Ever been upset or confused that you’re not getting more auditions?
Like many actors, you KNOW you could do the job…. but it’s very frustrating because you aren’t even getting an audition!
In this article I try to put into perspective why you may not be getting as many auditions you should be — especially if you’re at the level of earning more than “scale.”
Here are 7 Questions to help you true up to why you may not be getting as many auditions as you think you should.
Here we go..
1. Do you rely you mostly on your agent to get you auditions or do you take actions daily to generate auditions for yourself?
Never leave all the work of getting auditions up to your agent. You have to be WAAAAY more interested in your career than your agent. They’ve got a lot of actors to deal with, so you can only get a portion of their attention.
Therefore you have to be the one to market yourself in multiple ways, make connections, and initiate work on your own.
As you move up in your career and expand your credits — even if they are small ones — make it a point to create new connections at the next level up, not necessarily at the super high level. Contacts at really high levels can’t help you when you’re starting out because they don’t know the people who can cast you.
Connect to people at just one or two levels up from where you are. Whatever you do, do not think that your agent will be the one to get you all the auditions you want.
2. Have you identified an attainable next goal for your career and are you taking consistent actions toward it?
If you have never Co-Starred on a network TV series, it is very unlikely that you will be cast in a Guest Star Role. If you’ve never auditioned for a TV series, it’s extremely unlikely you’re going to replace one of the stars on a hit TV drama.
If you’re a trained actor, but you’re new to television, your next goal could be to get a one or two line Co-star” credit on a show. But if you’ve done 15 Co-Star Roles, then your next step could be for Guest Star and possibly start auditioning for Series Regular Roles.
Being clear about what level of role is realistic for you will help you assess how many auditions and at the level of auditions you should be getting. Focus on the right next step and do the work to get you there. Don’t make it your goal to sign on with CAA by the end of the year unless you are already making your living solely as an actor — and even that is not enough. To get with them, you need to be making at least $100K or more a year.
3. How many roles of your type and at your level are being cast weekly?
Either by looking at The Breakdowns or by watching TV, get a sense of how many roles for your type there are. If you see very few of your type and level, then that should factor into how many auditions you should rightfully be getting.
In recent years, the industry began to focus greatly on casting people of color. If you’re in that category, the number of roles you could be right for are way up from what it used to be. If you’re not in that category, there are simply less roles.
This means you need to take into account where the industry is at the present — whether that means there are more roles or less roles for your type.
4. How do you compare to other actors of your type and level who are vying for the same roles? What is your competitive advantage over them? Or where are they stronger?
If you’re an attractive white female in your late-20s, a member of SAG with a few indie and short film credits but no network credits, you are in a category with thousands of competitors. If your friend of your same type and level is getting auditions and you’re not, it’s fairly simple why…. Your friend has some competitive advantage working for them: might be a better headshot, a harder working agent, or more casting directors know them.
Sometimes, you may not know what that advantage is, but it’s there. Unless you find your own competitive advantage, you will blend in with the hundreds or thousands of other actors in your category. Your job in this is to find your own competitive advantage and capitalize on it.
There’s too much to cover about developing your competitive advantage in this article, but if you’re interested in this topic, stay tuned for our upcoming Authentic Branding for Actors Course which is scheduled to be released this month (July 2017). It’s not available yet, but you can put your email in here to be notified when the course launches — You’ll also be eligible to get the early bird discount.
If you haven’t delineated what sets you apart, that will factor toward a lower number of auditions. Put your email address in here to be notified when our “Authentic Branding For Actors” course opens up if you haven’t done so yet. In it you’ll learn how to create and develop your competitive advantage so other actors are wondering what’s so special about you instead of the other way around.
5. How many casting directors know you and would call you in for a role you’re right for? Are you keeping in touch with them on a regular basis?
You will multiply your chances of getting auditions when you actually know the casting directors — or more accurately, when you get them to know you.
If a casting director sees 2000 similar headshots and resumes, they will almost always call in an actor whose work they already know they can trust rather than an actor they don’t yet have confidence in — such as a newbie with no recognizable credits. Casting directors have to look good to the producers who hire them, and the way they do that is to send them competent actors who have the right look for the roles they’re casting.
If no casting directors know you right now, you can forget about getting auditions – UNTIL you take MASSIVE ACTION to get them to know you.
You can connect with them for starters through networking events, industry events, or paid casting director workshops, among other activities. However you see fit to do it, you need to do it. And if you’re not on the radar of any casting directors, it will be very hard to get auditions.
6. How often you are putting yourself in a “space of opportunity” that could turn into you being in “the right place at the right time?”
Actors often blame “luck” for their own or someone else’s success or lack of it. But that does you little good because it leaves you at the mercy of wherever “luck” comes from.
You must create opportunities for yourself. There’s a famous quote that goes something like, “Luck is where hard work and opportunity meet.”
In other words, staying at home disappointed your friends are getting auditions and booking paid work does you no good. You need to get out in the industry, attend screenings, join independent film groups, or go to the Hollywood Networking Breakfast.
You need to create opportunities by putting yourself in the “space of opportunity” where things can happen. If not…. your number of auditions will stay at zero to 1 or 2.
7. How much of “The Fate of Your Acting Career” do you believe lies in your hands?
The more you believe the fate of your acting career lies outside of you, the less likely things will happen for you. Over 98% of the aspiring actors in Los Angeles believe that they have very little to do with the real fate of their careers. I made the number up, but based on my conversations with thousands of actors, many of them feel somewhat helpless. And these are the best of the bunch because they are at least coming in to my office to take some action. They are not leaving it entirely up to fate.
Many actors operate from the idea that as long they get a good headshot and resume, take a bunch of classes, do a few submissions, and simply want it really badly, then that’s all they can do.
But just like for Oedipus, believing this is what fulfills your fate. If you believe you have no control, you do nothing more, and nothing happens for you. Don’t be Oedipus!
Want to exponentially multiply your chances of something big happening?
Start by believing 100% that your actions can make something happen. When you are 100% clear about that, ideas for new actions will start coming to you automatically. It’s as if your brain opens up to receive those ideas.
So now, back to the first question: How many auditions should you be getting? You do the math. There are tens of thousands of actors and a few dozen roles each week for TV series.
Depending on how much action you’re taking and what you’re doing to set yourself apart from your competition with your branding, you could be getting auditions 2 or 3 times a week or you could be getting 2 or 3 auditions a year. How many auditions you will get will be indicated by your answers to the seven questions listed here — and of course, the actions they imply.
No matter what, you have to do to get casting directors to know you, whether through your agent, through workshops, through mailing out postcards, or some other way, you have to start by owning that you have the power to get yourself more auditions and then take actions to make it happen.
May your number of auditions increase tenfold for the efforts you put in this month! Go out and “Live Your Great Life.”
© Smart Girls Productions, Melody Jackson, Ph.D. — WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EMAIL, EZINE OR WEBSITE? You can as long as you include the following complete blurb with it: Melody Jackson, Ph.D., publishes the Actor’s Marketing Blog and has helped thousands of actors find agents and managers over the past 20 years. If you are ready to kick your acting career in the pants, take more ownership for where you are in your career, increase your confidence, expand your thinking and have more fun pursuing your Hollywood dream, get your free subscription to these articles and other freebies now at smartg.com/actors.