If you’re just starting out in your acting career, or returning to acting after a break, you probably don’t have an agent yet. And while it is generally true that having an agent is key to finding good auditions, there are still plenty of ways of finding auditions without an agent and creating opportunities on your own that are equally as promising. Being without representation for a while does not mean you will have to simply accept that great auditions will be difficult to come by. However, it will require you to get creative and work hard at being your own agent for a while!
Key Steps To Finding An Audition Without An Agent
A crucial first step in your acting journey, whether you have an agent or not, is to join Equity, the UK trade union for performers. As well as giving you access to legal, tax and welfare advice, being a member of Equity allows you to access their Job Information Service, where paid work and audition opportunities are posted regularly. In addition, some of the other benefits you can look forward to include reserving your professional name and receiving enhanced protection over your pay rate. To be eligible you need to have had previous paid work in the entertainment industry, however, graduates who have completed recognised courses are able to join immediately.
Find Genuine Casting Notices
From websites advertising open casting calls to subscription-based services displaying listings, there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of websites and publications which claim to give members the opportunity to find auditions without an agent. Of course, not all casting websites were created equal, and some are far better than others. The best ones to sign up to include:
- Spotlight (Membership £150 a year)
- Backstage (Membership £100 a year)
- Casting Call Pro (Free registration)
- Mandy.com (Free registration)
- The Stage (Free registration)
Sticking to the more established casting websites will give you a greater chance of finding promising auditions without an agent, as well as reducing your chances of coming across a fake or misleading listing. Some specialise in different types of casting calls, like Mandy.com which tend to feature more independent film listings. Make time to go through the various jobs available to view first before signing up -this will help ensure you find the kind of work you’re looking for.
Make Your Own Work
If you want to turn the heads of casting directors and have more success in finding auditions without an agent, one of the best ways to get noticed is to create your own works. Get together with a group of other aspiring actors and writers and create something yourselves; a play, short film or web series. Not only will it keep your acting skills sharp, but if what you’ve created is good enough to get some attention, it will give all of you a much-needed career boost too. Yes, it may be a bit La La Land, but it really does happen sometimes. I mean it worked for Mia, right? Casting directors like to hire talented actors who can take initiative and work well collaboratively.
Network Like a Pro
As you build up your career as an actor, you’ll come across more and more people in the industry, whether it’s through previous jobs or acting classes. Just like in any other industry, the contacts that you make can be your ticket to the next best thing. Don’t hesitate to make the most of these contacts by keeping in touch with them, finding out about upcoming projects or auditions and showing an interest in their work and their own projects. Attending industry events is also a great way to meet important people and add to your collection of contacts, as well as being active on social media and connecting with others in the industry. Stage 32 is a social networking site for film, tv and theatre creatives, and one of a number of industry specific social networks that can really help you streamline your social media use for the benefit of your career.
Recommend Your Friends
It may seem counterintuitive, but promoting your friends to those with suitable projects may turn out to be a very smart move. There are two main reasons for this: firstly, if your friend gets cast through your efforts, they will only be too happy to put you forward for projects in return. Secondly, if your friend joins a project that becomes successful, they are likely to build on their network and offer the both of you, even more, chances to meet important people and find promising work. So as strange as it sounds, putting another’s career over your own might really pay off one day.
Searching for auditions and being out of work doesn’t mean your acting skills must lay in wait for the next job to come along. If you’ve trained or worked in acting, you can write about it, on a personal blog, or guest blog if you have a particular talent for writing. It will serve as a platform to promote yourself and your skills as a working actor, as well as helping you to meet others in the business. Write about an acting technique you love or a funny story on set. As well as keeping up your own motivation and belief in your career, it may also get you noticed, and help you on your way to finding auditions without an agent, since your readers are likely to be in the industry too.
Enhance Your Skills
If things are slow and auditions are few and far between, it’s worth considering the Ultimate Acting Programme. It will give you the chance to build new skills, meet new people and grow your network. As well as receiving world-class training in method acting (including training for auditions), students participate in a Graduation Showcase, where both agents and casting directors alike are in attendance. This gives those new to the industry the chance to make connections with big and influential industry players, while also being able to showcase their talents in front of an expert audience. Many of my previous students have in fact secured an agent through the showcase, giving them a much greater chance of finding auditions and getting cast.