What is a “Callback Ratio”?

By Darryl Green

  • What is a “Callback Ratio”?

    (by Darryl Green)

    A “Callback Ratio” is a two-number combination that represents the number of callbacks an actor receives, relative to the number of auditions the actor went on in the process.

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    Breaking it down:

    Say you are primarily a commercial actor. Your headshots are great. Your agent is terrific. And you have very few “conflicts” and very few companies and products you’d rather avoid. As a result, you go on a lot of auditions. In fact, this year, you’ve done 50!

    Of the 50 auditions you’ve been on, you’ve booked 5 commercials. Great! What is your callback ratio? It’s 5:50 (5 out of 50). That means, you’ve booked 5 commercials compared with the 50 total commercial auditions you’ve been on.

    Your ratio is 5:50. Broken down further, your callback ratio is 1:10. With numbers like that, you might be considered a very valuable asset to your agent’s roster (depending on the agent and market, of course). After all, for every 10 auditions they send you on, you book one of them. Pay day is never too far away, for you and them!

    One important note about callback ratios: they vary from actor to actor. One actor in one category might get far more callbacks than another actor in another category. For example, a female who typically plays “attractive female” roles, ages 20-25, might have a callback ratio of 1:7. That ratio might be much, much higher than another actress who plays a different type and a different age range, like “Mom” types, ages 45-50, due to the availability of roles for that type.

    At the same time, some “’Attractive Female’, ages 20-25” actresses might have very low booking ratios, say, 1:20 (one callback for every 20 auditions), because, although there are more roles available for that type, it is also one of the most competitive categories. Another actor in a less competitive category, might have a better callback ratio.

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