1. MY ACTOR HEADSHOTS
It’s easy to blame your talent agent or manager that your headshots “aren’t working” as the reason you aren’t getting auditions. But if it’s been a year or more since your last headshot session, it’s in the best interest of your acting career – especially for Pilot Season 2022 – to update your actor headshots or at the very least get 2-3 new “outdoor” looks.
Shooting outdoors is a bit more improvisational than in the studio. There is a vibrant energy on the street, depth and texture in the background, that makes for a truly unique experience and one of a kind actor headshot that captures a Casting Director’s imagination.
If your current headshots have been submitted over and over again, they are getting stale. A casting director will often overlook a headshot they have seen too many times, even if you auditioned for them in the past. There is an expiration date on all products and the same is true for headshots.
Casting directors are swamped with hundreds of submissions. No resume credit will open the door to an audition better than a fresh new headshot. Remember, casting directors won’t look at your resume and reel unless your headshot jumps off the page, stops them in their tracks, and tells them exactly who you are and what roles you can play.
Book your photographer now while your choice of shoot dates is easier to secure before the January Pilot Season rush. You don’t have to break the bank, but don’t be cheap either; professional headshots that get you auditions cost money; it’s the best investment you can make in your career right now.
Your headshot books the audition, your talent books the job.
2. MY REEL
A demo reel is always part of an audition submission, so be sure to remove clips where the quality isn’t 100% professional; bad lighting, unclear sound, and choppy camera work will distract casting directors from watching your performance and they will move on to another submission. It’s better to send one good scene or no reel at all, than to send a full reel of clips that make your work look subpar and unprofessional.
Here’s an example of a great reel:
3. MY SELF-TAPE SET UP
If you’re not prepared to make your own self-tape the same or next day you book an audition, fix that now. This will serve you well throughout and after Pilot Season. What do you need?
- Your cellphone to film your audition.
- Lav-type mic for you to wear (DO NOT use the built-in mic in your camera):
- Entry-level light kit.
- Solid, light background (a wall in your apartment can work as well).
- iMovie or any entry-level software that will allow you to edit, process, and upload your finished audition as quickly as possible.
- A free account with any large file delivery service like WeTransfer, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Most digital audition files are too large to simply send by email.
The need for pilots has never been greater. All the major TV networks and streaming services are competing for viewers and therefore they continue to turn out brand new content. Your opportunities to book a TV show are multiplying every month. Be ready when your chance comes. New actor headshots, an updated professional reel, and your self-tape set-up are the three essential tools that will launch your acting career. The time is now!