I conducted a little experiment the past month (something I probably should keep track of anyway) counting the number of submissions I make each day and the number of auditions I receive. And, hopefully, the number of parts I get. Kind of a big picture in this crazy mess of so much of this career, it really is a numbers game:
The more roles you submit for, the more likely you’ll get called in. The more auditions you go out for, the more likely you’ll get called back. And the more call backs you attend, the more likely you’ll get a part. And the more parts you accept, the more likely the project will actually happen. And the more projects you partake in, the more likely you’ll get scenes that wont get left on the cutting room for And the more opportunities you get to act in projects, the higher chance of having a project take off. And the more scenes you can be seen in, the more likely someone else will notice you.
So, without further ado, here are my numbers:
That’s a 14% return.
From those auditions I got 2 callbacks, but no parts. So, if it took 132 submissions just to garner 19 auditions, which yielded 2 callbacks, I’d assume that it’s another 100 or so auditions (at least!) to garner a part… maybe. They were all from submissions on LA Casting & Actors Access, and most were for short films in addition to a few indie features, webisodes and plays.
After this month of diligent submitting and auditioning I got kind of tired and let my submitting taper off. Not good, but I’m only human.
Anyway. Moral of the story?
Always submit & audition as much as you can, BUT remember that
A. there’s much out of your control (like the staggering amount of competition, whether or not the casting director just received a shitty call right before you walked in, if the part you’re auditioning for is even going to make it into the final script, if they cast a brunette as the lead and now they want only blondes as her friend–and the list goes on!)
B. Self-submissions is just ONE way of many to get your next gig. Don’t be puttin’ all your eggs in one basket and become a lazy actor (or, in gentler terms, an actor paralyzed by fear: fear of self-producing, fear of headshot drop-offs, fear of calling that friend of a friend of a friend who casts for ABC– and this list, too, goes on.) There are many baskets!
C. so much of it is just a numbers game– be it the number of projects you submit to, or the number of scripts you attempt to write, or the number of friends you attempt to collaborate with– one of these things will stick!