What is a comp card?
"What is a comp card?" is usually the first question I hear when I address the topic with an actor. Which is surprising, given what a great marketing tool it can be. Comp card is short for composite card, which is used by actors and models for commercial print auditions and self-promotion. The size I prefer is 6”x9”, with a headshot on the front and 3-5 images on the back. The purpose is to show as much variety as possible, so the casting director can envision you as different types. Ideally the images on the back should look like tear sheets from magazine ads.
Comp cards are NOT just for models- every actor should have one as well. Generally, a model’s comp card is editorial (like a spread in Vogue Magazine), while an actor’s comp card is lifestyle (talking on a cell phone or hailing a cab). Fashion work is reserved for models, but there’s a ton of print work for actors. Advertisers are always looking for attractive, everyday people to sell their products. Click here to see day rates for print work, specifically for actors and "real" people.
A comp card is an important resource in addition to a headshot. It allows you to introduce yourself to industry professionals in a much more diverse way than with a headshot alone. If you’re looking for a commercial agent, submitting with a comp card will give you a much better chance of meeting them, because you’re showing them a variety of looks. They’ll see you as significantly more likely to book a job, be it print or on camera. If you already have a commercial agent, a comp card will allow them to submit you for print work as well as on camera and voice overs. It opens up an entire new avenue to generate income.
Rebeka COULD NOT GET AN AGENT until she submitted her comp card, then she had eight meetings within a week.