When you are signed to an agent, the agent will start to submit your headshot and resume link for auditions. ActorsAccess.com is a popular casting agent "go to".
In marketing there is a rule of thumb:
The first time you see something you say, “I MAY do that”. The second time you see something you say, “I WILL do that”. The third time you see something you DO that. In other words, 60% of the return on an advertisement or promotion is on the third time it is seen by the same person and thereafter.
This is no different for you. Your headshot and resume is your advertisement. The first time a casting agent sees you, they consider you a “Johnnie come lately”.
There are a million headshots (aspiring actors) floating around in the entertainment industry. 99% of the “new” actors are ill trained, and have no working skills. From this perspective it is very unlikely that you, as a “newbie”, will get a job over a similar actor the casting person knows as a well trained actor. An actor they are already familiar with.
The good news is that in the industry there are only so many good casting agencies. After about a year you will find that you know where you are going when you hear the name of the casting agent that has called you for the audition.
After they see you three times the casting director will begin to feel they know you. You have always been on time and have given good readings. You have never been cranky. At some point they will forget you are a “newbie” and they will give you a chance. You will be familiar to them.
By the same token, the casting agent will start to remember your face. Most casual participants don’t last more than a year, so all of a sudden, magically, one day you will click over from being a new comer to being a “regular”.
When I first discovered Margo Harshman she had no resume. She was competing with girls her age (10) with 6 and 7 page resumes. I got her a really good agent that believed in her. Then on each audition she took candy suckers with flags that said, "Thank You! Love Margo".
At first I think she just got the calls for the candy. She was good and now she does have the very very long resume.
Because you will see the same people over and over again, it’s imperative that you maintain a really friendly face around them no matter how frustrated you are, no matter how long you had to wait. No matter if the same cranky actors or stage parent seem to butt in front of you at many auditions. As I write this Margo has the recurring role of Delilah on NCIS.
You need to be the “good guy”. The cheerful actor. That is the actor they want on the set with the director. The “good” actor. Being a “good guy” will get you bookings!
Believe it or not, there are times when a less talented young actor will get the part because they come attached to a “good parent”. I myself am guilty of this casting practice.
Years ago when I was a casting director there was a blond fireman I always called when I needed the good looking blond guy. Not because he was the best looking. Hollywood is full of good looking blond guys.
I would hire him because he had a motor home, and he would always show up on the set EARLY with his pantry full of great snacks! He was always cheerful no matter how long it took. Kicked back in his motor home, no complaints. I always called him first.
That’s what many decisions are based on. So it pays to keep small bags of Jelly Bellys in the car. Something extra to pass out at the audition. A smile, a thank you note, they go a long way toward making sure that the next time your actor’s head sheet comes across the desk he will be called.
Repeat after me, a cranky, pushy, impatient actor is a bad actor, a happy, patient actor gets the work!
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