A new sitcom about casting directors & agents!

Submissions Only is a new web series created by Kate Wetherhead and Andrew Keenan-Bolger (they also are writing, directing and producing the series) about New York casting directors, agents and actors working in the city. Guest stars in the series include Cady Huffman, Michael Rupert and more.

Is it art imitating life or life imitating art? You decide.

Here’s Episode 1, part one:

So you had a bad day…

AC: Acting in New York City auditions can be tough. If an audition is going poorly — and you can sense that the actor knows it — is there anything the actor can do to turn it around and possibly get a call back?

DALE BROWN (Veteran New York casting director): Those of us on the other side of the table are human too; we understand having a less than stellar day or not getting off to a good start.

I’d rather have an actor ask if they can start again than see them suffer through simply because the music started. Sometimes we’ll even suggest they start again. Just be sure there’s a clear correction to be shared.

Nonetheless, there are days when it just wasn’t your day. Begging your way back into the room for a second shot if it wasn’t meant to be is living in the past instead of taking an experience and learning from it. Your life will be easier to put a difficult day auditioning in perspective an build from the experience.

DALE BROWN will be leading a 5-week Musical Theater Showcase beginning Monday, January 3. Click here to learn more and register.

Dale joined Tara Rubin Casting in 2007. His current specific projects with TRC include on-going casting for all US companies of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and the original casting of both BILLY ELLIOT, THE FIRST WIVES CLUB and Des McAnuff’s production of GUYS & DOLLS.

What are some things that actors can do
to put their time and efforts to better use?

By Brian O’Neil

Performers acting in New York City think in a very linear way.  They subscribe to online casting services (which is fine), but aren’t learning to create quality audition opportunities for themselves, which is an important step towards your goal to perform in NYC.

One very important thing that actors need to do more of, especially in New York, is to be going on to the websites of the top off-Broadway theaters and learning when these theaters will be presenting readings of new plays and attending them.

To gain access to actually taking part in a reading, volunteer to read stage directions for any upcoming “developmental projects” as these readings are frequently called. (None of this is to be confused with being a “reader” in an actual audition situation which is an entirely different thing altogether).

Be a Reader for New Plays

I am speaking here of being in a reading of a new play which a given theater may be considering for their mainstage.  These readings are usually open to the public and are presented for the theater’s artistic director, the theater’s staff, and potential backers as well.

Being in a reading is a wonderful way to network and get to know the serious players in the New York theater scene—some of whom are also in the  process of developing independent film works as well. Plan on making your attendance regular, saying hello to those involved (often refreshments are served) and staying in touch with the staff by mail.

In my files, I have many photos and resumes of actors who are signed with major agencies who have placed a reading at a good theater on their resumes.  So if they can, you can.  I say the latter because some actors have been told not to put readings on their resumes, but if the reading was at a good theater, you really should. Over and over, I’ve seen one or two such readings on a resume  change the entire perception of an actor when those credits are viewed by an industry professional.

Brian O’Neil will be teaching the six-week course I HATE MONOLOGUES, beginning January 15 at Actors Connection.

Stephanie Faith Scott: making her dreams come true

Stephanie Faith Scott is an Actors Connection client who performs in NYC and whose most satisfying acting experiences was playing a jilted bride in the independent feature film, The Video Guys, a film about a group of guys that video tape and photograph weddings.

“It was something I found on Backstage,” she said. “At the time we were filming, no one knew where it would take us. But that film wound up being accepted to many film festivals and winning many awards, including Best Feature Film in at least three festivals. It got me an IMDB credit, exposure, I even had a few people come up to me, recognizing me from the film.”

To get acting experience, however, Scott doesn’t rely on casting notices to find work. As she described in a recent piece she wrote for DigitalChickTV.com:

My original goal was to get into television, and my husband, who writes and directs, insisted that we must stop waiting for other people to make our careers happen—stop waiting for TV casting directors and agents to find me among stiff competition. I knew it would be a lot of work, but then I got the idea for my show, The Retributioners, about a woman who wants revenge on her enemies and have it documented on video. The idea seemed perfect for the new medium—a pseudo documentary about a woman seeking validation by grabbing the same means of production. The idea came to me almost fully formed, and was so perfect for the Web format that we couldn’t not do it. We immediately threw down our many other projects and jumped in.

Scott didn’t get “discovered” with her web series but, as she wrote in the article, “I did create something I am really proud of, and we continue to hear from fans old and new about how much they love the show.”

Click here to read “In Her Words (Having a Goal)” by Scott on DigitalChickTV.com.

If you are interested in learning more about creating a series that will showcase your talents, Actors Connection is offering a seminar, How to Use YouTube for Your Acting Biz, Thursday, December 16 at 7 pm. Click here to learn more and register.

Catching this blog post too late for that class? We offer acting classes in New York and provide other opportunities for actors. Check our schedule of events for current classes.

Written by Bob Johnson.