FROM NO CREDITS…
…TO GUEST STARS AND BEYOND.
Check out Jen's full page feature in
“HOW ONE WOMAN BUILT HER MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS FROM PURE PASSION”
IN OUR BUSINESS, THERE IS A FORMULA FOR BREAKING IN
∙Knowing how to execute an audition.
∙Having an understanding of the business, how it works, and how to navigate it.
∙Having a competitive headshot and resume. (This doesn't mean extensive credits.)
∙Knowing your "type" and using strong, current material when meeting casting directors, agents and managers.
For major film & television projects, casting directors call in actors who they already know and trust or who are submitted by agents and managers who they have close knit relationships with. Due to the time sensitive nature of casting, casting directors often do not have time to chance on meeting actors who they do not know. Since most actors either do not look like their headshots, are not the right "type" for the role or don't know how to audition effectively for the film & television medium, CD's rely on people who they either know or who are suggested by their agent and manager friends. At the end of each casting day, casting directors' must present a strong array of actors who fall somewhere along the continuum of what the producers and writers specified that they were looking for. This is how it works.
So how does a "newbie" break onto the circuit?
Knowledge is power, and once you understand how and why the business works the way it does, you are armed and can now manuever effectively. The best way to break in is to establish relationships with agents, managers and casting directors. That's why I created The Actor's Green Room which serves as a training ground and liaison between actors and the industry. Every industry member who meets you will think "what box can I put you in?". It is your job as the actor to intuit what they are thinking and match this. At this point in your career, you WANT to be pigeon-holed. You want to be on everyone's short list for "your type." It's all about energy and first impression at this point. Once you get in the door and start booking stuff, the possibilities will expand, but for now, you are going to book roles that are most likely closest to you who you are. When meeting an agent, manager or a casting director, it is crucial that you let them "sample your wares". This means that you show them who you authentically are (your quirks, strengths and imperfections), and that you do a killer film/television scene that shows them that you know the type of role that you would realistically be auditioning for. A scene that is a strong vehicle for you - one that you just slip into and it does the rest. Doing this will set you apart and show a level of intelligence, honesty and professionalism that surpasses most.
Once you have the "right" scene and are packaging yourself appropriately and effectively, you will begin to get called in by casting directors for major projects and start taking meetings with agents and managers. There is a lot that you are in control of in this business - the above are some of the things.