How Do You Get an Audition?

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  • How Do You Get an Audition?

    A step-by-step guide

    (By Javier Guerra)

    (Photo: Ron Lach | Pexels)

    What is an audition?

    An audition is a process in which performers, such as actors, singers, dancers, or musicians, demonstrate their talents and suitability for a specific role, part, or opportunity. It’s a way for casting directors, producers, directors, and other decision-makers to evaluate performers and select the most appropriate individuals for a project, whether it be a film, television show, theater production, commercial, music performance, dance piece, or other artistic endeavor.

    Auditions can take various formats, including:

    Open Auditions:

    These are auditions open to anyone who meets the specified criteria. Performers often line up and wait their turn to audition without needing an invitation or prior appointment.

    Closed Auditions:

    These auditions are by invitation only. Performers are selected based on submissions or recommendations and are invited to audition at a specific date and time.


    After initial auditions, certain performers may be called back for additional rounds of auditions to further assess their suitability for the role or project.

    Auditions can be nerve-wracking experiences for performers, as they are often judged and critiqued on their abilities, appearance, and interpretation of the material. However, they are also opportunities for performers to showcase their talent, passion, and dedication to their craft.

    Ultimately, auditions serve as a crucial step in the casting process, allowing decision-makers to select the performers who best fit the vision and requirements of the project.

    How do you get an audition?

    (Photo: Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels)

    Getting an acting audition involves a combination of preparation, networking, and actively seeking opportunities. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

    Prepare Your Materials:

      • Headshot: Invest in professional headshots that showcase your appearance and personality.
      • Resume: Create a resume detailing your acting experience, training, skills, and special talents.
      • Demo Reel: If you have previous acting work, compile a demo reel showcasing your best performances.

    Research Audition Opportunities:

      • Use reputable websites like Backstage, Casting Networks, Actors Access, and Playbill to find audition notices.
      • Follow casting directors, production companies, and industry professionals on social media for updates on casting calls and auditions.
      • Check local theater companies, schools, and community theaters for audition announcements.

    Attend Acting Workshops and Classes:

      • Participate in acting workshops, classes, and seminars to improve your skills and expand your network.
      • Acting classes can also provide opportunities to showcase your talents in front of industry professionals who may offer audition opportunities.

    Network with Industry Professionals:

      • Attend industry events, film festivals, theater productions, and networking mixers to meet casting directors, agents, producers, and other actors.
      • Build genuine relationships with industry professionals by showing genuine interest, being professional, and offering support.

    Consider Getting Representation:

      • Research reputable talent agencies in your area and submit your headshot, resume, and demo reel for representation.
      • An agent or manager can help you secure auditions, negotiate contracts, and navigate the industry.


      • Many casting calls allow actors to submit themselves directly. Regularly check online casting platforms and submit your materials for roles that match your skills and type.
      • Follow submission instructions carefully, including providing requested information and adhering to deadlines.

    Attend Open Calls:

      • Some auditions are held as open calls, where actors can show up and audition without prior appointment. Keep an eye out for open calls in your area and be prepared to showcase your talent on the spot.

    Stay Persistent and Positive:

      • Rejection is common in the acting industry, but it’s essential to stay persistent and positive.
      • Use each audition experience as an opportunity to learn and grow as an actor, regardless of the outcome.

    Do you pay for auditions?

    (Photo: Lukas | Pexels)

    In legitimate and professional settings, you should not have to pay to audition for a role. Charging actors or performers for auditions is generally considered unethical and is often a red flag for potential scams or exploitative practices.

    However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:

    Workshops or Classes: Some acting workshops or classes may offer audition opportunities as part of their curriculum. While you may need to pay for the workshop or class, the audition itself should not incur an additional fee.

    Casting Workshops: In some cases, casting directors or industry professionals may hold workshops or seminars where actors can audition for them and receive feedback. While these workshops may charge a fee, they should be transparent about what the fee covers and should not guarantee roles or auditions as a result.

    Casting Services: There are companies or websites that claim to offer access to auditions in exchange for a fee. However, many of these services are not reputable and may not provide legitimate audition opportunities. It’s essential to research these services thoroughly and proceed with caution.

    Do you get paid for auditions?

    In the vast majority of cases, actors do not get paid for auditions. Auditions are considered part of the casting process, where actors showcase their skills and suitability for a role to casting directors, producers, or other decision-makers. While actors may invest time, effort, and sometimes even travel expenses to attend auditions, they typically do not receive compensation for their participation in the audition itself.

    Actors’ compensation typically comes into play if they are selected for a role and subsequently engaged to perform in a production. Payment for actors usually includes fees for rehearsals, performances, and any associated promotional activities, in addition to factors like the scale of the production, the actor’s experience and reputation, and union regulations where applicable.

    That said, there are exceptions:

    Paid Auditions: In rare cases, particularly for high-profile projects or roles, actors may be paid a nominal fee for their audition. This is more common in the professional theater world than in film and television.

    Reimbursement for Expenses: Some auditions, especially those that require travel or specialized preparation, may offer reimbursement for certain expenses incurred by the actor, such as transportation costs or accommodation.

    Screen Tests or Callbacks: In some cases, actors may be compensated for subsequent rounds of auditions, such as screen tests or callbacks, especially if these involve a significant time commitment or additional work beyond the initial audition.

    Can you audition without an agent?

    (Photo: Cottonbro Studio | Pexels)

    Yes, you can absolutely audition without an agent. Many casting calls and auditions are open to performers who are not represented by an agent or manager. In fact, especially when you’re starting out in the industry, you’ll likely be attending auditions on your own without representation.

    While having an agent or manager can certainly open doors and provide additional opportunities, it’s entirely possible to find auditions and pursue acting opportunities on your own. As you build your experience and reputation in the industry, you may find that representation becomes more accessible.


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