Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress
I did what you said and I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA
This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
How To Hold Auditions. Are you a budding film director in need of some information about how to hold auditions? Or maybe you are putting up your own show and need to cast for actors? Or are you a new casting director in search of this information? After a few years of having been on hundreds of auditions, I have learned a thing or two about this subject.
Aside from the fact that there are more and more people who want to cast their own projects, one reason why I wanted this page on my website for new and aspiring actors is because I want to encourage people to be more proactive and stop sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. Go create, cast and put up your own show or shoot your own movie! If you are not working as much as you would like to as an actor/actress, then what possible reason could there be for you not to produce your own work? Look at what some of your fellow aspiring actors are doing and emulate them. At any rate, to produce your own work, skills around the subject of how to hold audtions could come in handy. Thus, the creation of this page.
As a matter of fact I also recently conducted auditions for a video I shot (see it on the home page.) and Im happy to say that my planning worked out to a T and the casting session went as smooth as a whistle. Now I know that every time I hold another casting session, I just have to replicate what I did. It works every time. Here are some tips and advice on how to hold auditions.
1. Have a crystal clear idea of what you are looking for. One of the basics about how to hold auditions is knowing the project you are casting for inside out and upside down, backwards and forwards. You need to know the characters very well and their little idiosyncrasies, so that you can choose the appropriate actor. If you are not casting for a project you created, an in depth conversation with the creator and/or the director is essential. Seems like something so simple, but you would be surprised at how many people dont get that very simple step before they just rush off and start planning the audition session.
2. Once you have a clear idea of what you are looking for, make sure you save yourself some time and communicate it properly. Faulty and unclear communication can leave actors who see your casting notices not only with the impression that you dont know how to hold auditions, but also that you and your operation is unprofessional or even worse, not legit. So the more specific you are, the more you can weed out those actors you dont want to respond and send in their materials. If for example you say you are looking for a nurse, you might get hundreds of responses. If, on the other hand you say you are looking for a female African-American nurse, who appears to be between the ages of 30 40 years old, that weeds out a whole lot of people who would normally have submitted, but who now will not (or lets say shouldnt submit).
Part of learning how to hold auditions is about learning how to provide all the right information you want to provide in your communication. If you are a stickler for the rules, then be careful about posting the location of the casting call if you want to screen the actors before they come. By posting the location, you will inevitably have some stragglers come in unannounced, which, if you try and then accommodate them, they might throw your schedule out of whack! If they show up unannounced, thats not your problem. If they are interesting enough, then see them at the end of the sessions, if there is time.
3. Decide where to submit your casting notices. There are many online agencies and websites for example that will allow you to post your casting notice for free. One such site is . www.actorsaccess.com and they can also give you even more information about how to hold auditions. You can also go to industry trade papers, but that can get expensive. Another great source are acting schools and university drama departments.
4. Book your auditioning space. There are many acting schools and rehearsal space locations where you can book audition space rather cheaply by the hour. In NYC, one such place is . www.ripleygrier.com.. Visualize what the audition will look like and what you will ask the actors to do? Will they just simply stay seated and do a cold read? Will you ask them to do a monologue? Would you like them to do some improv? If so, how much space will they need or would you like them to have? Note: If you want silence during your auditions, then make sure you have not booked a space where it is likely that you will be disturbed by others in adjacent rooms conducting singing auditions! On that same note, if you will be asking your actors to sing or play instruments, you should notify the owners of the space beforehand.
5. Communication to the actors you choose: Think about whether you would like the actors to come prepared with a memorized monologue, to do a cold read or something else. Its a nice touch to let actors know what you will expect of them when they come in for the audition.
6. Plan your time properly! Theres nothing worse than poor planning. You dont want the actors to see that you dont know how to hold auditions! It would leave a very unprofessional feel. How many actors will you see? How long will each audition session take? Once you have decided that, you need to plan your session and then be disciplined enough to stick to it. If you are not experienced in this, then leave yourself a little extra time. For example, if you came here because you really need to know how to hold auditions and if you are thinking five minutes per actor, then plan for ten just to be on the safe side.
7. Make sure that you have all the logistical bases covered. Make sure everything is working properly. Get there fifteen minutes to half an hour early to ensure everything is in order. Make sure that your actors will be able to get in the door or will be buzzed in by someone if you will be located on a different floor. Make sure you can get into your room and that camera (if you are using one), lights and any other technical things are working properly. Make sure that you have the appropriate furniture as well. And please make sure you have a sign-up sheet and know what information you want to collect and what you will do with it.
8. Follow up. You will probably know that it is customary (unfortunately) to notify only those actors you would like to return for a second audition or whom you would actually like to book for the project. The other actors generally are not notified. Its understandable, but at the same time, it would be nice for an actor to be able to know why he/she was not chosen. At any rate, make sure that if you say you will get back to people in a certain time frame, then do your best to stick to the promise.
Lastly and in line with that last sentence, remember that yes, actors are coming to you, because they want a job. But also remember that your credibility is on the line. Your professionalism, good planning, good and clear communication, your courtesy and in general, your making a good impression by conducting a flawless audition will reflect very positively on your credibility.
I sincerely hope that after reading this, you have a better idea of how to hold auditions. Good luck!
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I want to say you changed my life. I want to be an actress so bad, but i began losing motivation when I couldn't figure out what to do. And then I found you! Thanks to you, I'm taking my first acting classes next month! Yippee!
Sara, Pasadena, CA
Just wanted to thank you for bringing me in to [audition for the video], meet you and chat this Saturday. I was really excited to hear about your working on actingcareerstartup.com and even took a look at it today - it's awesome! You are very well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it shows through the work that you do! I hope our paths in the industry will cross again and really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, again and best wishes with your very important work!
Gretchen, NY, NY