Mandy.com, or The Mandy Network Ltd, is a valuable source of information and job opportunities for creative and performance workers in the UK and beyond.
The History of Mandy.com
Back in 1990 in the US, Mandy set up a directory of TV technicians to support producers planning to shoot overseas. The directory moved online in 1996 as Mandy.com.
Then, in 2003 a UK performer turned to her brother for help finding acting work. Over the next few years, he and a colleague built the Casting Pro Call (CCP) family of casting sites under the Blue Compass business umbrella. These were Casting Call Pro (CCP), Kids Casting Call Pro (KCCP), Film and TV Pro, Stage Jobs Pro, Singers Pro, Dancers Pro, Voices Pro, Music Network Pro, and Total Talent.
Between 2015 to 2017 a number of significant changes occurred. UK company Blue Compass acquired Mandy.com and changed their company name to The Mandy Network Ltd. Meanwhile, the old Mandy.com and CCP sites were replaced with the new suite of Mandy.com sites.
In early 2021, the senior management of New York talent platform Backstage and global growth private equity firm TA Associates acquired both the Mandy Network and StarNow.
The Mandy.com Jobsites Today
The site network listing jobs and professional profiles are:
- Mandy Actors
- Mandy Crew (Film & TV Crew)
- Mandy Theatre Professionals
- Mandy Kids (Child Actors)
- Mandy Voices (Voiceover Artists)
- Mandy Singers
- Mandy Dancers
- Mandy Music (Music Professionals)
- Mandy Supporting Artists
- Mandy Entertainers
The website states that there are more than 2.3 million actors, backstage and theatre professionals, crew, creative professionals and industry employers belonging to the family of sites. But at the beginning of January 2019, the number of members was higher, topping more than 2.5 million. There are 18,642 members in London and the UK listed on the UK Mandy Kids site alone. That’s a lot of young actors!
Those who pay the premium membership subscription charges can apply for the listed paid jobs in film, theatre, tv, commercial, dance, voiceover and much more, according to which site or sites they have subscribed to.
Almost two thousand live jobs were open at the time we checked, across the different sites.
Mandy Network Reviews
An online search brings up a complicated range of views about the Mandy network of casting sites. Some people love it, while others give it one star. Why?
Some of the reasons include:
- Job advertisements don’t guarantee work
- Not all advertisers are equal
- Some people are paying subscriptions for the first time
Let’s take a look at each of these in further detail:
Job Advertisements Don’t Guarantee Work
If you applied to every job vacancy listed in The Guardian, how many job offers would you get? Probably one or two at the most. That’s what these casting and crew sites do. They give you the opportunity to apply. And then one person out of hundreds or thousands of applicants will get the job.
It feels different from an office job because acting work is often for a few hours or days at best, and crew work rarely stretches further than a few weeks. So you have to keep applying. And keeping yourself free for last-minute auditions or interview phone calls. As well as keeping shoot dates clear just on the off chance you actually book the work. You are constantly seeking work. That’s the nature of the industry and casting websites are not responsible for it.
You will have heard that Spotlight is the essential subscription for any aspiring performer. Indeed, many agents will only consider taking on Spotlight registered adults and children. But even many Spotlight registered actors never get any work from it because only one person will book the work. It’s no different to what happens with the Mandy.com sites.
Not All Advertisers Are Equal
The Mandy Network Ltd has a team of at least 22 people. They check everyone placing adverts on any of their sites. They do not post unpaid commercial work from production companies.
“At Mandy, we work hard to ensure the jobs on our board are compliant with all legislation, and we work closely with organisations, unions and NGOs to work toward the most progressive guidelines. We adhere strictly to the Data Protection Act (England and Wales; 1998) and strive to maintain a platform that provides a professionally enriching experience for all of its users.”Amelia, The Mandy Network Ltd
At one stage some time ago several subscribers received unsolicited emails from fake agencies which rang alarm bells about a possible scam. Mandy staff moved quickly to deal with this issue when they were made aware of it.
In other words, if you receive messages through a Mandy site that you have any concerns about at all, contact the site immediately so they can take action.
The onus does still rest of you to be careful how you proceed with the individuals and companies you connect with through the Mandy.com. They do not work for the projects advertised.
Some of the advertisers will be big dreamers with unrealistic plans, others could draw you into situations you are uncomfortable with. Whatever promises are made, remember that many micro-budget films never get completed and enthusiastic individuals planning films from their bedroom are not the next Spielberg whatever they claim. Always be aware of your own limits and don’t pay film crowdfunding money you can’t afford or do things on screen that you are uncomfortable with.
On the whole, however, the jobs listed are genuine and professional. S
Some People Are Paying Subscriptions For The First Time
All the sites shown in our list of casting sites for UK actors, which includes Mandy.com, rely on job seekers paying a fee to access work. The individuals and companies recruiting cast and crew can advertise for free.
There are some real issues about this. Nurses in the UK do not pay to access job advertisements, for example. But the NHS requires a further 40,000 nurses to fill current job vacancies, even though it is specialised work with professional standing and a decent salary package.
In contrast, anyone can become an actor and begin chasing work. An equity card is no longer demanded before access to the industry is permitted. Casting websites mean you can get some experience under your belt even if you don’t have an acting agent for the higher-profile work.
And, of course, many people have unrealistic expectations of what they can achieve without attending a top drama school. Casting directors are inundated with hundreds and even THOUSANDS of submissions to one single casting brief.
Therefore actors are used to paying for access to jobs information simply because there are so many people chasing so few jobs.
It’s a new departure for crew members though. Getting experience with student and amateur films is an expected part of getting a foot on the ladder. Acting as a runner on a professional production is a good way to demonstrate your skills of being calm, efficient, hard-working, and easy to work with as part of a team. Many production companies recruit their runners without pay simply because there are enough people wanting to get the experience. And it’s a similar story with some other crew positions.
Once you have gained experience, much of your work will come from word of mouth. So it can be expected that the people relying most on these job platforms are those with the least ability to pay for them.
If you are inexperienced, you may not be aware of the true market values for particular jobs. It has consequences for you as an individual and the market as a whole. That’s a danger with all online recruitment sites.
Furthermore, the old Mandy.com site used to allow five job applications per month free of charge. That was swept away with the new system. After all, the new owners have spent significant sums of money purchasing Mandy.com and developing the new sites. People don’t like change generally, and most of all when a valuable free service disappears.
But on the
The site also provides free access to the forums, though you need to be a member before you can post questions or answers. Everything from acting agencies, payment problems, training and collaboration issues are discussed.
What Does Mandy.com Cost?
The costs of Mandy membership are not clearly set out in the way many other Casting Websites are. It means you get a free profile before understanding what the costs are. The reasons for this are not entirely clear. After all, Mandy.com is a genuine jobs platform and not a scam.
Sometimes special offers are sent out. These usually include a period of free membership if you refer a new subscriber to the service.
On signing up, you have a 30-day trial free of charge and don’t need to input any card details. After the trial has ended, you can decide to keep a free profile if you want to. Or you can subscribe for a chosen time before dropping back to the free profile. If you take out a
Furthermore, there appears to be a discount available if you want to subscribe to two or more different sites in The Mandy Network Ltd family. This may be to alleviate the problems of asking actors to pay separately for access to acting and voiceover work. However, you do have to email to personally ask for information about this discount. It is not clear why.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to subscribe according to your personal needs at any time.
Why Pay For Mandy.com Premium Membership?
For free, you can set up a personal profile including measurements and skills, a photo and showreel. Credits, training and other information can also be added. If you are a premium member, you can load up to 20 photographs, and 20 media files.
Free members can see the headline of jobs coming onto the jobs board, including the gender and age requirements. Job alerts will also be automatically sent to you by email. You’ll need to be a premium member though to click through to the job details and to make an application.
You can access the many excellent guides available on the site, for free. There are also a lot of interesting news articles to read about actors, producers, directors, cinematographers, etc including how they started and got their careers underway.
But if you want to use the directories, you can only do so with a subscription. Many
Subscribed members get some additional attention on site. One headshot and one showreel link are shown at the right-hand side of each page, with a clear description of the subscriber’s name underneath. You never know when yours might come up on the screen of a casting director or employer.
Subscribers can also find out who has looked at their profile if it was by a site member. With the free profile, the views are shown but you aren’t given any information about who the viewer was.
Mandy also runs a number of networking events available only to premium subscribers, who can also use the site to search for an agent.
The Most Viewed Profiles
Some Mandy.com sites have a leaderboard showing the most viewed members. That’s often a good way to drive publicity to your profile on social media, especially if your agent takes advantage of the opportunity to do so too.
Getting Work Through Mandy.com
What professionals can do to increase their chances of booking work
Good showreel, good pictures, good credits, good training and experience, and the right characteristics. Check, check, check. Then apply to the right brief or advert according to what you have to offer.
Some performers set up their Mandy profile and pay the subscription, then their agent makes submissions for any matching brief. This is the same way it usually works for Spotlight membership. But unlike Spotlight, individuals can submit themselves regardless of whether they have an agent or not.
The Mandy.com On Social Media
You can find Mandy.com as The Mandy Network Ltd on: