It's ok to get it off your chest.
What's the best approach when you're new to the city (1 month in), didn't go to school to study musical theatre specifically (so, no school shows), and have very few credits (a festival musical, and a couple of one act plays)? Obviously, the goal is to book and fill that puppy up and let the work in the audition room speak for itself. But are casting directors deterred from hiring someone with such a sparse resume, and if so, how would go about working with what you got?
If/when you fit the casting needs, they're not going to care at all about any of that.
That said, make sure you get into a class you love here. Training is important. But TONS of successful performers have come from non-theatre backgrounds.
Thank you, shift! I'm glad to hear that!
I have been training in theatre since high school, but I went to an Ivy, so of course, no musical theatre program. I was able to take advantage of the stellar music, theatre, and dance opportunities there, even though it was outside my major, and I had some amazing teachers who recommended me teachers in the city. But because I didn't do a BFA program, there were no main stage productions or agent showcases.
I totally get it. Like....literally exact same situation (but a litttttttle further down the road ;-) ) get it.
Honestly, the ivy name/complete non-theatre degree has occasionally been a conversation starter, and then you start building relationships and it's about what you do in the room and the person you are.
Within those teacher recs, find the ones you love and that'll be a huge part of finding and continuing your training and exploring where you fit here.
If you don't have a lot of credits, then the resume should focus on training. Even though you didn't get a BFA, you DID take singing, dancing, and acting classes in college, so put all that under "Training," as well as the classes you're currently taking in the city.
Actorsmom, that's great point to focus my resume on the training. Of course I have my former and current teachers on there, but I like your advice to make it an emphasis.
And shift, I'm glad I'm not alone! I knew there were others out there! <3
You didn't ask about this, and I'm sure you're smart enough to realize it, but just in case anyone else is in a similar situation to you and isn't thinking clearly: DO NOT LIE ON YOUR RESUME. It may be tempting, but especially in the internet age, the instant you put a fake credit out there, you're going to give it to someone who knows someone (or just someone with good Google skills), and that person is going to be completely turned off from working with you. Ever.
Having said that, you have the credits you have, even if they're relitively few. So put together the best resume you can, get into some great classes with casting directors or agents, and start auditioning your booty off. If you're good and you fit a track, very few people are going to turn you down for lack of previous work, especially while you're young. Get out there and kick some ass!
Your favorite non-eq screlter here.
I am currently in the southern region of the country and obviously I would love to audition for SA, however, it would be literally impossible for me to get to NYC for the calls this week. Is there anything I can do at all? Being non-equity and away? Or am I just gonna have to be like, "oh well" until the next one?
in the same boat. desperate to get my foot in the door. ahh!
wut...auditions for the revivival already?? Yeesh.. btw am I the only one who thinks it's still too soon for one?
I mean, let's be honest, this will probably be a call that everyone and their mother shows up to, so they probably won't get to non-eq anyway. I mean, I'll still go and live in hope, but I wouldn't kill yourself about missing this one.
^I would normally agree, but this production requires the actors to be proficient at guitar and/or ASL, so that should cut down on the numbers a bit.
Well, let's think smartly about this. It's coming from LA. It's a very specific set of skills. I'd imagine most if not all of the LA cast will come over with it. So it's not like they're really going to need anyone except maybe some swings. And the non-ASL roles will probably go to people with prior Broadway credits to give the show some heft. In LA they were Krysta Rodriguez (spelling?) and Michael Arden's husband who was in Les Miz. And the EPA came out of nowhere and is happening very quickly, so I honestly doubt they're seeking too many people.
Yes, unless you are proficient/fluent in ASL or play the required instruments, please don't clog up this call.
That being said, if anyone needs an ASL coaching of their song, I am fluent....
I'm actually pretty proficient in ASL, so, I really would love to go. Plus like, this is probably my last chance to do Spring Awakening ever.
Screlters, I also apologize for not even addressing your original question.
I'm in the same boat as you, and I'll be calling telsey tomorrow to see if they are willing to accept a video submission. I dont know if it will make a difference that I am fluent in ASL, but I will be sure to post info I receive here.
Thank you so much. I'm at an intensive for the next three weeks so even if I did have time to do something, it would be during the night, so I wouldn't be able to call Telsey if I wanted to. I am very thankful for your sharing your info. :]
Mothermonster thank you in advance for reporting back! I am wondering if I can send a video as well
Point 1 - This is a production that is transferring, so many of the roles are presumably taken. (Still audition! For sure! But be aware as you are turning your life upside down to get there!)
Point 2 (unrelated) - This production started as a Los Angeles 99 seat show! SO if you were one of the people on here or on Facebook railing about how terrible the 99 seat plan is, I think you should probably skip this audition, to maintain your integrity. ;-)
I have a strong inclination that most of the L.A. cast is transferring.
Thia- (on point two!) I was literally so confused about the 99 seat thing that I pretty much ignored it. But that is possibly excellent advice for others who had strong opinions.
On point one, if it survives, it's still probably good to be seen for possible replacement stuff :]
^^ I don't think it's meant to be more than a limited run; it's kind of like a benchwarmer for AMERICAN PSYCHO to my knowledge.
I wouldn't stress out if you can't make it to auditions...if it DOES play longer than anticipated just go to the additional required calls they'll have.
Bump this...did you ever find out if they were taking video submissions?
Also, maybe I can't read, but it says See breakdown for detailed preparation instructions and then the breakdown doesn't list any instructions. Am I missing them somewhere?
Deaf actors: Prepare a monologue or ASL song. Bring a photo/resume stapled together. Here's the call as it appears on Backstage, at least on my laptop:
Young Hearing Actors: Prepare a brief pop/rock song showing range. Bring sheet music; a piano accompanist will be provided. Bring a photo/resume stapled together.
Adult Hearing Actors: Prepare a brief monologue. Bring a photo/resume stapled together.
Thanks! I was looking at it on playbill and it didn't have it.
GET 'EM, THIA!!!!
Anyone know anything about the Thespis Festival? (as an actor or as production team/writer?)
Okay - how important is it that your "one and only" commit to seeing every show you do once if at all possible? My beau is not in the biz - definitely has seen each thing I have done for the past 3 years but isn't coming to the current one (admittedly it is a pain in the ass of a trip but still doable). I am having a tough time getting over this. How important is this with your "serious" relationship? I feel like everyone else I know who is is with someone "serious" has their S.O. go out of their way to make it work. But hell - I have no clue what happens in their private conversations. Am I expecting too much? Thanks in advance.
My significant other and I sort of pick and choose! Granted he is kind of in the business? (Drums in the pit for shows) and we let eachother know what shows we would really want them to be at and other shows where it's ok if they miss them or can't make it. Kind of takes the pressure off of making it to every show :) Hope this helps!
How important is this show/role to you? Is it a significant role and different from anything else this person has seen you do before? I think it's great that they've been able to get to everything for the past three years and if this one is a pain in the ass to get to, unless, again, it's a very special show/role for you, I'd think it would be a time for you to suck it up and deal. You're a professional and you're performing for the ticket-buying public now, not for your friends and family, right? Sometimes no friends/family are going to be able to go. Sometimes you can't get to every one of their life events either.
Showcase code in deep Brooklyn? He better be there.
Tri-state area LORT? Dude, figure it out. I know NJ Transit and Metro North suck, but like, you can make this happen.
Anywhere else? Completely acceptable to miss.
I was with a guy for 8 years, and he missed many of my performances. Why? Because travel is expensive, getting time off work is hard, he had social and familial obligations, and, frankly, some of the stuff I was doing wasn't a big enough deal for him to see. In a long term relationship, there are going to be plenty of times when you both won't be able to do things for each other. Let him off the hook unless this is something that you think it's very important for him to see (a dream role, a major national tour, etc.).
And, by the way, you've been together for three years and he's seen everything you've done?? That's pretty darn impressive...he deserves a lot of credit!
"Okay - how important is it that your "one and only" commit to seeing every show you do once if at all possible"
The only thing that matters is how important it is to YOU. That's not the kind of thing where there's a set standard.. You obviously want your S/O to come and you obviously think that it's not unreasonable for them to make the trip, so it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing. If it will upset you if they don't come you need to discuss that with them, it's between you two.
How often do you go watch him work? Do you go to every single work related function that he has that comes up?
I don't always understand the need that some performers have to constantly enlist their friends and family to see all their shows. I mean, sure, we want loved ones to see work we do that we are proud of, but essentially that's what we are doing: asking those close to us to come watch us work!
And if he isn't in the business, it may not be the joy to him that it is to you. Now if he NEVER wants to come, or if he misses you in a long run of a show you feel especially good about and specifically asked him to make time to see, then maybe there's an issue that needs discussing. But not coming to every single show? So what?
I don't think it's a big deal in the least. If you were doing a show in town and he didn't come, yeah, that's shitty. But not to trek all the way out there? I don't know. I actually quite like when people I know don't come because it takes the pressure off "will thy like me? Will they think I'm talented?" Etc. Is this show important? Are you Momma Rose in Gypsy or are you 4th chorus girl from the left who comes on to move scenery. I've only invited my family/friends to one of my shows in the past few years because it was the only one that meant anything to me as an artist and a performer. Pick and choose!
Hey all- thanks SO much for your responses and I'm sorry for my huge delay in getting back to you. I agree it's different for everyone and specific to what I'm feeling. Just to clarify a few things people asked:
1.It was a huge role I really wish he could've seen.
2. As far as his work/familial obligations or anything he wants me at - I've no issue with - the huge difference is its never involved travel but so long as we could afford it I can't imagine I wouldn't want to make it happen.
3. I agree it's silly to beg ur friends and fam to see everything you do - but that's not at all what this is- I've performed for years with no one but my awesome fam traveling to see me- most friends haven't a clue what I've been doing in all these shows all these years...a significant other is way different in my opinion though and all I can really compare it to is what it appears other couples I've encountered do for each other. It's not even 100% about MY performance but the experience as a whole and being able to discuss it later since they saw it all first hand. And of course I hope they think I'm amazing too!
4. Oh - and I don't think you can compare shows to regular life/work events anyway because - at least in my experience - shows are so much harder to come by and they each do really hold a lot more importance. A regular job is generally there for a while - we never know when we will get the chance to be in another show and it is literally was we LIVE for. Yes it is a job - but it is our life's PASSION. It's not just a means to an end. It's the reason we work other shitty jobs and have no money. I am by no means putting down other people's work - and as I mentioned - I'm always glad to support whatever he feels is important- because I think that's what we are supposed to do and because it's important to him.
Yes, you are asking too much. He's seen everything and the trip is a pain in the ass. Give the guy a break.
Please remember it's YOUR life's passion. Not your boyfriend's. Your comparison of your job to other people's is pretty narrow-minded. There is a whole world out there that doesn't revolve around performers.
Has anyone done the Casting Director Workshop for Dancers at the Growing Studio? I have read and heard mixed reviews about them and it seems like a very good idea, specially because not many studios do this for Dancers.
I would appreciate any info. I would like to know if it's worth the $$
Thanks in advance!!
I had a friend do it and he loved it! Got lots of agent response and they give you comment sheets at the end that help you define type and if your headshot is working for you, etc-- not to mention getting to take class with these choreographers. pretty cool it sounds like.
Thank you sloan!!
I took this a couple months ago and it was the most useful thing I've done since graduating. I heard only good reviews except from one person I met at an singers ECC who seemed high maintenance and genuinely nuts. (They were doing barre before going into the room at a singers call) so I gave it a go.
I've gone to 4 invited dance calls from two different offices that I couldn't get on their radar before taking this class.
HIGHLY recommended! Taking it again when things pick up cause it's dead now!
Hi all, I will be moving to the city soon & while I feel confident that the BFA program I graduated from prepared me for the business side of theatre, I'm trying to absorb as much as I can from this site & others in order to best prepare myself.
What, in your experiences as performers/directors/casting directors, etc. do you see as telltale red flags that somebody is green/not trained in current audition practices/not quite prepared for professional work? Whether it be writing a home address on a resume, or using a black & white headshot...are there any things people do that get "NEWBIE" stamped on their forehead? Thanks for any insight you can give, just trying to put my best foot forward & I've only been to NYC twice in my life & I know it will be a huge change for me personally & professionally. Thank you :) Happy hump day!
So, the things your BFA program laid out (no b/w headshot, no address on resume, etc.) are definitely tangible things that can label you as a "newbie." Same goes for bringing in loose-leaf sheet music and wearing character shoes to an audition (apparently this is a thing you shouldn't do). But truthfully, those tangibles are pretty common sense, and after a week, those big dos and don'ts will become pretty obvious to you.
But the biggest indicator of greenness (for me, anyway) is this: giving a shit about what other people think about you.
In other words, if it seems like your sense of self-worth hinges on whether or not we like you, you're going to seem inexperienced. The people I'm always super enthusiastic about are the ones who have a casual attitude about it all; sure they'll get dressed up because decorum says they should, but it's clear that their world will go on turning just fine if we don't cast them. And for better or for worse, that's not something that you can fake. It just comes with time. Unfortunately, a lot of people never get there, so they seem "green" well into their thirties and beyond. But those that do seem to be the ones that get called back more often than their peers.
Honestly, I wouldn't worry about seeming green, especially not right away. You have much bigger fish to fry, like:
A) Finding a survival job that consistently pays the bills and doesn't make you want to gouge your eyes out with a grapefruit spoon.
B) Finding a group of friends you enjoy spending time with and that you feel make you a better person.
C) Finding a dance class/voice teacher/acting coach you like, because your training as an artist has barely begun.
D) Figuring out how to fit the pursuit of paid work into the life you've outlined for yourself in items A, B, and C.
Best of luck to you, congrats on graduating, and welcome to New York!
I totally agree...its natural to BE the newbie. There aren't too many actors here who are born and raised here, grew up working/auditioning and trying survive at the same time...99% of us were newbies and made silly mistakes here and there. However, we booked worked, saw familiar faces at auditions and met people who could influence us. And we do all of that and still have bad days and bad auditions.
There are also a lot of actors out in the world who don't audition or live in New York and never have. Local actors, or a lot of non eq people who just go to UPTAs and jump from theatre to theatre. And while they are talented to, you belong to a weird family of people who totally understand what you do and go through on a daily basis.
So just get here and enjoy your new life! Raja had some great advice before me. Do that and you could have a lot of fun here, mistakes and all
*vomiting from too much cheese
Also I hate typing on my iPhone and know the difference between 'to' and 'too' and other mistakes
Occasionally, being the newbie can give you some edge, as long as you have the talent. At my first "real" audition, the casting directors practically laughed at my resume (school school training school) but when I sang, they loved me, and I suddenly went from "inexperienced" to fresh faced. Walk in there and give them something different--you could be the person they didn't even know they wanted. In the end, they care more about the talent than anything else
Character shoes and jewel toned dress for a singer call=green
Lol I actually wore a nice dress that could work as casual or nice,and paired it with combat boots for personality
I have been "in the biz" for 8 years now. I know that's not a heck of a long time, but things are starting to wear on me. I have a resume full of shows, but as I look at them, there is not a single one I am truly proud of or can say, that was a dream part. I get offered things from time to time, but I'm not every in a position to pick and choose. Every job I have ever done was just, what was offered to me. They all fall under 2 categories: shows I don't particularly care for that are the type of shows regional theatres do because they sell, or shows I do love but in a small bit part instead of the part I would really want to do. In the beginning, I of course took any and every show because I needed to build a resume. After a few years, I started to tell myself, sure you aren't getting the parts in shows you want, but you are getting closer and closer, its gonna happen soon. But it still hasn't. It is particularly painful watching other people perform dream roles that I would kill to do from the chorus. And I'm already starting to get too old to do certain dream parts, which is also upsetting. I feel like I am losing my love for theater. I do enjoy performing, and sometimes it can be rewarding, but every time I take a job that I am not enthused about, or know that I am going to be jealous of someone else's role, the love of theater dies a little more. I'm sure there are people out there who say, hey, you are lucky to be working at all, and I get that, I do! But what's the point of working if more and more you are wondering why the heck you are doing this at all? The idea of just quitting sounds terrible, because I have put in so much work for so long and I keep holding onto hope that the next show will be something I want, but it just never is. I could say, I won't do anymore jobs that I am not super excited to do, but then I may never work again at all.
Not sure what kind of response I expect, but I would love to hear if anyone else feels this way, or if anyone used to and things got better or changed.
What kind of feedback are you getting? What are the reasons you aren't booking those big jobs? Is it a waiting game or are there things you could work on? Do you have the time and money to invest on workshops or maybe a class geared towards what could take you to the next level? Not saying that classes/workshops are the answer but what pro-active thing could you be doing so you don't feel like you are waiting in the wings?
Time for some soul searching. I've hit similar road blocks because it's not the love of performing I'm losing...it's the waiting in between that gets to me. Sometimes it's waiting a LONG time...and my day job makes me feel like I'm not contributing anything worthwhile to the world.
When I'm performing, I know it's why I'm here (SUPER meta...but bear with me). When I'm not, I feel pretty soulless. BUT, I'm also very passionate about physical fitness...so I've decided to become a CPT. That way, when I'm not performing I still feel like I'm making a positive impact on the world...and when I am performing it'll be that much sweeter.
Maybe look to transition in your non-acting life and things will become brighter?
Oh...so much THIS. I don't even know where to begin. I've been so conflicted as to what I want to lately. Im so tempted to find another direction (I couldn't give up the arts completely, I'd die) but I know if I did at this point, I'd wonder 'what if'. So I'm obviously not at the 'change plans' stage yet, but needless to say it's been frustrating being in the in between spot. And Ive only been at this only half as long as you, and hearing stories like yours is what makes me wonder if I ever was thick skinned enough for this chaos. I totally feel you, like...woah. I sadly don't have much practical advice, except you're by no means alone. I've decided Bu needs an 'actor networking/get together'...literally JUST for actors to vent about this and connect on a deeper level, not just anonymously on a forum, about how we feel about this career path. I feel not enough 'in person' talk is done about this and it tends to make us crazier than we should be.
First things first: you are not alone. I know that's the most trite and unhelpful thing I could say right now, but it's true. We're taught this idea that if you're not totally gung-ho passionate about every aspect of being an actor, it isn't the right life for you. That's absurd.
In particular, the idea of "you should be happy to be working at all!" is total bullshit. There is lots and lots of work I'd love to do, and lots that I have no interest in at all (unless the money/prestige were out-of-this-world great). But it took me a while to figure out that nobody has a gun to my head, forcing me to do this. I now only pursue the jobs that interest me, and I'm much happier for it.
My biggest advice to you would be to stop trying to hold on to what you used to love about being an actor. The things that mattered to you when you were 6 (or 8 or 20) may still matter, but they probably matter to you differently because your feelings are more nuanced now. That's how it ought to be, I think. So figure out what matters most to you right this second and build around that. The rest will fall into place.
I am thinking about going to Denver for the Arvada Center White Christmas call. I've heard that they prefer people with local housing (I mean, who doesn't). I don't mind providing my own housing for the contract, but what is the best thing to say when you audition? Does saying you are "willing to find housing" just mean they will consider you a non-local and you have no advantage? Has anyone had a similar experience?
I think they just posted some NYC ECC dates, so maybe try to audition here and then mention that you are willing to find local housing on your own. :)
So you're willing to fly yourself out there, and pay rent and drive yourself to the rehearsals?
I'm actually only an hour away from Denver now! And I have access to a car that wouldn't require a long road trip to get there.
If you're auditioning there, they're going to assume you're a local hire.
But you can always just write "local hire" on your resume -- they don't need to know whether you live down the street or found yourself an apartment....all they care about is they're not paying for it!
Say you were an emc gal and were gonna go to an EPA in July for a musical that's only a kind of big deal. Tomorrow. What time would YOU show up?
Only reason why I ask: it's July. BUT I heard the EPA for those theatres doing Mary poppins, et al, on Mondayhad an eq alt list of 100 earlier. So.
If it's the POTO one, even though it's summer, I'd say still get there early. There are some Eq auditions that will be packed almost.every.single.time and this is one of them. There have been exceptions, I happened to attend one, but I never assume anything for the big shows.
And I was at that audition, and yes that was the case. I'm also EMC and wasn't seen. The alternates just kept coming. The monitor was bomb, but alternates are always first ;)
Whoops meant Bright Star. Hahaha I was a lil too cryptic.
But the insight is still v helpful.
Oh if it's Bright Star, you can probably just get there at 9:30. They called basically the whole non-eq list half an hour into the call yesterday.
Are they having video submissions like last time??
Ok so I've just received an offer for a cruise ship and they are wanting me to pay for and attend sea school on my own time prior to rehearsals. It's not like it's in my neighborhood, so I would also have to pay to stay wherever it is for five days! This is unheard of right?!? I've done a ship before (different cruise line) and all of our training was provided for us, done prior to embarking and during our rehearsal process onboard. How do I negotiate getting all of this paid for?!?
I may not have done a cruise gig yet, but I have a bajillion people I know who have...and I've NEVER heard this :/ what line is it, I it's not too bold to ask...cause this does sound ridiculous...sea school...what does this even mean?
Isn't "sea school" one of L Ron Hubbard's Scientology traps?
Sea school is where you get certified in basic training for working on a vessel, any ship/boat that will have you out at sea.
What's even worse is that the cast before mine (the inaugural cast) didn't have to pay for or attend it on their own time prior to rehearsals. They did it as a cast for a week during rehearsals, with the company paying for it.
This is ridiculous. It must be a very small cruise line. All the major ones train you on board or during rehearsals. This is definitely a thing, but mostly in other countries- in the Philippines they have to do that, for instance. As far as negotiating, just ask. Otherwise, calculate the cost value. You'll likely be making bank on the ship, so shelling out the money for this training will be worth it afterwards. But yeah... very strange.
Do you mind telling what line it is? I've have the same dillema I'm figuring out whether I should take a contract because if that. Might be the same line?
This sounds crazy...I've never heard of this! I've done a cruise ship and we did not have to pay anything for our training. That's wild! I know a few other cruise lines that definitely have the training included at no charge. The only thing I had to do on my own was go get a physical.
Mikeb! It's probably the same one! Maybe Tom can get us in touch?? Not sure how that works lol
Totally down, would love to figure it out with somebody!!! Tom can you get us in touch?? Xx
Why is it so secretive to tell who it is? It's not like you're bad mouthing anything.
red flag red flag!!! most be a super low end cruise. Even the busted ones train you during rehearsals.
Well mine was costa, considering it as a plan B after I finish my current contract
Costa is part of the Carnival Corporation. They can afford to send you to sea school during your crossover period. Do what you want in terms of taking the contract, but I am getting increasingly tiresome with so many aspects of employment becoming the financial onus on the actor. I'm currently based overseas, an established producer wanted me to fly down to them, on my dime in terms of flight and accommodation, for a "pre-screen" on a project that neither myself or my agent submitted me for. Thanks, but no thanks.
I'm not inherently opposed to paying for shit in service to a show, but it needs to be either
- super cheap ($50 at most) or
- highly transferable (getting a personal trainer for a show where I'm going to have multiple sex scenes)
Also remember that you're paying cash for the training but you're paying 30% taxes on the money you earn on the contract. For example, if training costs you $200 out of pocket, you'll need to make $(200/0.7) or $285 of contract money to pay for it. If you're going to be able to bank upwards of $10k on the contract, that $285 might be an acceptable cost (albeit a sketchy one). But if you're not able to be that provident, then paying for sea training may not be worth it.
I was just in a Cunard contract which is also under the Carnival umbrella and I had to cough up funds for a medical, visas and a few train tickets as I rehearsed in England...however, I was refunded all of that money
I remember a British cast member of mine was up for a company that has a training like yours where there was a physical test. Girls had to be able to do 20 push-ups off of their knees and such, because on a cruise your first job is to save lives.
I have also worked for Celebrity cruises where I had to fund everything pre-rehearsal and then refunded once the contract started.
Don't know if this is the same situation, but worth a shot asking if it didn't specify.
I've done 6 cruise contracts, and I have only heard of this through Filipino friends who are required to do it in the Filipines.
ALL those Filipino friends told me it is a well-known RACKET in the Philippines, but that because it's the Philippines they are not protected from that type of thing.
Sounds really weird to me.
Raj a thanks for pointing out the math on that. Too many of us forget about the legal stuff.
Also to the PI didn't forget that whatever you spend on" sea school" would be a tax write off so...
not to re-hash this, but i was doing some research...sea school for 5 days around me costs about $1025 without housing for those days or anything, looks like it might be about 2000 all together! NOPE...especially at the low rate costa pays their dancers...worth it? not too sure now
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