Tag Archives: online submissions

No Excuses: How Your Acting Career Can Be In Your Control

23 May

No Excuses: How Your Acting Career Can Be In Your ControlFirst of all there are a SHIT TON of things NOT in your control. So let’s just get that out of the way right now. No use spending your time stressing about things like, did the casting director like my audition? Dude could’ve been having a bad day, the part could’ve already been cast but they need to see others for back up, the part ended up getting cut for budgetary reasons so your role doesn’t even exist anymore, etc. Not in your control.

But the good news is, there are things that are!

Last month I did a little experiment of diligently recording the number of auditions I submit for versus the number of auditions I get called in for to show how a lot of this really is a numbers game. Every day, multiple times a day, I scrolled thru the “notices fit for me” on LA Casting and Actors Access. This yielded a good handful of auditions, which led to me driving all across town (ok, fine, mainly Hollywood, but, still) taking an hour of my day for what usually is 2 to 3 minutes of actually auditioning. 4 weeks and 19 auditions later…. I haven’t submit for a single thing.

Why? Well, that’s a good question. I told myself a number of reasons: “It’s too much gas.” “It’s too exhausting.” “I’m not going to get anything from them anyway.” Basically, a lot of excuses. You might wonder, gee, if this girl starts complaining over a mere 4 weeks of submitting & auditioning (which is only a fraction of what pursuing this career is about anyway) then how the hell is she going to make it in this business?!? You’re absolutely right. These are all excuses. But, at least I know that is all they are. They are not legitimate reasons. And I do believe it is healthy and maybe even necessary to vent every once in a while. Because traipsing across town IS tiring. Gas IS expensive. And your “next gig” isn’t necessarily going to come from a blind submission, it can come from anywhere.

However, submitting and auditioning is one of the things that IS in your control. So easy. You click. You get called. You go. You kick ass. You’re done. And you never know where it can lead you.  You are at least doing one thing towards your career.

Another thing I’ll admit to have complained about- not having a theatrical agent. (“I don’t have enough credits” “My type is too hard to cast” “I’m not union”) Again, excuses. I should know better. I gotta switch gears and see what IS in my control:

– research smaller agencies who represent people who are doing the kind of work I would like to do

– find out if anyone in my circle has any sort of connection to any of these agencies

– reach out by sending a postcard, headshot, or phone call

– figure out how people see me, look at what type of roles in the past I usually get and see if there is a pattern, look up other actors similar to me and see what roles they usually get cast for

– save money to pay for my SAG card if that’s what I feel is holding me back (for the record, I don’t think it is right now– trying to hold on to my SAG -E for as long as I can)

This breakdown of steps can be done for a lot of  actor “problems” and then voila- you’ve got action items that are all bringing you one step closer to the acting career you want to have.

The beauty (or curse depending on how you look at it, but I like to keep things positive!) is that there is always something you can be doing for your acting career. There are no excuses about why you aren’t making it or how it is hard profession. Guess what? EVERY professional career is hard, really hard, at the beginning. You have to put in those extra hours, blood, sweat and tears to get the promotion, the raise, the business deal. Same goes with acting. Now is the time to be putting in all the leg work and eventually it will pay off. I truly believe that.

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. =)

Casting Site Tips to Remember

12 Jan

The convenience of online casting websites is amazing, but that also means anyone can sign up. Here are a few important reminders to make the most of your use on these Casting Sites:


  • make sure your uploaded headshot looks as good thumbnail size and will stand out in a crowd
  • have more than one “look” so you can choose accordingly, based on the role you are submitting for


  • even if you have an agent (commercial, theatrical or both), continue to submit yourself
  • submit daily and as early as possible (casting directors can get thousands of submissions for one role in one day so make sure you are one of the first to be seen)
  • even if you don’t match the character description perfectly, submit anyway! (who knows, you may be just the actor they were looking for but just didn’t know it)
  • however, if you’re totally wrong for the part do not waste your or the casting director’s time in submitting


  • remember to keep your online resume updated (I tend to forget! maybe you want to set yourself reminders once a month on your calendar or phone)


  • upload clips from your reel (even better if you can have different clips to showcase different skills, like comedy, drama, improv, etc so you have choices when CD’s ask for a clip)