As an up and coming actor, it is always in your best interest to catch the attention of casting directors when applying to casting calls, but how do you get them to notice you ? Below is a list of things that you might not being doing.
Your presentation or self image is not up to standard. You don’t have professional pictures or you are lacking a well written CV. Yes these are things that you need to perfect in the best way possible before getting an audition.
You may have great experience from theater, film and TV, but your CV might not articulate that in a clear and concise manner. Your pictures are probably ok, but don’t show you in the best light.Don’t forget the first thing a casting director sees in his/her email is your image attachments. Get great photos, and you will immediately draw attention.
It is a turn off for any casting director looking for an actor to play a supporting or main role in a film when you have little or no experience. You can’t expect miracles when applying for super hard to get roles. Other actors with credits will be given preference.
What can you do?
Focus on indie or no budget productions. A student short film can go on to win Oscars if it is a fantastic project so never underestimate a small role in a well planned film. You may also want to apply for very small parts, or walk on roles in indie feature films to get yourself some credits that are respectable.
Being a background artist has its rewards, but if you have spent the last 5 years doing extra work only, a casting director wont find that too exciting when choosing you for a role in a film
How to solve the situation?
Firstly, being cast as an extra is fairly easy as you have no on screen lines, nor do you get noticed. You may want to apply for a walk on role, or a minor part in film to get an additional credit. Even performing at a theatre play in a small role can benefit your experience and your chances to get an audition for a minor role.
Sometimes you have to be honest. Did you act in a short film that went nowhere? Did that indie feature fail to sell a single DVD? You may have some great experience, but if you are applying for a small role on a big production, and the casting director has never heard of that movie, chances are, you have less of a chance.
How do you change that?
Your skills as an actor may be at a turning point, and you can really play a strong character but in order to get on a bigger productions you need a recognizable credit. Sure, you might say that’s impossible if no one gives you the chance to get on a big production in the first place, but a successful short or indie feature can work miracles.
Choose the projects you work on very carefully. Do research into the director, and the other actors if you know about them. Find out more about the production, what they have done before and the overall reputation. The film may sound great and you love the character description, but if the director has no experience, no track record, and a plastic leather jacket, you need to look harder.
Lets face it, the film industry is all about who you know. Some terrible actors get roles in movies because they know the producer, director or main actor. If you have no connections, no friends in the industry, it is 90% likely that you will fail, even with exceptional talent.
How to get connections?
First, change your perception of networking. You don’t need to make it a chore, but discover other people in the industry. Find film directors, make friends in different parts of the industry. Meet other actors, and get to know their routine, and why they are successful. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and be persistent. You can contact anyone in the world with the internet, so don’t be afraid to. After all, being an actor, is also being a great communicator (Off and on the set).