(Also - how many references to the musical Chess can I put in one title?)
You have to play the game. It’s not checkers. It’s chess. Everything is a long game in this industry full of strategy and planning. If it seems too easy, I guarantee you it’s not a real opportunity.
With that said: No legitimate casting or agent meeting will happen in a strip mall or conference center. No legit agency or casting director is looking for “unknown talent” in the middle of no where.
No agent meeting with potential will last 60 seconds. No actual casting will occur off of a 60 sec clip with a number on your shirt. I’m including ECC’s here as well.
Actual meetings take longer. You will have callbacks where you will need to read / sing for a role. Often multiple callbacks. That’s where actual decisions will be made. They will need more time than just “you look right.” There are too many people involved for it to go that fast.
No one will sign you or hire you in the way it seems on TV or in the Movies. No one is looking for the unknown person who has never acted before for a lead role on Broadway or a Sitcom. You have to bring something to the table - you have to have experience on your resume, you have to HAVE a resume, you have to have headshots, a book, training, etc.
No one will take a risk on you unless you’ve shown you’re worth it. You are an investment for them. Be worth it.
You may have talent and “the look,” but you have to know what to do with it. You have to know the business.
“But they said I was awesome and that I had a great look and they would sign me right away if I paid them $XXX...”
Nope. Nope. Nope.
There are NO shortcuts. Believe me, I’ve looked.
Are there things like UPTAs, SETCs, Strawhats, etc? Yes. These are different. But even there, you will still have meetings, callbacks, interviews, etc. Nothing will happen off of only what you showed in your 90 seconds. These unified auditions are an art form unto themselves which require training and skill to master.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - don’t fall for a scam. If it looks flashy and “fancy” - it’s not real. Auditions are not glamorous. There are no chasing lights, fancy backdrops, metal trussing, etc. It’s usually a room of sweaty, tired,and stressed actors, waiting to go into an even smaller room to sing their song to an out of tune piano or do a side with a reader who is so bored they could fall asleep while trying to showcase what they can do for a group of people who are sitting on their laptops or phones while eating Cheetos during your dramatic moment.
I’m not making that up. It happened to me.
Being able to still succeed through all of that audition stress is what will book you work. That is what will get you signed. To do that, you need experience. You need to practice. You need training. You need to train so you know what to do when it all goes perfectly, but even more so when it all goes wrong. Because it will.
If you want glitz, you won’t find it. If you do, be weary - it’s most likely a scam. Have the training and experience to know the difference.
If you still think auditioning sounds awesome after my description above, let me know 🙂
Signed, You Friendly Neighborhood Actor’s Coach