How to get started? I get this question a lot. I know the entertainment industry can seem intimidating, especially when you’re first starting out. Whether it’s theater, film, modeling, or TV, there are some basic guidelines that will apply to all! Here are my 5 audition tips for beginners.
1. Find Auditions in Your Area
There are many places you can look for auditions! If you are looking for theater auditions, I would recommend going straight to the source. Find a list of local community and professional theaters near your area and check for auditions on their website. There you will find out everything you need to audition at their theater. If they do not have anything posted yet, subscribe to their auditions email list so you can be alerted when they announce auditions! For film, modeling and TV you can find great auditions on Backstage.com. This is a paid membership and it can be a bit pricy, I personally find it worth it. Through Backstage.com you can see audition calls worldwide and submit online! If you aren’t looking to pay for audition calls, Facebook has become a great tool for auditions. There are many theater/film/modeling/acting support groups. You can easily request to be added to their group and there you can see audition calls. I personally love Palm Beach County Actors and South Florida Theater Chat on Facebook.
Headshots are SO IMPORTANT!! You need this in order to submit to ANY audition, no matter what! Headshots can be pricey depending on where you go, but there are MANY amazing photographers that won’t dent your wallet. You just need to do your research! Please do not use a picture that was taken on your phone, these pictures must be good quality. You only need to get headshots done every couple of years, unless your appearance drastically changes, so you should see this as an investment for your career. Even though I live in South Florida, I still travel to Orlando to get my headshots done by JC Stuart, yes he is that good. What I love about JC’s headshots is that they look so natural and I look like ME in my headshots. No director wants to be taken aback when you enter an audition and look nothing like your headshot. Once you schedule your headshot, do natural make up and hair, don’t wear any clothing with stripes or big logos, and make sure you bring plenty of clothing options. Once you get your headshots, you are one step closer to submitting to auditions!
3. Make a Resume
This resume will be different than your typical work resume. Just like getting a job at a workplace, you’ll need to make a resume that focuses on theater & acting. This is where you will list everything you have ever done in the arts. You will also list any special skills, training, education, weight, height, eyes, and hair color. It’s okay if you don’t have a lot at the moment, your resume will grow over time. Sometimes quality is better than quantity. Click here to read a wonderful blog about theater resumes if you want to dig deeper. Remember, once you have a resume you must continue to update it as the years go by.
4. Book your Auditions!
Now that you have your headshots and resume, you are ready to start auditioning! Going back to tip #1, this is where you start looking for auditions on your local theater websites, Backstage.com, Facebook, PlayBill, Actors Access, etc. When it comes to community theater auditions, you can just show up on audition day with your resume and headshot printed back to back. (Extra tip: Always bring 2-4 copies of your headshot/resume). For professional theater auditions, you’ll usually have to make an appointment in order to get an audition slot. Follow the instructions carefully when requesting an appointment, they always have very strict guidelines. When submitting on PlayBill, Actors Access and Backstage, you will submit your headshot, resume, and any other materials they might ask from you. Typically, you are asked to make an audition video of you singing or acting from a script. Pay attention to your email because they might ask you to record more videos if you are being considered for a role!
5. Be Confident, Be You!
Last but not least, BELIEVE in yourself! Auditioning can get stressful but remind yourself why you started this in the first place. Be confident in who you are and how hard you’ve worked to get where you are today. Directors want to see people who are authentic. Don’t change who you are just because that’s what you “think” they want. You deserve to be in that room, whether you get the role or not. Personally, I believe that whatever is meant for you will come, so don’t try and force things. One last thing, have fun!
Like I said in the beginning, the entertainment industry can seem intimidating but by following my tips above you’ll have everything you need to get started in your journey.
Now it’s time for you to put in the work! Break a leg!
Jessie Dez is a graduate from Palm Beach Atlantic University where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree, with concentrations in Musical Theater and Broadcast Journalism. As an actress, she has performed all over South Florida with well-known companies, such as Delray Beach Playhouse, MNM Theatre Company, Warner Bros Entertainment Inc, Lake Worth Playhouse, etc. Not only have you seen her on stage, but on television as well. As a television host for Living Local FL TV, Jessie has been on FOX 29 highlighting all the best places to eat, shop and play in South Florida. Jessie is thrilled to mix her passion of theater and journalism into her writing and content creation for The South Florida Theater Magazine.