Tag Archives: online casting

It’s A Numbers Game

16 May

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 acting.With 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:

week submissions auditions
1 32 1
2 32 3
3 49 9
4 19 6
TOTAL 132 19

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!

The Cost of a Career

3 Mar

I like to remain positive about my career and all that comes with it.

But, let’s be realistic… sometimes you just gotta vent!

So we all know we have to be on those casting sites, mainly LA Casting and Actors Access and perhaps Backstage and Now Casting. This costs money.  We all know we have to have a headshot and this, also, costs money. How about putting these wonderful expensive headshots onto your monthly/ annually paid for sites in order to get more work? Well, you guessed it, that costs money too.

Where does this money come from? I don’t know.

So I finally got my brand spanking new headshots, which I love and am going to ignore the pretty penny I had to pay for them with, and decided to give myself a clean slate on all the casting sites by taking down all my old non-professional pics to upload all my new awesome ones. However, having to enter in my credit card information a gazillion times totally zapped all the fun out of putting up my new pictures!

For LA Casting it costs $25 to upload any initial picture and then $15 for each additional picture (only if you do it all in the same session). So, I decided to narrow down my 5 new pics to 3 and yet that cost me a lovely $55. Moving on…

For Actors Access it costs $10 per picture, not as bad, but still adds up. So for the 4 pics I uploaded, that cost me $40.

That’s $95 just to put a couple pictures up!!! Not to mention the $10/mo for LA Casting and the $65 (?) a year for AA. I don’t even remember anymore. Plus the cost of those headshots in the first place, and the makeup artists, and the retouching, and the formatting and the printing. I’m scared of the grand total.

BUT, it’s okay. This is my investment in my career. These are the steps we need to take, just like for any career. If I wanted to be a doctor I’d be thousands and thousands of dollars in debt just for med school. These are the dues we pay, but to have the career we want to have (not should have) is priceless. =)

Building Web Presence to Build Your Career

1 Mar

I think it’s really important to put yourself out there in whatever way you can. The web is a prime example on how you can do that. If someone googles your name, you want something to show up. Because until you’ve got your own TV show or starred in a wide-released film how is anyone going to know that you are really out there working, making it happen?

Here are some different ways to build your web presence (which also is building your brand). It’s important to do more than one of these. Get yourself out there as much as possible!

Personal Website

– the perfect place to show who you are as an actor, your brand, your type


– twitter latest news, promote your shows, gain “followers”


– another place to spread the news, promote and gain “fans” or “friends”


– post your reel, clips of shows and films you were in, shorts you created and gain “subscribers”


– similar to your own website, you can promote the latest happening in your career but you can also help create that brand of You, what are you all about?


LinkedIn, Myspace, Personal E-Newsletter, Online Casting Profiles, and I’m sure much more that I don’t even know about!

The Other Side: Submissions

26 Jan

My production company, PianoFight, has been knee-deep in casting for our upcoming project ShortLived 3.0. It’s a 3-month long playwright competition held in SF and in LA, with 8 shorts every Friday and Saturday night. And 4 new shorts being introduced every other week. That means- we need lots of actors! It’s been such a learning experience going through the many electronic submissions from the top casting sites as we pick and choose those we want to see for the auditions.

Being on the other side has taught me a few things…

A good headshot goes a long way. It’s amazing the amount of snap judgements you make form a little 2×2 thumbnail. If the picture is black and white, I immediately thought– what century is this actor from?! What serious actor doesn’t have a color headshot by now? If there were multiple shots in the photo session but they were all variations of the same picture, I thought, why am I looking at these? Picture 2 or 3 doesn’t tell me anything that picture 1 hasn’t already. If there were a bunch of weird character shots, but nothing that told me what the actor looked like normally, I thought, well this person just does gimmicks and characters and wouldn’t be able to do theater.

Less is more. If the actor left a novel in the “notes” section (for which we specifically wanted just what day they were available to audition) I thought, this person can’t even listen to directions! And aside from that, who has the time to read 5-paragraph essay on why we should choose them for the part? Sorry, pal, that novel just cost you an audition.

Follow directions. I now totally understand why casting directors emphasize no double submissions. It’s so annoying and hard to keep track when you have the same people applying for the same part through different avenues. Did I already give this person a time slot? Did I already reject this person and they are just submitting again? You making our job more difficult makes us less inclined to consider you.

So, CD’s, I feel for you. Next time I submit a project, I understand how all those submissions can be overwhelming. I’m sure the amount of responses we received doesn’t even come close to the amount for a national commercial or feature film, so I can only imagine. I will take caution with every project I submit to and how I submit. This is our career, after all. We should take care in all that we do with it.




Related Reading: The Other Side Part 2 & The Other Side Part 3