For actors and models in Los Angeles who find themselves battling traffic, stressing over parking, and skipping work or commitments to make auditions, UpCast is a godsend. It’s one of those great apps that are simple, innovative, and genuinely helpful.
UpCast connects casting professionals directly with models and actors. Instead of confining both parties to a set location and time, an actor can send in their photos or videos right from where they are, and a casting director can view and book the actor instantly.
The app is straightforward—models and actors swipe through available roles posted by casting directors, and either submit their audition immediately, or save the posting for later. UpCast also allows you to take and send your photos and videos right from the app, and sends a notification when you get booked. It also gives you full control over your portfolio, meaning you can update, manage, and add to it on your own, instantly.
UpCast is offering a 30-day free trial membership that includes unlimited submissions for models, actors, and extras seeking work in Los Angeles. After the trial, the cost for talent membership is $14/month. For casting professionals, creating an account is free, and allows you to post an unlimited number of jobs.
Drew Doyon, whose own acting experience led him to develop the app, operates from ROC’s Santa Monica office. After highlighting UpCast in a previous blog post, we spoke with him again about UpCast, what’s next, and co-working at ROC.
Can you talk about your transition from working as an actor to creating UpCast? Are you primarily focused on developing UpCast now, or do you also use it to land roles for yourself?
My transition from focusing on acting to focusing on UpCast was very gradual because it took over a year before I was even able to secure funding. I had no choice but to continue acting, modeling, freelancing, etc while designing and building UpCast. And because of the nature of the entertainment industry, you never really know when you’ll be auditioning or working next – which also gave myself plenty of time to do both simultaneously. It wasn’t until I secured funding that I really became 100% focused on UpCast and became much more strict about what roles I would go out for. That being said, I do still have representation and I do still model and act occasionally (I do love it). My role in UpCast is to grow the platform and put other people to work and although there have been roles on our platform I’m interested in, I think it’s best for now that I don’t mix the two.
What were some challenges you faced when creating UpCast? Have you overcome them?
Creating UpCast was almost exclusively challenges for over a year. Exciting and rewarding challenges, but lots of challenges. The biggest challenge started day 1 and has not and hopefully will not ever be overcome. This is my first startup – so I have never wireframed, designed, built, launched, or maintained anything like this in my life. It challenged me to always be learning and listening. Every day is different and I think that’s my favorite part of the process. Outside of the app development, I’ve been responsible for every other aspect of the business.
The toughest challenge personally was securing funding and finding cofounders. Negotiations with my first investor fell through, I thought I had cofounders on board and that fell through, and then it took over 7 months to secure funding from my first negotiations with my eventual investor. There were plenty of times that I thought the dream was either over or that I had to put it on the back burner.
Overcoming challenges for me has been all about mindset and the support of friends and family. I knew that if this was ever going to happen, I had to give it my absolute all until I either succeeded or failed. That way I would have no regrets if it didn’t work out.
What’s next for UpCast?
We’re only live in LA right now, so the next step is to launch in other major markets across the US – and eventually globally. We also are only available for iOS and will be launching Android at some point this year. I also think that Nationwide searches and child auditions is a huge market that we’re not quite yet tapped into.
Has co-working at ROC been helpful for your work on UpCast?
Co-working at ROC has been really helpful for my work on UpCast. ROC was the first step for me getting out of working from my apartment/coffee shops, and I had much more energy and was more efficient in ROC’s space. Most importantly, I’ve met some really great people. Even though a lot of those relationships aren’t related to UpCast or our growth, it’s been amazing working around and talking to like-minded people.
Get UpCast and start your free trial today!
Check out the Santa Monica ROC location that Drew works out of.
Read our first blog post about UpCast.