You know that old saying ‘I was at the Right Place at the Right Time’?
Well, the right place at the right time in Show Business is the Casting Room for the Audition.
And the #1 reason why Actors or other types of talent don’t get as many auditions as they like is they simply didn’t know about the audition to begin with…
If you didn’t know about the audition, you certainly didn’t submit yourself, so the Casting Director (or Director, Producer or Photographer) overseeing the project never got the chance to consider you for the job.
So, that means you clearly weren’t at the right place at the right time, but the good news is, it’s such an easy fix.
First, here is how the casting process works most of the time for gigs that are not requiring Celebrity Talent:
When a project starts casting, the Casting Breakdown is sent out to various Casting Services and Casting Websites. Once that happens the Casting Team is expecting submissions to come in right away and they start looking over everyone and making choices.
Additionally they will call Talent that they have worked with in the past that will be a good fit for the project. This is the #1 Best Reason to get called in and probably yields the best change of getting the gig.
Lastly they may also search the databases of these same services for more options, but usually only if they are not seeing the right people though the incoming submissions. The reason being: searching the databases is far more time consuming. When they reach out to the talent out of the blue, they have to explain the project, then send an email with all the info about the project and themselves, and hope the talent is available and willing to do the project. All to often it ends in a no-go for any number of reasons – not available for casting or shoot dates, not enough pay, wrong skillset, etc..
So, the Direct Submission to the Casting Notice is the way they’re seeing most people most of the time for your garden variety jobs.
Now, Back to Knowing about the Auditions:
I find myself wrapped up in conversations often with people who say they aren’t getting many auditions. So, when I’m in these conversations, I basically start asking the same list of questions to get to the core reason of WHY this person isn’t getting in the Casting Room.
After hearing them out I start my line of questions:
Well, are you looking though all the auditions that come in through NYCastings Every Day?
The Common answers from these people is often: ‘No’ or ‘Sometimes’ or ‘Once’
Anything other than ‘Yes, I look through them every day’ means you’re missing out on knowing about the auditions. (Most projects are only up for a few days, then their gone.) And If you know about them, the next step is making your submission to the Casting Director.
Next I say, ‘Well, why not look for auditions everyday as part of your daily routine?!?
The Common answers are: ‘I don’t have the time for all that’, ‘I don’t think it works’ or ‘I have an agent, I let them do all that.’
1. For the ‘I don’t have time for all that’ people, I say, ‘It doesn’t take more than a few minutes every day to see all that is casting, and make your submissions. So, you could just start with that and things should pick up right away.
If you haven’t already done so already, make it easy for yourself, Join the Mailing List for Casting Notices, Set up Customized Casting Alerts for Your Type and Area, and Make sure your Resume is set up and looks as amazing as possible, so you can submit yourself whenever you see somthing your right for.
2. For the ‘I don’t think it works’, I say ‘Look at our Top Bookers, they work hundreds of days a year from the same Casting Notices that you can be submitting to. Example:
3. For the ‘I have an agent, I let them do all that’ people, I say, most Actors that I know, tell me that they get more work for themselves than what their agents get. Now this situation can vary greatly based on the individual and agent, but there is still far more work out there that an individual agent does’t know about or doesn’t care about. And it’s totally possible the agent isn’t even submitting you much or at all. So if you want more work, you start looking for auditions yourself, AND also look for other agents to work for you.
Now, just knowing about the audition, and submitting to the casting notice is just STEP 1 in solving your ‘lack of auditions’ problem. You still have to WOW the Casting Directors, with great Pictures, Resume & Reels to get the actual audition – pending on the importance of the job of course.
And also of Great importance, is you should only be submitting to Roles, that are a very good fit for your type, and skills. If you are just submitting to anything and everything you see, this will backfire on you in terrible ways! You will look like a time wasting jackass that doesn’t bother to consider what the casting director was actually looking for. You will make a bad name for yourself that may be unrecoverable, so please use good common sense.
We’ll cover more of the complexities of submitting in future stories.
The bottom line is you have to take out all the roadblocks to success 1 thing at a time. Knowing about the auditions is the first and by far the biggest problem by volume that I have seen with actors. Solve this and you can move onto the next roadblock, which is Getting the actual audition.