Talent Auditions: How to Submit to Casting Directors

Now that you know where to find talent auditions, let’s take a look at how you submit to casting agencies and casting directors to give yourself the best chances of getting called in for theater, film or TV auditions and become an actor.

Below is some important information on how to submit to talent casting calls, along with some tips on when to submit for what and how to go about it.

First, you’ll need an actor headshot and resume. If you want to become an actor, a good headshot and resume are a must. A lot of your actor submissions will be online, so make sure you have graphic files of your headshot and a word document of your resume handy.

Most websites for talent auditions allow you to first create a profile where you can upload your headshot and resume, select your age range and special skills. Some casting call websites will also let you create a default cover letter and upload other useful tools like your acting reel. Once you’ve done all the groundwork of creating your profile, you can usually submit to acting roles with one click of your mouse.

Sometime you won’t have the opportunity to submit to talent auditions online. Some casting agencies require that a hard copy of your acting headshot and resume be sent to their address.

rush actor submissionDon’t break the speed limit, but do try to get your submission to the casting director the same day the casting notice comes out. This is particularly true for commercial and TV auditions where the entire casting is usually done in a week. You may have to use a messenger service (there’s a special service for actor submissions in Los Angeles). In some cases, you may be able to drop off your submission directly to the casting agency (only do so if the casting director has a drop-off box for this purpose outside their office).

Speed is also of the essence in online actor submissions. Casting directors may only look at the first 100 submissions they receive, so visit websites for talent casting calls early in the morning and regularly throughout the day so you don’t get cut off in the acting casting process.

Talking about speed… Don’t waste time on a long cover letter when submitting to acting auditions. Just label your acting photo and resume with the name of the character and play or movie or television show you want to be considered for. If you have a skill that makes you particularly right for the role or a recent highlight in your career, you can mention that, but be brief. For more on when and how to useacting cover letters, click here.

A quick Q&A about submitting to talent auditions…

  • Should I submit to a role I’m “almost” right for? 
    The character description fits you like a glove, except… the role calls for an 18-year old and your age range is late 20s. Don’t submit! It will only aggravate the casting director and ruin your chances of being called in the future for a part that is perfect for you. The only time you can bend those rules a little is when the casting is SO specific you know few actors will fit the bill.
  • What does union and non-union mean? 
    Most talent casting notices for acting auditions will usually mention if an acting role is union or non-union. Members of the Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity and AFTRA can only audition for union roles. If you’re a beginning actor and not a member of any union yet, you can apply to both union and non-union roles (unless the casting notice specifies “union actors only”) but you’re more likely to get calls for non-union acting tryouts.
  • How can I increase my chances of getting an acting tryout? 
    If you are submitting to a TV or movie audition, submit an acting reel along with your headshot and resume or add a link to your website where a casting director can see your reel. Many casting websites will also allow you to send MP3 files for voice-over auditions. Also, don’t forget that you don’t need to submit to attend an open casting call.

audition call
Ring… Congratulations! You got a call. Time to schedule your acting audition.

Now you know how to submit to talent auditions, ready for the next step?

Click here for how to schedule auditions for acting and prepare your theater, film and TV auditions.

acting detourWhat if the phone doesn’t ring?If you’ve submitted to hundreds of talent auditions and are still not getting a call, consider getting a new actor headshot from a different acting headshot photographer. Also, if you’re starting an acting career, you may just not have enough credits on your actor resume. Click here for ideas on how to gain acting experience as a beginning actor.

Return to the first page of our acting auditions series.

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