Finding an audition is easy; a simple Google search will turn up thousands. What's harder is finding one that's a good fit for YOU. It can be a daunting and never-ending task. It takes digging, and patience, and discernment, too (plenty of scams out there!). While it's not often a fast find, what it doesn't have to be is a mysterious process.
What are You looking for?
All too often enthusiasm gets spent too soon in the audition room, and the first impression is wasted before the actor knows how to effectively communicate their strengths and their goals.
Do you know which type of stories you are passionate about? Do you know where and how you'd best fit into them? Each project you are a part of is a part of your acting career, so it's worth it to find the ones that matter to you.
Don't let the industry define you or shape you or bully you into what (you think) they think you should be. Be honest with yourself and embrace who God has and is making you to be. BE you. KNOW you. Write out as many varied descriptions of roles you know you could believably portray (in stories you'd have peace/joy about being in and representing), then condense them into different "types"; those are the character descriptions to look for in the breakdown.
When someone sends me their headshot and says "I have a wide range" or "I'm pretty versatile" or something otherwise generic, (unless I'm already familiar with their work, and they have credits and/or a reel to back it up) this is what I hear: "I'm just not sure which role I should audition for and I don't want to lock myself down. I'm willing to try anything!". While this sounds noble on the surface, it's secretly lazy. It puts the burden on the casting/director/producer to figure out how to use your talents. That's not their job; it's yours! Don't slack on it.
Are you Ready yet?
Are your materials updated and ready to send? By that I mean your headshots, resume, website, online casting profiles, demo reel -- any attachments or links that would be applicable to your submission. Do you know how to write the least annoying cover letter? (Hint: in many cases, shorter is better)
>> It'd be a shame to find a breakdown with the perfect role, and not be in a position to pursue it.
Learn how to properly format your resume, and the best file types and naming systems for sending your materials in an online submission. There are articles out there to help you get started. If you need extra help, let me know!
Not everyone has the same definition of a "good headshot", but if you really aren't sure what makes or breaks your visual calling card, join this public group on Facebook and read through the feed for comments and critique various actors are getting for their photos. Then, before you invest in a professional photographer, do a practice photo-shoot with a friend first and review the results. You'll learn a lot to apply toward the paid session.
We're actors, guys, so let's use our well-developed imaginations for a moment and think like one of these indie director/producers. I can: 1) Cast my friends and family. 2) Ask around on social media for who wants to be in my movie. 3) Post a casting notice or breakdown on my website. 4) Link to this notice or post it directly on social media. 5) Post an official casting notice on a known casting website. 6) Reach out to talent in my area via agencies or churches or drama clubs, etc. 7) Ask/hire someone I know to be my casting director or assistant, and they can help me. 8) Hire a casting director to oversee and direct the casting process.
Assuming that final casting strategy is a combination of the actions listed above, how do you respond to it?
Here is a list of over 150 relevant production companies, alphabetized, and location noted as well. Find and research the ones nearest to you! Bookmark your favorites.
How to look Effectively
One of the fastest ways to start having more auditions pop up on your radar is to invest in growing your network. Your "network" consists of everyone you work with, have a meaningful conversation or interaction with, or otherwise come to know in the biz. Taking classes, going to workshops, volunteering on a film set, and attending film festivals are all great ways to meet new people and form connections with them.
>> More connections means more channels of information for you to tap into!
In your network, be generous to others, and not merely a "taker". Maybe you see a promising audition notice, but you're not quite right for any roles. Just move on, right? Nope. Share it! Tag other actors you know who might be a fit. Not only is it fun to help spread the word, that generosity gets noticed and sometimes reciprocated. Win / win!
Looking for auditions takes time, but be careful not to sacrifice your time unnecessarily. Once your profiles are set up, update them every couple of months or so, as needed. Have your headshot and resume files prepped and easy to find. Skim your interest list feed a few times a week on Facebook. Check the casting and production company websites you've bookmarked. 10-15 minutes daily, or an hour and a half block on the weekend, should suffice.
Spend more time investing in your relationships: with God, with family, with your community. That's where the true rewards are. As you become sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit, He will give you insight on where best to put your resources and energy (see Matthew 6:25-33). The rest will come, so come and rest!
Bonus tip: If you ever have the opportunity to be a reader for an audition in your area, do it. Focus your energy on helping the other actors shine! It's the perfect workout for a savvy actor, while subtly showcasing your talent and great attitude to the others in the room.
To summarize: Do keep an eye on the main casting websites, but concentrate more on following those promising production companies and filmmakers on social media. You'll likely hear about their next film there first (if not by word of mouth, once you've built up and maintained that industry network).
Well, dear thespians, I hope this has been an enlightening read! As always, if you want individual coaching and/or mentoring, you can let me know here: http://www.actressrebekah.com/online-coaching.html
In next week's post, I'll share how I got cast in some of my different films. Hasta luego!
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