Where's the work? How can I get called in to AUDITION? I need to FIND MORE AUDITIONS. WHERE ARE THE AUDITIONS!!!!?
When I am asked about where to find casting notices, I usually suggest sites like Actors’ Access and Backstage, the mailing lists of the local casting directors, social media groups, and all that kind of stuff. But the more I think about it, I think I should be asking you to target what type of work you are seeking.
I wonder if you can redefine what work means for you? Take another look at the less-than-obvious options. Maybe the work you take is a practice in patience or a way to hone a skill or style you hadn’t thought was ‘you’. Maybe it’ll give you a growth spurt you didn’t expect.
There are big budget features, student films, indie films, low budget, no budget, union, non-union, that kid you know who’s making a movie, national commercials, local commercials, webisodes, background work, and of course the holy grail: speaking roles that pay money.
And if you believe everything you read on social media, there seems to be no shortage of it. Everyone is posting about something. “Finally getting my chance to work with (name actor)!” “Big audition tomorrow!” “Thank you so-and-so for the work last week!” “Can’t wait to start working on this feature, can’t talk about it yet but I’ll have details soon!”
So what gives? Where is this work they speak of?
Whether you are an experienced SAG actor, Non Union actor or new this whole thing - I do think there is something for everyone.
However, I'm suggesting that you further target your search by specifying what work means to you. What are you seeking? Why are you seeking it. Mark it out. That sort of thing.
ie: Free work. Personally, I don’t mind it. I’ve done so much volunteer crap over the years it’s become a lifestyle. Here’s why: I get to try things that I’m not fully qualified for and learn a new skill because of it. I’m not volunteering to do dentistry or anything, just something a bit outside my wheelhouse. I’m currently volunteering at a horse rescue/sanctuary, (aw, I know, right?) before I started, I didn’t know anything about horses and if you saw me there now….well, you would still see that I don’t know anything about horses, but you would also see that I am not as afraid as I once was! I’ve made progress and that’s what I am talking about here.
Your work options may take you outside your current location. Is New York your next step? Is Los Angeles? Maybe background work will allow you to pay your union dues or maybe just allow you to socialize, have fun and network a bit.
Will a student film will give you a lead role that pushes what you thought were your limits and you find a new niche? How about creating your own content? Make a film, produce a monologue showcase, a YouTube channel… whatever.
Try not to poo-poo on opportunities that will keep you sharp. If you pass up a chance to practice and learn, you run the risk of not being in shape when YOUR holy grail comes your way.
I don’t know, maybe you think I’m talking out my butt, but I'm not. I’m talking about staying active and stepping up your game in the process.
And one last thing, if someone does ask you to work for free, take your time and weigh the pros and cons of taking that work. However, once you’ve said yes, it is now a job and you should absolutely treat it as such. Ya know, as professionals do.
Questions and comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
This (and future posts) is written the way I speak. The punctuation and spelling will be whatever I want. Just thought I should mention that - so I don't receive cut-and-pasted versions of this post with "helpful" corrections. It's good info...just get past the grammar and punc.