How do I find acting auditions?
Audition resources are plentiful in today's world of internet and cell phones. Couple that with the fact that the entertainment industry is booming and you have a recipe for an abundant amount of auditions for people trying to become involved in the acting industry. Once you have decided that this is a path you would like to take, you will need to take it seriously. There is a lot to learn before you go to your first acting audition. You can't be successful on talent alone, so when you go to acting auditions, you must know what to be prepared for.
There are many resources that will offer to help you find acting auditions in your local area. LAauditions.com is one of those companies that can help people find free acting auditions as well. Many internet based companies offer resources to help beginners find acting auditions, but the best way has always been with an agent.
Having the right agent can make or break you in the acting industry. A good agent will have the proper connections, and pull necessary to get your feet in the door of the best casting opportunities for acting auditions. In most cases, a good agent will not consider an actor without professional experience so you may want to start somewhere small, with either free auditions, or a personal manager who can help guide you in the right direction until you're ready for an agent. If you feel you are prepared for an agent, you can choose to contact agencies and management companies who may be interested in your talents. If you would like the chance to get your feet wet first on some auditions and get a feel for the competition out there, along with a better understanding of the audition process, we can help with that too.
The audition process
Auditioning is the most nightmarish process imaginable for casting a project, but it's the only one we have. Unless you're already a hot commodity in the industry, you're going to have to audition to keep working. No one can claim to be the expert on auditions. Every actor gets rejected. Every actor goes through times when no one wants to hire them. It's part of the business. There are three main things to keep in mind when auditioning:
- They want you to do well. The casting process is as exhausting and difficult for them as it is for you. They're just waiting for the right person to walk in the room so they can all go home. Seeing them as the enemy doesn't serve you. Don't let the intimidating and often unfriendly situation keep you from doing your best work.
- Have fun. When it comes down to it, getting the job is 1% what you do, 9% what you look like, and 90% dumb luck. Do your best to control that 1% by being prepared, but don't beat yourself up over not getting the job. Sometimes the reason you don't get hired can be totally ludicrous. You have a better chance of success if you just take the opportunity to perform and have a good time.
- Have confidence in who you are and what you have to offer. Confidence sells, just like in any other industry. This in no way means "be arrogant". Arrogant people aren't confident, they're just - well schmucks. Be yourself, and you'll have more to bring to the character. Be prepared and you'll have your best work to offer.
The rest you'll learn through experience. Audition classes and workshops are available as well. Acting is one of the most rewarding professions in the entertainment industry. Work hard and stick with it, the world needs good actors and the stories they tell.
Preparing for auditions
If you ask a casting director what matters most when an actor shows up to an audition, most will tell you that the actor needs to "be prepared" Of course, being on time is usually a positive bonus as well.
It should be obvious, but it's surprising how many actors make a bad impression with something as simple as inappropriate behavior. You have to keep in mind that casting directors already have the job, you don't. So you need to prove yourself to them, not the other way around. Some suggestions from casting directors include things like avoid unnecessary chit-chat. Don't linger in the room for too long after you read. Stay away from using most props, and avoid making physical contact with the casting director during your audition.
A feeling of desperation is another sure way not to get a callback. Keep calm and collected, you don't want to come off as if you're begging or pleading. Consider each audition an opportunity or a chance to perform for an audience. Or walk into the audition saying, "No matter what happens, I'll do the best I can today." The casting director is not here to judge you harshly; he or she simply wants to find the perfect person for the role. Give yourself the best opportunity possible.
Sometimes actors will seek out acting coaches to prepare them for an audition. Don't over prepare though, you want to retain a substantial amount of flexibility. The bottom line is that you don't know exactly what the casting director is looking for unless is it very specific. The casting director will often ask you to read the lines differently, if you've become set in your ways about how you're reading the sides, it will be difficult to change. Be comfortable with what you're doing, but be prepared to change.
Photos / Headshots
One of the most important acting tips is get good photos. To obtain photos or headshots in the entertainment business, appearance is practically everything. Lasting impressions come from that first glance. You must obtain the best headshot possible! Your headshot is your business card. Please remember that casting directors will only glance at your picture once, therefore you only have one chance to capture their interest. Professional photos are expensive, but you will not get very far without them. You can spend between $50 - $1000. Sometimes photographers are well-connected and may present a great chance to help you find a local agent or manager.
You may want to consider seeking quality training before you begin to audition for major casting directors. Proper training from reputable acting schools will help reinforce the correct techniques required by top casting directors and agencies. Another important acting tip they can help with is putting together a good resume. There are certain standards and guidelines for an actor's resume. Your resume must be well-written and professional. List all of your past and current training, experiences, talents, skills, contacts, etc. A good acting school can not only look nice on your resume, but they can often help you write your resume, and help put you in some acting projects that you will be able to add to your acting resume. While an acting school may not be necessary for everybody, there is certainly no shame in going to a good acting school and it can only offer more benefits than not attending.
Agents / Talent managers
If you're looking for acting tips, here's one, find a professional agent or manager. It is your responsibility to select an agent or manager, which is right for you. You can do so by simply sending out your picture and resume to all the agents/managers in your area. They will call you back if they are impressed with your picture and are interested in representing you. Every major city has well-established talent agencies and management groups. Contact a few different agencies/managers and see what they require. The key to success is retaining an agent/manager that is well established and experienced! Ask for references and credentials before signing any contracts. We advise you to work under a non-exclusive 1-2 year contract in order to make certain your agent/manager performs their duties professionally.
Guidelines to follow when auditioning:
- Always know what you are auditioning for.
- Arrive thirty minutes prior to the audition time; this will allow ample time to check in and warm up, check out your competition.
- Bring at least 2 photos and resumes. Photos should reflect current physical likeness (should always be updated!)
- Do not chew gum (all directors hate it)
- When attending callbacks, always wear the same attire worn at audition. Try to do everything you did the first time because it has already worked during the first audition.
- Be confident, smile, always have a positive attitude
- Act excited about everything you asked to do
Actors / Improvisation:
- Be prepared for improvisation.
- Different voices and dialects are a plus.
- Prepare a dramatic and comedic monologue no more than 2 minutes in length.
- Note if the audition is going to provide sides.
- Bring 2 selections of sheet music, 1 up-tempo and 1 ballad, in legible condition.
- Be prepared to sing the best 16 bars.
- Know your vocal range.
- Sheet music should have full musical notation and in the key in which you will perform.
- If audition requires movement, dress appropriately.
- Wear appropriate dance attire.
- Bring appropriate dance shoes.
- If the audition requires singing, bring at least 2 selections of sheet music, 1 up-tempo and 1 ballad.
- Be prepared to sing the best 16 bars.