Audition Tips

ACTING AUDITION TIPS

 

Here are some choices (and they are choices) to make any casting director truly happy in the room.

1. Accept the invitation with grace and enthusiasm. You were requested to be here as our guest.

2. Come to work and not to please or get our approval.

3. Enter with certainty. Don’t give up your power as soon as the door opens.

4. Play on a level playing field. We’re all figuring it out. Together.

5. Make no excuses whatsoever. Leave your baggage outside. Better yet, at home.

6. Make the room your own. It will make us so much more comfortable.

7. Ask questions only when you truly need answers. “Do you have any questions?” is usually another way of saying: “Are you ready?” You aren’t required to have one.

8. Know your words and understand what you’re talking about. You don’t have to be totally off-book, but if you’ve spent quality time with the material, you’re going to know it.

9. Do your homework on the project. This includes knowing all the players and the show or film’s tone and style. Read all the material you can get your hands on.

10. Make choices and take responsibility for the choices you make.

11. Don’t apologize. Ever. For anything.

12. Know what you want to do and do it. Then leave yourself available to make discoveries. Know that your homework is done. Now let your preparation meet the moments.

13. Don’t mime or busy yourself with props, activity, or blocking. Keep it simple.

14. Don’t expect to be directed, but if you are, take the direction, no matter what it is. Understand how to translate results-oriented direction into action.

15. Don’t blame the reader. Make the reader the star of your audition. According to my teaching partner Steve Braun, you should engage fully no matter who’s reading those lines. Likely your reader will engage – at least somewhat – if you show up.

16. Make specific, personal, bold choices. We want your unique voice to bring the script to life.

17. Stillness is powerful. Understand how to move and work in front of the camera – eliminate running in and out and getting up and down.

18. Require no stroking, coddling, or love. We’re there to work. Don’t take it personally when we’re not touchy-feely. Know that we love actors and that’s truly why we’re here.

19. Understand that you’re there to collaborate. You’re being evaluated in terms of how you serve the role and the material. It’s not a verdict on your personhood. Judgment is something you can control.

20. What you bring in reflects how you’re received so bring in joy, conviction, and ease, and our hearts will open.

21. Share your artistry above all else.

 

Credit: Risa Bramon Garcia runs a Studio for Actors in L.A. with partner, Steve Braun, The BGB Studio – Bramon Garcia Braun (link), dedicated to actors’ whole journey, connecting craft with career. New summer classes and workshops are starting in June. https://bramongarciabraun.com/

Resume Tips

HEADSHOT RESUME SAMPLE

 

The Basics:

  • Your resume is always on one (1) sheet of paper.
  • It must fit on the back of your 8×10 headshot. You’ll size up the resume to the back of your headshot, staple it in two opposite corners and cut the excess paper.
  • Make it look clean with a lot of white space. It must be easy to read.
  • Don’t try to cram every single role you’ve played since Elementary School on your resume. Did you do a production of The Wizard of Oz in High School and you’re now in your 30’s? Don’t add that.
  • Don’t use any crazy fonts! Stick with Times New Roman or Arial.
  • You can make the headings on your resume (Name, TV/Film/Theater section, Special Skills section) a different color than black but I wouldn’t choose more than one color.
  • Never lie on your resume! Seriously, never ever lie because at some point you’re going to be caught. Whether you’re in Los Angeles, New York or Topeka, this is a small community and someone will find out. You don’t want to damage your reputation, especially if you are just starting out.
  • You can choose to print your resume on the back of your headshot, but I wouldn’t. What if you just landed a part and you have 20 already printed headshots & resumes? You could write the new role in but that just looks sloppy.
  • Do not put extra work on your resume.


Name, Contact Information, Physical Description, Union Affiliations (if any)

Take a look at the examples below:

Acting-Resume-Header-Example

Either of these will work fine.

If you have an agent or someone who is representing you, you can also put their logo on the left side and put the phone number under the logo.

  • Union affiliations. SAG-AFTRA or Equity/AEA. If you’re not a member of either, just keep that part blank. Some people put SAG-AFTRA Eligible if they are able to join the union. I’m not a big fan of that – either join or not.
  • Contact information. List your contact information or agents/ managers. Don’t put your address on your resume.
  • Personal Information. Your height, weight, hair and eye color. Never put your age on your resume unless you are under 18.
  • If you want to do musical theater, you should also list your vocal type here. Example, Voice: Tenor


Acting Roles/Experience

In this section, you’ll list all of the acting parts you’ve had. You’ll group them by Theatre, Film and Television. If you have Web Series credits, you can make a section for that as well.

I have 3 different resumes depending on what I’m auditioning for. If I’m auditioning for a role in a play, I’ll bring my Theatre Resume. Same goes for a TV audition or Film Audition.

In each section, I list my most recent job first. Some list in order of their biggest role they’ve had and go from there. I prefer it chronologically – but either way, don’t ever add the dates you worked on those roles.

If you’ve done a bunch of work, don’t list everything you’ve ever been in. For example, if you’re in your 30’s don’t put the plays in High School you performed in.

Theatre

For your Theatre section, you list the Name of the Show, followed by your Role, Theatre Company and Location of the Production.

You don’t have to add the director of the show unless they’re well known. If I did a show that Mike Nichols or Susan Stroman directed, you can bet I’d have that on my resume in big, bold letters. But normally, you wouldn’t add the Director.

Take a look at the examples below:

Theater Resume Example

I personally use the 1st example but you can use either one.


Film, Television

For this section, you’ll list the Name of the Show or Film, followed by the Type of Role (not your character name), Network or Production Company and Director of the Show or Film.

Don’t ever put extra work on your resume. Again, don’t ever put extra work on your resume.

film-resume-example

Training and Education

Next up is your Training. In this section, you’ll list all of the acting classes and workshops you’ve taken. If you went to college or took classes there, you’ll add them here.

Training-Resume-Example

You can see that I put graduation date. This is optional.


Special Skills

This is the last part of your acting resume and the only part where you could add a touch of humor. Don’t get too cute though, no one cares where you were born, what time and where.

Here, you’ll put down the accents you can do. Don’t have a huge list either. Something they can glance at. And only list things you can do at that moment. If you can’t do an Australian accent on the fly, don’t put it there. I’ll give you a good example: When I was finishing up my final audition for the film, Gods and Generals, Casting Director Joy Todd and Ron Maxwell, the Director, were looking at my resume. They didn’t think I was right for the role I had come in for but they saw that I did an Irish accent and asked if I could read a few lines. I did and got the part.

special-skills-resume-example

And there is your acting resume!

Credit: https://www.dailyactor.com/acting-resume/

Finding an Agent

How to find an acting agent

 

Why you need an Agent:

Agents are trumpet blowers, blowing the trumpet on your behalf ensuring the trumpet is heard by all the right people. Unless the producers or casting consultant has specifically requested you, your agent is usually responsible for getting you the interview or audition. The agent is like a buffer between you and your employer. He or she plays the bad guy on your behalf when negotiating over money, leaving you to work in a creative environment, free from ill feeling or financial pressure.

Your agent is responsible for:

  • Suggesting you for the part
  • Following up with photographs, biographies and showreels
  • Organizing audition times
  • Negotiating fees
  • Finalizing contracts
  • Organizing schedules
  • Invoicing

For these efforts, your agent will deduct a fee of 10% from the money he/she collects on your behalf. This is the commission rate recommended by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance – Actors Equity, the actors union.

Can you have more than one agent?

You can only have one acting agent. Anymore than that would be unethical, confusing and unenterprising. Some actors have been know however to have an acting agent and a modeling agent. In America they system is quite different.

How to get an acting agent?

Like finding the right training school, it is essential to do some research before committing yourself to an acting agency. When searching for an agent remember that there is a limited amount of work on offer compared to the number of actors available and agents’ telephones are running off the hook with hopeful actors desperate for representation. It is hard work convincing a good agent to represent you. So how do you find a good acting agent? With great difficulty.

Unfortunately there are ‘dodgy so called professionals’ in every industry, and the acting and modelling industries have their fair share also so:

Rule number one:

  • Stay away from acting agencies that advertise in the newspaper. If it’s difficult convincing a good agent to represent you because they’re inundated with people banging down their doors, why would they need to advertise in the newspaper?

You can start by purchasing a Casting Directory. Showcast is a good one or a production book. Some public libraries carry casting directories. Directors and Casting Consultants use these directories when casting a production. This book contains headshots of professional actors and the names and contacts of their agents.

It is also wise to ask around – word of mouth within the industry is always a good way to find out who is reputable and who is not. Agents’ reputations, like training schools change from time to time depending on who is associated with them. Remember to shop around. Do not grab the first agent who shows a bit of interest in you. Your agent is your guide. You are both going to be working closely together and it is imperative that you have a good rapport, faith and trust in each other.

Getting an agent to represent you:

As mentioned previously, getting a good agent to represent you is not an easy process. A good agent needs to see your work first and there is a number of ways of doing that:

  • Attend a reputable full-time acting course that holds graduation productions on completion of the course to showcase your talents to the industry.
  • Become involved in co-op or fringe theatre and invite the agent along to watch you perform.
  • Develop a showreel that is professionally produced and directed and shot on location.

 

An excerpt taken from ‘Get Your Act Together’ written by Denise Roberts, Screenwise CEO and Principal Director.