How Casting Directors work with Agents and Actors to do Auditions

Normally, people will say, “It’s an audition, I’ll be happy when I book the job,” but let me tell you, you should be incredibly excited when you get the audition and here the reason why.

There is an agent that I work with in North Carolina and I had an audition for a feature in Virginia last week.

The next day I travelled to Charlotte North Carolina, to audition for another feature, and then drove to Atlanta for a call back for a feature film being shot there. I decided to stop into the agent’s office in Charlotte and basically we were just talking about the industry and about auditions.

While we were talking he showed me exactly what takes place and how people are called into read for an audition. I tell you, it just gave me a much greater appreciation for every time I get a call to audition for something.

So, the short version is this, the agent will get emails all throughout the day from casting directors through services like Breakdown. In these emails, there is a clear description of the character, type, age, the look needed. Then the agent will submit the actors he or she represents who fit those descriptions perfectly to the casting director.

My agent said that depending on the casting director, he will submit ten, fifteen or a maximum of twenty people for each role.

He sends the casting director a JPEG of the actor’s head shot and resume. Keep in mind, this casting director could be getting submissions from thirty, forty or fifty agents depending on the part and the location of the shoot. So, that casting director is going to see a ton of actors.

After going through so many head shots and resumes, the casting director will most likely only request somewhere around 20 people to actually audition for a role.

So, it just made me realize that it’s hard, to get called in to read for a project. That is why even though I had to drive over 1,400 miles in three different states to audition for projects, I was not going to turn these auditions down. I really felt great just getting the opportunity to audition for some wonderful casting directors and some really great projects. I’ll give you more details about this later, but I just learned that I booked one of the films that I auditioned for which was really exciting.

So anyhow, I just wanted to share that behind the scenes information with you. So, when you do get that phone call about an audition, feel good because there are a lot of people who are submitted, and you were one of the few people who was asked to audition.

Tagged , ,
  • And you are not even mentioning the fact that most casting directors have no problem with typecasting using a headshot alone. And, of course, even if you are a good actor, formal acting education still trumps everything else. So, it’s much easier for good just starting-out actors to organize their own project than expecting some casting director to choose them out of 1400 submissions. As for traveling 1400 miles for different auditions, how many actors can actually afford to spend that much time and money to play that game? Nevermind the fact that it’s simply inefficient in economic terms.