Friday, November 25, 2011

Casting, Auditions, Photos, Classes....How to get cast, a short primer

How to get cast?


Audition often.

Accept rejection (actors, like sales reps, need to get use to comes with the craft).

Be right for the role.

Have the skills needed to do the work well and reliably.

Be easy to work with and professional in every way.

Have the "chops" as an actor to do the role as required by the production creative crew.

Click on "read more" below to find out about auditioning and other information about casting.

Where to audition?

Sign up with an agency that receives breakdowns. Most legitimate paid casting occurs through "breakdowns" or personal contact with local SAG franchised agencies (see agency list on this blog).

Attend auditions posted for  the public. Some are located on this blog, others Craigslist (use caution when responding as anyone can post there) and other casting sites.

Learn about them through friends and contact you make along the way in the industry.

Start with the following links in you quest for additional information on auditioning:Basic Audition Notes

How to get started in the industry?

Take acting classes. There are many in Nevada, most actively seeking students. Here are a few links to get started:


If you can afford it then there is a much wider pool of qualified teachers in Los Angeles. Word of mouth or searching data bases (I suggest Backstage West) are ways to seek out a teacher or school.

Do not be snowed by the credits or ego of the teacher. Always judge by how and what they teach, and by the talent levels and/or work of your fellow students. It is these students, along with how well your own talents are polished (not the teachers) that will lead to networking, opportunities and work.

Click on read more below to learn more about getting started as an actor in Nevada:

Act in theater.

Theater is what real actors love to do, seek to remain active in and use to develop, polish and maintain their skills as an actor. As with acting teachers, it is the challenge of the work, the skill of those involved, the talents of your fellow actors and your overall networking potential that really count. Friendships are always valuable, just for the sake of having friends and the "gifts" you share with each other.

The College of Southern Nevada, University of Nevada Las Vegas, local schools and churches are places to search for roles and groups that may help you as an actor. Many have theatre programs.

My personal favorite place to start is the Rainbow Company, operated as part of the City of Las Vegas Parks and Recreation program.

Here is partial list of Nevada's theatre companies:


Get an Agent

An agent is not necessary, but without one you do not have access to costly breakdowns, the agents relationships with those in production (including casting directors) and many of the casting services including the advantage of listing an agent with The Link, The Academy Players Directory and iActor.

Managers in Nevada may do the same work as agents (submissions and so on) because of the nature of state licencing. As a rule talent managers are not needed for beginners, but come in useful to meet and network with agents, casting directors and producers. Talent managers are, boiled down to basics, what my William Morris agent referred to as "walking Day-timers," taking care of much of the business end so that actors can concentrate on acting and "doing what it takes to remain sane" in this "insane industry."

SAG Franchised agencies have certain advantages and represent protections on union work as talent.

SAG Franchised Agencies in Nevada

Do Background Acting

This is one way to understand and get your feet into the industry, while being paid. Most actors will caution you not to become "typed" or "known" as a background artist if you wish to advance to larger roles, however I subscribe to the Chicago and New York philosophy that any check for acting is a check, and with union work a contribution to your health and retirement funds.

Get professional head-shots (see photographers)

A photo is our business card. We go through them like water. Actors want everyone to have access to and a copy of their photo....just in case...

You need an 8 by 10 that looks like you as you will look when you walk into an audition. These should be printed and on digital files (for electronic submission and multiple uses).

The list below is only a start. There are many qualified photographers in Las Vegas. It is often recommended that, if you have the resources, you should seek out LA photographers who do head shots for a living and look through their files before you spend money. I do not subscribe to that, as it is best to just get started and then grow in your shots as you grow in your skills and talent. Often an agent or manager will recommend photographers.


Additional insight, advice and information may be reached by reading this blog, talking with your fellow actors, talking with coaches, managers and agents (those who know what they are talking about that is).

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