Applying to auditions & jobs

Paid work vs Collaboration Opportunities

StarNow connects aspiring and professional talent of all ages and stages with an equally wide range of advertisers and casting professionals.   

We want the StarNow community to be a safe space where everyone is valued and can build each other up - we want you to be earning and learning!

So, who is StarNow for?

Talent may come to us with no experience, but a strong look and an interest in the entertainment industry.  Many members have a great deal of experience, and others are industry professionals at the top of their game.  We believe all of our members have something important to offer, whether it be a look, skills and experience, or both.

Advertisers on StarNow have a wide range of backgrounds too, including:

  • Professional Casting Directors for Film and TV
  • Advertising Agencies 
  • Producers
  • Indie filmmakers
  • Reality TV production companies
  • Small business owners
  • Promotional and Brand Ambassador Companies
  • Agents
  • Film School Students
  • Videographers
  • Photographers

...the list goes on!

It's important to us at StarNow that the advertisers have something to offer our talent, be that a paid project, or the chance to collaborate and learn/build a portfolio. 

If an advertiser has absolutely no industry experience and no budget, it's possible we will decline their listing and suggest they look to build up some skills in their local community first (e.g they could look for connections via a Facebook group, take a class or take part in a local production).   

When to collaborate?

Collaborations (aka unpaid opportunities) can be great for building experience, networks, showreels, and portfolios.

It's really important that both parties benefit from any type of collaboration. Collaboration is usually a learning or development opportunity, with no intended commercial outcome and no exposure for the talent.  Please note, exposure is NOT considered a benefit, but as an indicator the talent should be paid.

With this in mind, please consider these questions before promoting or accepting a role:

  • Is the resulting product (e.g. a TV commercial) being used in public (e.g. a website, or TV) with the intent to generate income?  
  • Is this role going to prevent anyone from performing in another, paid role in the future? (In other words, will their association with this project or brand, even if it doesn't relate to advertising, put off another casting professional?)
  • Are some parties being paid to take part, e.g a photographer, ad agency or videographer?

If you answered ‘Yes’ or ‘Maybe’ to either of those questions, please think twice about whether it's a genuine collaboration opportunity for both parties.  The examples outlined above are very likely opportunities that should be paid.

The kinds of collaboration that do fit the bill may include:
- a student film where showreel material is on offer
- Time for Print opportunities where both parties build their portfolio
- amateur theatre
- no budget independent films where all parties work together and no one is being paid

Please note we don't accept collaboration opportunities that require nudity or implied nudity.  We have strict guidelines around what we will accept and anything that is approved will need to meet strict payment guidelines.

Payment requirements

Ways we help Casting Professionals meet their obligations around payment requirements, include:

  • educating them about their obligations and industry expectations
  • reviewing all listings
  • actively encouraging paid opportunities for our members

When creating a listing and choosing between “paid”, “unpaid”, and “expenses only”, casting professionals based in the UK explicitly agree to abide by the UK Minimum Wage Act. Their listings also state: ‘The owner of this listing has agreed to abide by the UK National Minimum Wage Act. (Please read our terms and conditions for more details, and note Casting Professionals in any region in any country are expected to abide by local wage regulations.)   

As part of our Terms of Use, the Casting Professional is responsible for determining whether their production is looking for workers and as such should be offering payment.  If you see an unpaid listing on site, this should be because the Casting Professional believes their production does not meet the criteria that means they need to offer payment.

If you think a Casting Professional has a listing on StarNow that is unpaid but actually requires payment, they may be in breach of National Minimum Wage legislation, and our Terms and Conditions.  We take this very seriously ask that you please contact us so we can investigate further.

To find out more about current minimum wage rates, please see below:

United Kingdom


New Zealand

For other countries, visit WageIndicator.org.

Volunteer work 

While some unpaid opportunities may fall under “volunteering”  a volunteer has no contract and no obligation to work certain hours or perform particular duties.

Has this answered your question? If not, please contact us