If you want to make it as professional actor you’re going to have to audition. A lot. Most actors will have to go to dozens of auditions for every one that they win, so the more auditions you can get, the better your chances of finding success. Finding auditions is crucial.
If you have an agent, they should be finding auditions for you. However, there is no harm in finding others for yourself as long as they are appropriate and you discuss them with your agent to make sure you are not stepping on their toes.
If you don’t have an agent, you will need to really get out there and hustle if you want to start getting in front of casting directors and other industry gatekeepers. Showing you are already getting auditions and winning roles is also a great way to impress an agent, so as well as hopefully getting you some paid work, it could also help boost your chances of finding representation.
Master the art of finding auditions and you can kickstart your professional acting career without having to wait around hoping someone will just “discover” you (which virtually never happens).
There are a lot of opportunities out there for actors if you know where to look (more on that later). To use your time and energy most efficiently, you need to focus on exactly what kind of work you are looking for. Acting in commercials offers a potentially lucrative line of work that can be easier to get into than other types of acting work. Make the right connections and you could soon have a solid base of regular work to pay the bills while you pursue other, more creative, projects.
Alternately, you might absolutely love theatre or only want to do screen work. Wherever you want to end up, the sooner you make that decision the better you can plan your strategy. Know where you want to be in five years’ time and work out which roles you need to be getting now to set you on the right path. The more specific your goals, the less time you’ll waste on pursuing auditions that aren’t right for your career.
You also need to be realistic about yourself. What sort of roles do your acting skills, age and look best suit you for? This doesn’t mean you need to run yourself down or tell yourself you’re destined to spend the rest of your life playing “Man” in “Background 3”. However, you do need to know your type and make sure you apply for auditions appropriately. Sometimes you may be able to play “against type” but generally you will have much more success if you stick to auditioning for parts that match your existing look.
Do your research
So where do you go looking for auditions? Casting websites are an obvious place to start and there are plenty which are worth checking out. Different sites carry different types of work and have specific joining criteria, so you will have to be selective about which to sign-up with. Look at which companies use the sites and try to get a sense of what sorts of actors are using them to see where you fit. Most casting sites do require you to pay a fee, so the more selective you can be the less money you will have to find each month to support your search.
There are a number of trade publications and websites that list acting jobs, including The Stage and Media Volt. Spend some time searching online and in magazine shops for publications offering the kinds of work you are interested in. Make sure to bookmark any particularly useful sites and consider getting a subscription to relevant magazines so the information you need will always be at your fingertips.
It’s also worth staying active on social media, following local theatre companies, casting directors and actors’ groups as these can often give you a heads up about any potential opportunities. Social media is also a great way to keep in touch with any contacts you make and remind them that you still exist and are looking for work.
Put yourself out there
One of the best ways to find your own auditions is to get out there and meet people who can help you. Go to plays, actors groups, industry events, clubs and bars where industry people hang out and start networking. Let people know who you are and what your career goals are, but don’t start demanding favours the second you meet people or you’ll quickly annoy them or scare them off.
Ask more successful actors where they find auditions and ask casting directors, directors and producers where they go looking for talent. The more people you get to know, the better your chances of one of them remembering you next time they see a relevant opportunity.
Most small businesses rely heavily on referrals from current and previous clients to get more work. Acting is no different. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that casting directors, directors, producers and other actors all love to talk shop with each other. That means if you make a good impression, whether in an audition or on a job, word is likely to get around. Of course, the same is true if you make a bad impression, so don’t do that.
Make sure you always work hard, stay professional and give it your all in every audition and each day on stage or on set and people will take notice. You also shouldn’t be afraid to mention your career aspirations or people you would like to work with while on a job as you never know who might be able to put a good word in for you. The flipside of this is to be careful who you badmouth as it does have a way of getting back to people!
This point is especially worth bearing in mind when going to auditions. Even though most actors don’t get the majority of auditions they go for, if you do a good job it could well lead to another audition for a different part you’re better suited for. Stay polite and professional and even a failed audition can turn into a great opportunity.
Learn how to succeed as a professional actor
To make it as a professional actor you need to have more than just acting ability, you need to understand the business side of acting. Whether it’s finding acting auditions, knowing how to get the right agent or understanding how to make a good impression, getting to grips with the business side of the industry is vital for developing a successful acting career.
The Brian Timoney Actors’ Studio One-Year Ultimate Acting Programme offers an industry-leading combination of top method acting tuition and industry insight. We aim for each of our students to graduate with the skills needed to go out and begin getting paid acting work right away. Our many alumni success stories over the years are the best proof of the effectiveness of our holistic approach to acting tuition.
To find out more, please take a look around the rest of the website and, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.