How to Find Auditions

It can be frustrating to come out of acting school ready to put your acting talent to the test only to find you can't get an audition. So how do you find acting auditions? By doing the same thing talent agencies do!

A talent agency submits to casting notices...

  • Legit agents submit their clients through "Breakdown Services" every day. The Breakdowns are a list of casting notices agencies pay for. Of course, most of these auditions are only available to agents, but Breakdown Services also has a website where free acting auditions are posted everyday for actors to view directly. The website is called Actors Access and lists casting calls in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as Texas, Florida and other regions throughout the country. You can even access auditions in Canada. All you need to do is to create a profile. Best of all, it's free! You only pay to submit online!

  • Actors Access is not the only actors' access to new auditions. Backstage - The Actor's Resource has a lot of casting calls every week and you can find acting auditions everyday by subscribing on their website for a monthly fee. For commercial auditions, the leading website is Casting Networks.

  • For theater auditions, check the Actors' Equity website for open casting calls. Even non-union actors can audition at times.

warning sign There are many scams out there to lure beginning actors who dream of making it big. Be very selective before paying for a membership into an audition website. No one can promise you auditions and you should never pay for a membership to a talent website because of such a promise. A good audition website should post several quality casting calls everyday (legit movie auditions, theater & TV auditions and commercial auditions). A site that only has a few open calls for extras each week is not worth spending your money on!

A talent agency networks to find work for their clients...

An agent builds relationships with casting directors so that they will let him know about upcoming acting jobs and audition his clients.

And so should you!

Sign up for casting director workshops. These workshops usually start with a Q&A session with the casting director. After that, actors in the workshop are paired up to perform scenes. This is a great way to start building relationships with casting directors and to get feedback you wouldn't get normally at auditions. Plus, if you're right for a project the casting director is working on, you may get called in.

Another great way to get auditions is to intern at a casting director's office. Consult Call Sheet, a service of Backstage - The Actor's Resource and start making a list of casting directors to contact. By offering to work for free for a day or two a week, you'll also learn tons about the business of acting and the do's and don'ts of auditioning. For example, nothing will teach you about commercial auditions as well as working for a busy commercial casting director. See if you can become a reader (the one who reads audition scenes with the actors during auditions). Interning at a theater or a film company is also a great way to network, learn the business and find auditions.

A talent agency stays ahead of the game...

How? By reading the trade papers and keeping up to date with who's producing what.

Although casting websites are a great resource, many acting roles out there are never advertised. As an actor, you also won't have access to a lot of casting notices that are reserved for agents' eyes only.

Yet you too can get acting jobs by staying ahead of the game:

  • Get a copy of the October issue of American Theatre Magazine (you can order a back issue anytime). Their season preview section lists the production schedules of every main theater in the country. You can also visit the magazine's website and search theaters in your area. When a role is right for you in a theater's upcoming season, find out who is in charge of casting (by calling or browsing through the theater's website) and submit your headshot and resume.
  • Find out which films are in development. You can get a list from SAG-AFTRA if you're a member or from a resource directory like Backstage's Production Listings. You can also read trade papers like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Listings of films in development usually include the contact information for the casting office. If you feel there may be an acting role for you in the film, go ahead and submit your acting picture and resume.
  • If you're a beginning actor, drop off your headshot and resume at every film school in the area. They will put you on file for student filmmakers casting their short films.
tip sign Always make sure you label the envelope you submit your headshot and resume in with the name of the project and acting role you're submitting for. Always label your headshot with the same information (you can use a post-it or address label). Casting directors get a lot of submissions and don't have time for guessing work.

Of course, one of the best ways to find auditions is to have an agent represent you. Follow these steps to get an agent, but don't wait to have representation before you start looking for auditions. Actually, even if you do have representation, you should still be looking for new auditions on your own all the time.

Now you know how to find acting auditions, ready for the next step?

Click here for how to submit to auditions.

Return to first page of audition series.

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