coming attraction trailer.
Music Publisher: A company that
evaluates songs for commercial
potential; finds artists to record them,
finds other uses (such as TV or film)
for the songs, collects income generated
by the sings and protects copyrights
Music Jobber: A wholesale
distributor of printed music.
NAIRD: National Association of
Independent Record Distributors.
NARAS: National Academy of
Recording Arts and Sciences.
NARM: National Association of
NAS: National Academy of
Songwriters, formerly Songwriters
Resources and Services (SRS).
NMPA: National Music Publishers
NSAI: Nashville Songwriters
Needle-drop: Use of a
pre-recorded cut from a stock music
house in an audiovisual soundtrack.
Network Approval: The approval
of an actor for a project being handled
by a network studio.
No Quote: A term used in TV to
indicate that you are receiving less
than your usual rate, or "quote", for an
acting job, but everybody promises not
Non-Equity: A play that's
produced without the sanctioning of
Equity; members can't appear in this
type of production.
Non-SAG: A production that is
produced without the sanctioning of SAG;
members may not appear in this type of
Non-Union: A performer, crew
member, agency, part or production,
etc., that is not a signatory of, or
affiliated in some way with a union or
Off-Camera: Dialogue from a
character not seen on the screen.
One-stop: A wholesale
distributor of records (sometimes
videocassettes, blank tapes, and record
accessories) who represents several
manufacturers to record stores,
retailers, and jukebox operators.
Open Call: Known more formally
as an Equity principal interview or, on
the street, as a cattle call, this is
where the casting process is
theoretically thrown open to all comers.
Open Audition: A tryout or
reading that is open to all who fit
requirements of the part.
Opera: A play in which the
performers sing their roles rather than
speak them, usually to the accompaniment
of instruments, props, and costumes. An
"Operetta" generally more casual than an
opera, is the predecessor of musical
Over-dub: To record an
additional part (vocal or instrumental)
onto a basic multi-track recording.
Overscale: In TV commercials,
payment that is higher than the amount
established by the unions.
Overture: Musical selection,
typically a medley of tunes which the
orchestra plays at the very beginning of
a musical theatre production.
PA: Production assistant;
public address; press agent; power of
attorney; per annum.
PACT: Producers' Association of
POV (Point of view): Referring
to a film/TV camera angle that shows
what a particular character is seeing.
PRS: Performing Rights Society
PSA: Public Service
Announcement: a free broadcast
"advertisement" for a nonprofit service
Pan: A sweeping lateral camera
Payola: Dishonest payment to
broadcasters in exchange for airplay.
Per Diem: A set daily
allowance, usually for living expenses
not covered by the producer for one's
work on location.
Performing Rights Organization:
An organization that collects income
from the public performance of songs
written by its members and then
proportionally distributes this income
to the individual copyright holder based
on the number of performances of each
Performing Rights: A specific
right granted by US copyright law that
protects a composition from being
publicly performed without the owner's
Personal Manager: One who
guides and develops the career of a
performer for an agreed upon percentage
of earnings. A personal manager is not
an agent but works closely with an agent
as well as others.
Photography Release: A contract
between model and photographer whereby
the model releases the right to the
photographer to use pictures taken as
defined in the release. The model should
read the release carefully before
Pit: In a musical theatre
production, the area beneath the stage
where the orchestra performs.
Pitch: A musical tone's height
or depth that is dependent on the
frequency of vibration of the sound's
Places: The verbal order given
by a stage manager for cast and crew to
Play list: List of songs that a
radio station will play.
Plug: A favorable mention,
broadcast, or performance of a
something; to pitch a song.
Points: A negotiable percentage
paid to top producers and artists for
that takes place on a TV show, movie, or
commercial after shooting is completed.
Practical: The term applied to
any stage prop or object used by the
actors during a production, i.e.
furniture that is sat on, doors that are
opened, glasses that are drunk from,
Pre-production: Everything that
takes place on a TV show, movie, or
commercial before shooting commences.
Pre-screen: The casting
director wants to "check you out" before
you read for the producer and director,
so "pre-screens" you. It might involve a
cold reading, the opportunity to present
prepared monologues, or just a meeting.
Press Showing: A live showing
of the coming season's fashions at an
exclusive viewing for the press only.
News releases are then sent out
regarding the showing.
Prime Time: Network programming
aired 8:00 to 11:00 PM, (7:00 to 10:00
PM Central / Mountain time zones).
Principal: A performer with
lines or action that specifically
advances the plot line.
Print Work: Photos or
illustrations, on imprinted materials,
such as publications, packaging,
Producer: The person
responsible for the business of making
decisions on a production.
Product Demonstration: Showing
how a product works in promotional
Product Conflict: Two
commercials airing for products
competing in the same market for which
an actor is being "held".
Product Advertising: Posing
with a product for a picture or film.
Production Company: Movie and
film companies that do productions in
live or film media.
Proofs: Individual or a number
of small pictures on one page made from
negatives. These pictures are studied to
determine which are best for print.
Props: Things on the set that
are not part of the set itself, such as
furniture, vehicles, etc.
Proscenium Arch: The opening
between the stage area and the audience
through which a play is viewed.
Public Domain: Any composition
with an expired, lapsed, or invalid
Purchase License: Fee paid for
music used from a stock music library.
Query: A letter of inquiry to a potential song buyer soliciting his interest.
R & B: Rhythm and blues.
RIAA: Recording Industry
Associations of America.
RPM: Revolutions per minute.
Refers to phonograph turntable speed.
Rack Focus: Technique in which
a film/TV camera lens is adjusted, so
that one image in the frame is slowly
brought out of focus while another image
is brought into focus.
Raked Stage: A slanted theatre
stage that is higher as it is farther
from the audience.
Rate: The amount per hour a
performer or model charges for services.
A "day rate" is the charge for a whole
day. A model might be booked for a
weekly rate or an overall job rate.
Reel: A videotaped composite of
excerpts from your film, TV, or
commercial work, usually on a ?" format.
Release: This is a contract
signed by the model permitting the use
of those photographs taken at that
particular sitting for a specific
Residuals: Money earned every
time a television commercial is used.
Resume: A sheet giving the
background of a performer, including
professional experience, education,
vital statistics, etc. It is often
attached to the back of a photo.
Retail Modeling: A fashion
model who models fashion in a dress
salon or department store.
Royalty: Percentage of money
earned from the sale of records or use
of a song.
Running Lines: The process of
actors rehearsing lines (but not
blocking) with one another in
preparation for a more formal rehearsal
Runway: A raised platform 3 to
4 feet wide and of various lengths upon
which models display fashions.
SAE: Self-addressed envelope
(with no postage attached).
SAG: (Screen Actors Guild): A
theatrical union for television actors and
SASE: Self-addressed stamped
SEG: (Screen Extras Guild):
Union in some cities for "background" or
"atmosphere actors", people who do not speak any
lines in feature films, filmed TV shows, and
SESAC: A performing rights
SFX: Sound effects.
SMPTE: Society of Motion
Picture and Television Engineers.
SOCAN: Society of Composers,
Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.
SPT: Small Professional
SSDC: (Society of Stage
Directors & Choreographers): An independent
labor union representing directors and
choreographers working in all areas of
Sample Model: A model upon whom
the original sample dress of a designer is made.
A tedious job of standing still for hours.
Scale Wage: Minimum wage as
designated by the unions.
Scrapbook: A large book full of
pages with tear sheets from the model's jobs
over the years; usually kept at home but
available upon request.
Screen-Test: A "go-see"
session, at which a short scene by a performer
is viewed for evaluation.
Screening: Interviewing many
models and selecting the most suitable for the
Script Supervisor: The person
who supervises takes and ensures that each shot
fits into the finished production.
Self-contained: A band or
recording act that writes all their own
Session Fee: Performance pay
for single airing of a commercial.
Shop: To pitch songs to a
number of companies or publishers.
Short: A film with a running
time under thirty minutes.
Showcase Plays: Plays that are
produced for the benefit of actors, writers or
directors. There is no pay for such plays. In
LA, they are called 'Equity Waiver' plays and in
NYC they're called 'Off Broadway' plays under
the 'Showcase' code.
Showcase Club: A nightclub that
presents variety acts, usually without monetary
payment, it serves as a good venue for
performers to further tune acts.
Showcase Code: The Equity
agreement of many Off-Off Broadway theatres in
NYC. Any actor, Equity or not, may audition for
Showroom: The wholesale room
where the manufacturers sell fashions to buyers
often using models to demonstrate.
Slate: (clapboard): A
chalkboard with a clapper used to identify
scenes for editing and often to start the
Soap/Soap Opera: A continuing
serial, usually broadcast during the daytime.
Solicited: Songs or materials
that have been requested.
Song Plugger: A songwriter
representative whose main responsibility is
promoting uncut songs to music publishers,
record companies, artists and producers.
Sound Track: The music for a
Soundstage: A soundproof
building used for shooting movies, TV shows, or
Soundtrack: The audio,
including music and narration, of a film,
videotape or audiovisual program.
Specialty Model: A model with
special attributes such as hands, legs, feet,
Split publishing: To divide
publishing rights between two or more
Spokesmodel: An attractive,
well-spoken individual who represents a product,
service, company, etc.
Spot: A commercial, often a
local or random showing.
SpotLight: A highly
concentrated light enclosed by a metal box,
covered by a lens for specific lighting.
Stand-in: A substitute for
featured players, usually from the extra ranks,
used for light settings.
Statistics: A model's vitals
listed on the composite or resume'; Age group,
size, height, weight, measurements, hair
coloring, eye color. Some include special
talents like golf, sailing, horseback riding,
Statutory Royalty Rate: The
maximum payment for mechanical rights guaranteed
by law that a record company may pay the
songwriter and his publisher for each record or
Storyboard: A series of
cartoon-like drawings outlining the shots
required for a TV commercial. It is combined
with a story guideline.
Street Casting: The opting for
non-models from streets or public places to
appear in photographs, film, etc., to create a
more realistic effect.
Strike: The term for removing
scenery, props and lights from the stage.
Strip Lights: A group of lights
placed together to light up a particular area.
Stylist: Individual responsible
for acquiring props for a shot or set; it may
include acquiring clothes, finding a location.
Subpublishing: Certain rights
granted by a US publisher to a foreign publisher
in exchange for promoting the US catalog in his
Supernumerary: In theatre,
opera, etc.; an extra on stage who has no lines.
Synchronization Rights: Rights
to use a composition in film or video.
Synchronization: Technique of
timing a musical soundtrack to action or film or
TCG: (Theatre Communication
Group): A non-profit organization in NYC that
helps theatres by holding invitational auditions
for specific plays. An invitation to one of
these auditions depends on the actor's
performance at TCG auditions, which are usually
held twice a year.
TYA: (Theatre for Young
Audiences): An Equity contract used for
Taft-Hartley Law: Law stating
that a person can work a certain amount of time
on a union job without having to join that
union. An actor can work up to 30 calendar days
of a first job without joining the appropriate
union. On the second job, or any job obtained
after 30 calendar days, or any job that lasts
over 30 calendar days, one must join union.
Take: A still shot or
Talent Scout: A representative
of a talent agency, studio, production house,
network, record company, sports team, etc., who
looks for talent to hire, represent or promote.
Talent Agency/Talent Agent: A
representative working on a commission basis who
acts as a business representative for a
performer attempting to get work in the
Tea Room Modeling: A fashion
model who models clothes during luncheon or
dinner hours in a dining environment.
Tear Sheets: Photographs kept
from various assignments in magazines,
brochures, newspapers, etc.
Technical Director: The person
responsible for creating a stage setting from a
scenic design and for controlling the set during
a performance; often the set designer.
Teleprompter: A device used in
lieu of cue cards to help a performer read
without looking away from the camera.
Test Shots: Pictures taken of a
fashion model by a photographer to test new
Test Commercial: A commercial
scheduled to be aired in a small area and
monitored for its effectiveness.
TFP: is a term used in many online photography communities describing an arrangement between a model and a photographer, whereby the photographer agrees to provide the model with an agreed number of pictures of the best photographs from the session and a limited license to use those pictures in return for the model's time.
The Songwriters Guild of America:
Organization for songwriters, formerly called
Theatrical Booking: An
engagement to act or perform.
Trade Show: A particular
industry's show usually held in a convention
center to display products and services.
Turnaround: In a shoot, the
amount of time between a "wrap" one day and the
"call time" on the next day.
TV Commercial: A job requiring
acting or talking to sell a product on
Typecasting: The casting of
roles based on appearance.
U/C: Urban contemporary music.
Under-5: A part that calls for
five speaking lines or less.
Understudy: A performer hired
to take over a role should the featured
performer be unable to perform.
Union Card: A CARD proving that
the person holding the cad is a member of the
Union Fee Scale: A schedule of
graduated minimum payments for work done under a
Union Initiation Fee: A
one-time payment to a union required by a new
member upon first joining.
United Scenic Artists: The
union representing set, props, wardrobe and
stylist professionals in theatre, opera, film
Upstage: Near or at the rear of
the stage. Also pertains to a performer trying
to gain more attention than other performers.
Usage Fees: Additional fees
paid to a model when a photograph is exposed to
a large number of readers.
VHS: 1/2" videocassette format. The VHS
system uses a larger cassette than that used
with the Beta system.
VLA: Volunteer Lawyers for the
Voice-Over: A model's voice
will be substituted for another model being
photographed in a film or commercial.
Voicetape: An audio demo tape
giving samples of a voice-over talent's vocal
abilities used for promotion.
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts:
Provides free legal representation and
counseling to eligible artists and non-profit
arts organizations that have arts-related legal
problems; sharing of information through
publications, clinics, workshops, etc.
Voucher: A receipt that a model
receives from an agency ( or has printed if you
are on your own). This receipt is signed by the
client and the model at the end of the
assignment showing agreement on hours worked and
Video tape recorder (VTR): A
reel-to-reel device for recording and playing
sound and video on magnetic tape.
Walk-On: A small non-speaking
part in which the person walks on-stage
or on the set as the script indicates
during the course of a production. Also
called a "silent bit part".
Wardrobe: The clothing and
accessories needed for a shoot.
Weather Day: An outdoor
location shooting day; if the weather is
inclement, shooting is postponed until
the weather day. A half-days wage is
paid for each inclement day that
shooting does not take place.
Widescreen: Any film format
with an aspect ratio of at least 1.66.
Wild Spot: A commercial that
runs on a non-network station, or a spot
that runs between scheduled network
Wrap: The end of a production.
Z-Cards: See composite.
Zoom: A type of lens used to
alter the depth and closeness of an
actor without moving the camera.
8"x10": The industry's standard
for glossy photos, usually "head shots".
"91 Day Out" Clause: A
stipulation in SAG contracts stating
that if a performer doesn't earn an
agreed upon amount of money from
commercials within 91 days after signing
a contract, he or she can legally
terminate the contract.