I have worked in the Entertainment Industry as long as I can remember. I have been a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists since 1985. I decided to create and maintain this blog in my spare time to help people who do not have an agent, who are interested in becoming a professional actor. I hope the information on this page can help you achieve your dream of working as an actor or extra on television shows and movies. I post this information absolutely free of charge, and try to verify all details as much as possible. I hope my websites continue to help talent obtain employment in the entertainment industry.
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Comprehensive actors resource guides that include listings of talent agents and casting directors, sample actors resumes, acting classes, headshot photographers, extras casting agencies, work permits, child talent information, and many valuable tips and advice.
Each eBook contains a minimum of the following:
• Casting Directors List • Extras Casting Directors List • Talent Agents List • Acting Schools List • Headshot Photographers List • Actors Unions • Sample Actors Resume • Sample Beginning Actors Resume • Sample Cover Letters • Audition Tips • How To Make an Audition Video • General Talent Agent Information • Entertainment Industry Terminology • Child Work Permit Information • Immigration Work Permit Information • Non-Immigrant Visa Application • Miscellaneous Resources • PDF Users Guides
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More locations coming soon.
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Click Here to get the Code to put an Acting Auditions Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
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Talent Agents and Managers
For beginners, the best thing is to send your photo and resume to as many agents as possible. It is very very difficult to get an agent without being in SAG and/or AFTRA. I recommend any legit agent that will sign you. I also recommend reading all of the information on the following blog:
Also, the following is the best resource for obtaining an agent that you will find. It lists all agents, and what type of people they represent, addresses, websites, email addresses, and the names of the people who work at the agency. So when you submit, you can put it to the attention of a certain agent or assistant.
NO! Never ever pay someone to audition. If they ask you to pay, then it is surely a scam. Legit casting directors, agents, and managers never charge any up-front fees whatsoever.
You should never be asked or required to attend any specific classes, use any specific photographers, or pay ANY upfront fees.
Agents typically get 10% of your paycheck AFTER you work. Managers typically get 15%. Casting Directors get paid by the studio or production company.
The only fee you should ever pay for is legit extras casting agencies, such as Central Casting in Burbank, CA. They may charge a small photo imaging fee of around $20, this is because they must take a digital photo of all extras for consistency in their files, and to make sure that they know what the extra looked like when they registered.
So the answer is NO! It costs absolutely nothing to audition for television shows and films.
Important information about uploading audition videos
A large number of casting directors and studios are now using Cast It Systems' ActorCast to allow people to upload audition videos for specific projects and roles.
When uploading audition videos, make absolutely sure to follow the directions exactly as stated. If they want it done a specific way, then do not disregard the instructions and do whatever you want.
Not following the instructions is a sure way to NOT get a call back. If you can't follow simple directions on how to tape and submit an audition video, then the casting director will assume that you may not be able to take direction well on set during filming. And that is not a good thing. So be very careful and follow the directions exactly as they are explained. Remember that not following directions can cost you the part!
What To Expect at an Audition
When you are called to audition, you are given "sides" which is a few pages of script to read. You can usually download these lines a few days before the audition. Sometimes they have you do a "cold reading" where you are given the sides right there and then.
When you arrive, you sign in at the receptionists desk, wait in the front office usually with several other actors. When they call you in, you sit down and have a brief conversation with the CD. It is best to ask them a few questions about the script, project, role, etc., before they bring it up! And that is it. If they like you, they usually call you back within a day or two to come back and read for the director and maybe writer, etc.
Getting experience as an Extra
I personally feel that if a person does not have experience, doing extra work is a fantastic way to get used to being on a film or TV set. It gives you an idea of how things work and allows you to become comfortable on a set without risking "burning bridges" if you get nervous and a little stage fright.
I myself did extra work in the beginning of my career and it helped me tremendously. I had terrible stage fright, but I became very comfortable after doing background work for a while. It doesn't pay a whole lot, but the experience you get is valuable.
Acting is like any other job, the more training and experience a person has, the better chance of getting the job. But at the same time, we all have to start somewhere!
Advice For Auditioning
1. Always know what you are auditioning for.
2. Arrive thirty minutes prior to the audition time. This will allow ample time to check in and warm up, check out your competition.
3. Bring at least 2 photos and resumes. Photos should reflect current physical likeness (should always be updated!).
4. Do not chew gum ( all directors hate it).
5. 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.
6. Be confident, smile, always have a positive attitude.
7. Act excited about everything you asked to do.
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 (a portion of the script).
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.
Brand Yourself With Headshots
You should have two good color headshots (not "airbrushed", unless only to clean up a loose hair, etc), one "serious" and one "smiling". But it doesn't hurt to have 3-4 "looks". Try to portray the best possible image of your "brand". In other words, the type of personality and look that you would best portray.
Sometimes it is best to ask several other people who know you, like teachers, friends, etc. Parents often do not correctly see their child as portraying the "type" that they really should be. Here are some of the primary "types" for young actors:
nerdy kid/future genius
How long does it take for a casting director to contact you if you submit a photo and resume?
It is just a matter of waiting. There are no time frames as to when they might get in touch. Sometimes they will keep a photo and resume for future consideration, sometimes they do not. It is all timing. You just hope that they are casting for a specific type when the photo and resume lands on their desk. Casting Directors do NOT contact you to let you know that they are not interested, they ONLY call if they want you to come in for an audition.
Important Safety Guidelines
I always recommend using a PO BOX instead of your home address when submitting. This is another good reason that getting an agent as soon as possible is of utmost importance. Then your agents contact information is all that is listed on the resume, cover letter, and envelope. There is an earlier post about how to get an agent in my blog archives (or table of contents).
Also, NEVER meet someone outside of a professional environment such as a studio or casting/agents office. Do NOT meet someone at a restaurant, private residence, etc. You should ALWAYS let someone else know EXACTLY where you are going, WHO you are meeting, and WHEN you are going there.
And a parent or guardian must ALWAYS accompany minors. A parent or guardian should NEVER be out of eyesight of the minor, whether it be at auditions or on set.
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