This question often confuses people new to the world of professional acting.  

A Talent Agent works for the performer to get them modeling or acting work.  Your agent’s job is to market you to potential clients, such as directors, producers, photographers, ad agencies, and sometimes the actual company who is paying for the commercial. Agents typically get a 10%-20% cut of the actor’s pay for a job.

A Casting Director is hired by the producer to find the talent for a commercial, movie or TV show.  The Casting Director contacts the Talent Agent, asking them to send the right actors to a casting session.

A common misunderstanding is that the Casting Director picks the models or actors or models.  They don’t. What they do is present the best options for the client. A good Casting Director has a keen eye for on-air talent.
You should NEVER pay to see a Casting Director. If anyone asks you to pay for an audition, RUN! Sometimes Casting Directors offer acting workshops, these can be very helpful, especially to new actors.

In Kansas City the best Casting Director is Heather Laird of Wright/Laird Casting. She has over 30 years experience and has cast movies starring Jennifer Lawrence, Glenn Close, Gary Sinese and Reese Witherspoon.

To check out her on camera acting classes go to