Spotlight is an actors’ directory and it is very widely used in the profession.
A lot of casting information goes out to agents (and unrepresented adult actors) via the Spotlight Link (and submissions go to CDs via the link) and most agents will want their actors to be in Spotlight because Casting Directors use it. It’s not the only way casting is done, by any means, but it’s a very important tool for agents, casting directors and directors in the industry.
If you want paid, professional work as an actor, you need to be in Spotlight. It doesn’t mean you will get work, it does mean that a Casting Director can find you. It’s like a Yellow Pages for actors.
Not everyone can have an entry in Spotlight. If you are a child, you need to be represented by an agent or attend a stage school who have previously contacted Spotlight. As an adult you need to have had full-time recognised professional training and /or professional experience.
There are a number of other casting directories and websites. Most of them cost money and many of them are not worth paying for… Look at what they offer and read it with a cynical eye: some of them promise a great deal and deliver very little.
As a rule, the more they promise the less they are worth! Steer clear of anything that mentions wanting to be famous or a star or anything that “guarantees” auditions. Take a look at some of the actors they have on the database and see how much experience they have. If absolutely anyone (regardless of experience) is able to join, the directory is less likely to be of interest to casting directors.