So, last week I asked actors to chime in about their own sources for Agent-Free Auditioning so I could share your finds right here in the Your Turn section. Here’s the first of several emails that “yes, and…” my list. Thanks and keep ’em coming!
Thanks for your recent article. I always like revisiting things that I know or need to be reminded of and learning new areas of thought.
Regarding Equity postings: Personally I think it invaluable both for union and nonunion alike to go to the casting call board online and attend auditions. If union, you can go to the Equity office one week beforehand and pre-sign-up so as to limit the amount of time you have to spend.
Also as someone who recently was casting an AEA LORT season, I know that — though limited — there were very specific spots to be filled and other possibilities within the company (readings, understudies, etc). I write this as many people think that the auditions are just required by Equity and they don’t really need to find anyone. Sometimes they are I am sure but often they are not. There are so many periphery opportunities to be had.
As far as nonunion people go I would highly, highly recommend them to go to these prepared. Often the wait is long (bring a book, a snack, and water) but if someone does not show you will be seen. (We stayed over two hours additionally each day so we could see all the nonunion people who were patient and diligent enough to stay, BTW. After all this is the way most of us got our first Equity audition and jobs.)
Because of LORT AEA contracts, many companies have a limited number of union contracts and therefore have to fill spots with nonunion with ability to offer points, etc. (The company I was involved in, three people started as nonunion and two seasons later got an Equity contract with enough weeks to qualify for insurance benefits even!) If hired as a nonunion member this is a great way to establish yourself with a company. At times people drop out of a play, get sick etc., and there is a mad scramble to cast quickly and if you fit the bill and are already there as a nonunion working actor, the company will often “hire within” rather than audition new people if you fit the needs of the part. It happened in the company I worked for more than once. Yes it is all a crapshoot but a foot in the door as we know is invaluable.
Finally, going to the board and these auditions gives you something to do that is proactive, a chance to hone your audition skills, meet other actors and directors, and spend your time in a positive way. There is less of a filter in getting these auditions and therefore is quite empowering to the actor IMHO.
Thanks so much for all you do.
David Nathan Schwartz
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001179.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.