Everything you need to know about the audition process: Part 1
Growing up in a small town on the Virginia/Tennessee line, no one told me how to get in the entertainment industry. In fact, rarely will anyone tell you how to make it. After producing and casting Burt Reynolds’ last film in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee, I decided to move to Nashville to continue to bring movies and television to my home state. In that process, I realized most people outside of New York and Los Angeles don’t have the tools to break into entertainment. Until now. Here are some tips I teach in my master class whether you want to be a model or actor. Of course, the in-person auditions have changed quite a bit due to the new normal but a lot of castings are getting back to in-person, so here are your tips to get into “the biz.”
I have been in the professional acting business over 20 years and my background as a talent agent, agency owner, manager, management company owner, casting director, producer and production company executive shows I have experience in all of the entertainment industry.
The Professional Actor/Model
Normally, a professional actor or model is a union member in major markets. They are someone who devotes a significant amount of time to pursuing paying acting jobs or someone who earns their income or most of their income as an actor. A professional actor or model should take acting classes. Also, you may need a survival job that is flexible to allow you to audition and work on projects you are booked on. If you are under 18 you will have to sacrifice friends and family time to pursue this dream. Being under the age of 18 still applies to the last-minute auditions and you will need to work with school to stay up to date on school and homework. You will go on auditions. Most auditions are between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm during weekdays. After the audition, callbacks sometimes follow so the casting directors, director, and or producers can see you. If you are a professional actor or model, you will book jobs regularly as a professional.
An agent is someone who sets up auditions for you and negotiates the terms of the job. Smaller or boutique agencies sometimes will have one agent or a few representing you across the board which means they represent you for not only television and film, but also commercials, print, hosting, and voiceovers. Larger agencies will have one to multiple agents assigned to you and are divided within specific departments. You will sometimes have different agents representing you for the different divisions or one for everything. It is not necessarily better to be with one of the bigger agencies unless they are packaging you into their projects or you are established and you have their full attention. It is the agent’s job to submit you on projects and set up the auditions. It is your job to book the job. If you book a job, the agent or agency, will take 10%-20% of whatever you make depending on the job and union status.
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