Note Regarding Filming Locations

To be considered at all for a role in a television show or film, you should either look for productions casting in your area or move to a city where they are being cast, in order to be a local.

Even if you're willing to pay for travel to the shooting locations for a few days to work, no one wants to take the risk on an out-of-town actor. (What if you miss your flight? What if the shoot keeps getting delayed and you have to replace your plane ticket five times? What if they change the schedule and need you RIGHT NOW for a wardrobe fitting - and you're 1000 miles away? What if they fly you all the to the location and it turns out you're not right for the role or you're crazy or irresponsible?)

Yikes! Too much stress in an already stressful business. It's safer to hire actors they know and love, and who live within the vicinity of the shoot. There is no shortage of willing and available talent in their own backyard. The casting directors job is to reduce the risk of problems for their producers, not increase it. So get to know your local casting directors and start there.

Source: Lana Veenker

A Few Things To Watch Out For

What should you be watching out for?

* Any talent scout or agent who guarantees to make you a star. No one can give that sort of guarantee. The audience holds that card.

* Any agent who asks for money upfront to get you work. A genuine agent works for a percentage of what you're paid, which means you get paid first.

* Talent scouts or agents who insist you take their acting or modeling course before they'll get you work or that you use their photographer for your composite. These folks are making money off the courses and photography alone. They have no motivation to find you work.

* Anyone who insists that contracts aren't necessary. Verbal agreements are not enough.

* Any agent who promises to fill out the contract for you. You must fill it out AND get a copy.

* Agents who contact you but whose names you don't know, NO MATTER HOW FLATTERING THEY ARE. Many of them are here-today-gone-tomorrow. Before you sign a contract, check out the agent with the Better Business Bureau, SAG, or the state Film Commission. And ask other actors/models you know for their recommendations.

* An agent who will only allow contact by letter or e-mail, not phone. You need an agent who's responsive to you. However, don't waste the agent's time by calling constantly. A good portion of a reputable agent's time is spent trying to book you.

* Any photographer who insists you come to his place to have photos taken. Even if you go to a studio, don't go alone: take a friend. Be sure you know what pictures are taken and what will be done with them. A reputable photographer will have a contract for you to sign that explains exactly what things can be done with your photos, which things are excluded (for example, pornography or ads for cigarettes), and how much you'll get paid from any use of your photos (usually 10% of the use fee).

Always Be Prepared!

My acting coach Cliff Osmond (see link below, he is the bomb, and no, I am not saying you should study with him because he only takes advanced students on audition. I am using this as an example ONLY that you should find a teacher at your level in your area and study), told me once that a student came walking into one of his classes and had such a huge level of confidence, that everyone in the room looked up and noticed it. He was not cocky, but was just so confident in himself and who he was, that when he was performing a scene, he was a true "natural". This guy took 3 weeks of acting lessons and then landed a contract role on a tv show. He is now a huge celebrity actor. But Cliff told me he has seen that happen only twice in his career as an acting teacher.

So don't fool yourself into believing that you are one of those rare people. Just go with the odds and study study, perform, practice, and study some more. Why wouldn't you want an edge on the competition when you are getting that rare audition before a great casting director for a great role in a great film? Those doors do NOT open very often, so BE PREPARED for when God (or whatever you want to call that "greater power that be") gives you that chance!! There is no worse feeling in the whole world as when you go in and audition for something really big, and all the casting director says is, "thank you". And you walk out the door and realize that you just stunk up the joint. I have been there and done that. You DO NOT want to go there. The casting directors remember those stinky auditions and you end up burning bridges.

I eventually got smart and took acting lessons, cold-reading workshops, private coaching. And finally when I was in my late 20's I finally became a "successful" actor. So just skip all of that trial-and-error crap and just learn as much as you can before you get those chances to audition for big roles. You can't go wrong, and you will have that special extra edge on the competition.

Be smart, and be prepared. Even the Boy Scouts know that motto!!