How to audition for tv shows

Today’s world is definitely one of opportunity, especially when it comes to art and entertainment. The world of high profile acting was never as open to those who don’t come from a high profile background or study at expensive New York or Los Angeles acting schools. Getting your acting career on the roll is probably as much about training as it is about grabbing the right opportunities at the right moments.

Open casting calls are the most useful tools for those who are feeling capable that they can make an immediate impact upon their acting careers, but aren’t well-enough known to get invited to usual castings. They might also prove to be an opportunity to score your name into onto a big production even with an almost insignificant role – it’s still a thing to boast over and usually gets you good pay when compared to the amount of work you have to do. And even if you don’t manage to grab the jobs, you’ll at least get acquainted with directors and get to know what they appreciate – making you have better chances of success with every casting you attend.

How to audition for tv shows

Example of an open casting call poster, looking for young boys to star in a family movie.

Firstly, to make sure we’re on the same terms – open casting calls are the types of casting which can be attended by anyone. That’s right, it doesn’t matter if you’re a physics teacher from a town in Michigan or a ski instructor from Philadelphia; everyone can give it a try and hope for the best. This seems like more competition at a first glance, but think of it this way: the overall quality of casting attendants will be lower, and this means that you have more chances of sticking out from the crowd if you have the talent.

Finding such auditions used to be quite a niche process back in the day, but the rise of the online streamlined to just a couple of clicks. Sites like ActorsAccess or Backstage display a wide array of such auditions, ranging from indie movies to multimillion dollar budget blockbusters all over the country – be it Dallas, San Francisco, Boston or other locations (though in some cases the more important casting calls are hidden behind a pay wall – meaning you need special types of membership on those sites).

But before noting yourself the time and date of the audition, be sure to take a look at the role’s breakdown, which normally should be posted in the announcement. This is basically a summary of the available roles within the picture, and the most important thing is to at least resemble one of them by physical aspect – you can’t really hope to get a female role as a male, now. There might also be slight details posted about the character, giving you a hint towards the mindset you should approach the audition with.

If you’re really looking to see how professional open casting calls are held, then you should try attending a Disney one. It’s not really as complicated as it sounds; Disney actually holds several large open casting calls at multiple points throughout the year, all over the country. If there’s some kind of opportunity in your area, you’ll surely get wind of it; they don’t downplay it as they want as many people to show up for them as possible. It doesn’t hurt checking their site periodically though.

One of the most famous recent examples happened throughout 2013 and 2014, when a season of massive casting calls involving tens of thousands were held for the very anticipated next Star Wars movie, with two mostly unknown actors ending up being cast in what appears to be as key roles. This was also manner in which the most beloved original cast for the 70’s series was also found.

So, how do you go about a Disney open casting call to maximize your chances of being noticed? Well, if you don’t really manage to fit in, you can’t do much to convince them of your real talent. However, there are certain aspects which you could be sure to do to stick out of the crowd. The most essential thing is to make sure that you get there about a quarter of an hour before the time your audition was scheduled for; being late might not only cost you the chance of proving yourself, but might even give you a bad reputation for it.

Also, don’t forget to bring an actor resume and the best headshots you can afford. You’ll hand them over to Disney employees, who are required to keep them and, who knows, might even call you up for other auditions that fit your profile. The audition itself is done in an enclosed area, so you’re pretty much going to be there on your own. Don’t worry though, Disney employees present there will make it so that the whole thing will be less intimidating than it appears.

Now the specifics of what you’ll be required to do depends on the nature of the role; but generally, Disney requires auditioned actors to come prepared with a comedic monologue lasting no more than a minute. Timing there is essential, as you’ll be stopped if you pass that minute mark; making a complete monologue will leave a better impression than a cut-off one.

How to audition for tv shows

Example of a color version of a casting call flyer.

Another type of popular open auditions are those for entertainment shows. Channels like MTV, CBS or NBC hold them nationwide on a regular basis; even Nickeloden holds them for teens, kids and babies. In these open casting calls, it’ll probably be less about your acting skills and more about your overall charisma; particularly if you’re auditioning for reality shows.

Shows like The Amazing Race or Big Brother do massive cast periods in a multitude of locations and they require less an actor and more a believable, interesting and fun-to-watch human being. Other shows have other requirements, depending on their target: America’s Got Talent is self-explanatory, The X-Factor will look for competent singers and so forth.

This might not really be what you had in mind when you picked acting as the main focus of your career, but the truth is this type of shows grant two things which are extremely appreciated in any form of entertainment today: image and exposure. They will fit great onto your resume are also good places to be observed; you’d be surprised on how major production companies also keep tabs on the TV entertainment industry for their next star. They also pay decently, and might even end up with a big prize if you manage to win their respective competitions.

How to audition for tv shows

An audition typically lasts only a minute, and casting directors often are auditioning many, many people for the part. By preparing yourself appropriately, and making an excellent first impression, you can help your chances of being a part of another great acting school in Orlando .

How to audition for tv shows

Wear a blue shirt for your audition.

This is especially important if your audition is to be taped, and reviewed later, as it often is for television and film products. Casting directors, directors, and producers want to see how you look on film. All casting directors have agreed, that those who wear blue are more likely to be cast. The blue comes across the television in a calming and flattering way, showing yourself in a good light.

Your blue shirt should be plain blue, no designs, no stripes, no patterns, etc. You want the focus to be on YOU, not your shirt. Avoid navy blue, but powder blue, royal blue, and teal are all good choices in the blue family.

Do not wear a red shirt to your audition.

Red is the least cast color, as it is harsh on the eyes. Now keep in mind, these are subtle issues, a casting director will not look at you in your red shirt and claim they won’t cast you because you wore red. However, those who show up in red, statistically, are less likely to be cast.

Avoid logos, designs, patterns, and stripes all costs.

Anything that is distracting should be avoided. An outfit that is too fancy will take attention away from you in the audition, and can ultimately help you lose the part you are auditioning for.

Wear little to no jewelry for your audition.

This goes for guys and gals, for the same reasons as listed above. Anything too shiny will be glaring on camera, and casting directors will fast forward right through your audition.

How to audition for tv shows

Wear little to no makeup to your audition.

If you are wearing a lot of makeup, casting directors do not know what you truly look like. They also don’t like to see your face covered up. A little foundation if you have shiny or uneven skin (for men and women) will help you on camera. Also, for women, a little lip gloss can help your teeth look whiter.

What you wear to your audition is crucial to your landing the part. While you may put a lot of consideration in what you wear, and how you look, it should appear as though you are just being yourself. The idea is to showcase yourself, not your clothing and accessories. If you overdo it, you are sure to be overlooked for the part.

This article was co-authored by Lesly Kahn, MFA. Lesly Kahn is an acting teacher and coach based in Los Angeles, California. She is the founder and owner of Lesly Kahn & Company, Actor Training, which focuses on preparing actors for employment in film, television and theatre. With well over 30 years of experience, Ms. Kahn has coached hundreds of actors who have become household names. She also ran the BFA Program in Acting at Marymount Manhattan College, and worked in television as well as New York and regional theatre. Lesly holds a BFA from New York University and an MFA from The Yale School of Drama.

There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Being on a successful TV show is a dream that many aspiring actors and actresses have. Having the talent and skill to rise above the competition, however, can seem like an overly daunting task at times. Auditioning for a role is the first step to acting on TV, and requires preparation and practice to accomplish. Luckily, if you have the passion and use the right approach, nailing an audition for a television show could be within your reach.

How to audition for tv shows

How to find acting auditions and casting calls for TV shows, movies, commercials, and plays.

How to find acting auditions and casting calls for TV shows, movies, commercials, and plays.

If you are interested in becoming an actor, one of the first things you have to do is find acting auditions. You can do this in several different ways. One of the most common ways is by hiring an agent. The second way is to check job boards and finally look on social media. With enough hard work, you may even find your acting opportunity.

Find a talent agent

1. If you have any friends, classmates, people with agents, ask them to pass your headshot, resume and contact information.

  • Share your headshots, resume and video reel and pass that information along to their talent representatives.
  • If you do not know anyone with connections to a talent agency, find a local group of actors and get to know them. They can help you build your reel and find the right photographer to take your headshots.
  • You may also need a personal recommendation to get a talent agent, so it is very important to have someone put a good word for you who has experience in the film, commercial, and TV industry or has a professional business relationship with a talent agent.

2. Gain experience by acting in local films, independent feature films, commercials, and plays.

  • Even if it is a volunteer or low paying, or part of your school productions, this may help you get noticed by a talent agent.
  • Take every opportunity seriously when it comes to acting. Whether if it is a commercial, student film, feature film, documentary or business. Anything can help you build your reputation, experience, reel, and resume.
  • If you are talented, share your videos on social media. It will help you showcase your work to someone in the entertainment industry.
  • Talent agents and managers go to plays and watch videos looking for the next big star. You may be the next person to get discovered.
  • Any of these opportunities provide you to practice your acting skills. Any experience can be helpful and help build your acting career.

3. Make connections in the entertainment industry. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube can help give you exposure in the entertainment industry.

  • However, it is essential to be very careful when approaching a talent agent through social media.
  • Do not come across too desperate as this can be a potential turn off and ruin the business relationship.
  • A good rule is to think about the type of content you would like to share on social media that will help persuade talent agents and casting directors to recruit you. If it is not something you want them to see or hear, do not post it.
  • The best way to communicate with an agent over social media is to participate in the conversation by commenting on their posts, photos, and videos. Also, sending a direct message with your video reel and a brief message.
  • If they do not respond to you, do not take it personally. Do not continue to send multiple messages; this can ruin your relationship with other agents, as the entertainment industry is a relatively small community.

4. Go to a showcase. Agents sometimes hold open auditions to find new talent.

  • Keep in mind these showcases are extremely competitive.
  • You will want to stand out from the crowd and showcase why you would be a perfect fit to join their agency.
  • Make sure you look professional, and you resemble your headshot. First impressions are important, and people who do not look like their headshot rarely ever do get hired.

5. Land a meeting with a talent agent

  • Once you have made a connection and you get to know a talent agent, it is best you set up a formal meeting with the talent agency.
  • While you may have a unique look and look different than the other actors on their roster, talent agents are frequently looking for someone who is confident, committed to acting, and willing to go the extra mile for an opportunity.
  • Get ready and be prepared to discuss your acting experiences and interests.
  • This is your chance to persuade the agent and explain why you are worth their time, money, and investment. Show why you would be a valuable asset for their talent agency.
  • It is important to note, do not expect to show up to a meeting at the agent to love you right off the back if you do not have any experience in the film industry.

How to audition for tv shows

6. Steps to take to hire a talent agent or manager. A talent agent or manager will help you find job opportunities, acting auditions, and casting calls for you.

  • Traditionally, after getting your job with an agent, you have to pay them 10 to 20% of your pay.
  • Hiring an agent or manager does not mean you are guaranteed to go to get work. Many actors have talent agents but do not land many acting opportunities.
  • Always read the contracts with agents and managers before you sign and commit. There are thousands of scams out there, and you do not want to become a victim of one.
  • Your talent agent will help you find auditions that are best suited for you and recommend you to producers, directors and other influencers int he film industry. This is not a guarantee that you will land a job opportunity.

Find your acting auditions

How to audition for tv shows

Photo of cheerful hippies men and women smiling and taking a selfie in forest

Preparing for a TV audition can be at once exciting and daunting. Different actors have a million different thought-processes like:

“Practice hard. HARD”

“If I practice, it’ll all go out the door once I’m in the room. Better to do it on the fly”

“I’m just gonna be nice. I’m going to just be so nice to them. It won’t even matter how I act”

Auditioning is not natural, and it’s a really hard thing to navigate. There’s so many wrong ways and so many right ways to go about it, that it really gets a bit jumbled up. It comes down instead to what makes you the most comfortable and the most focussed.

Believing that any practice you do isn’t going to stick once you’re in the room is flawed logic, and could be damaging your auditions. The first step is finding the right balance between honing in what you’ve rehearsed and then showing an ability to roll with what a casting director may give you in the room. Often you are given sides with directions that leave you wondering: Will I have to mime eating that cake? Should I actually attempt to punch that character? Do they want me to come in with a scar on my face?

The answer is there is no answer. Casting directors are looking for choices. Don’t think about what they’re expecting (apart from having your lines learnt), and go in there knowing what you think will make a good audition. You can afford to be bold. If you think miming is going to feel and look awkward; do not do it. But if you reckon you can make it work, that it’ll provide some comedy that the script is imbued with, then make that choice, and own it. Casting directors like to see assurance and confidence.

Practice is an obvious staircase to a more successful audition, but practicing in front of others is the escalator. Call up those you know who are in the industry and show them. Not only will it knock out a few more nerves you need to get rid of, but it will inform the way you’re going to feel when you’re in the room. Set it up as you would an audition room, and pretend you’re there. This is the perfect environment to test out the choices you’ve made, and see if they’re landing or not. Most likely, if you’ve read and understood your sides, and you commit to your decision, it will land.

How to audition for tv shows

For big parts (where available) it is sometimes worth giving your agent a call and asking to read some of the script outside of your sides. You’ll often get a flat out no for major productions, but if they hand it over to you, the choices you make can become ten times stronger with more knowledge of your character and their situation.

Though making clear choices is an important element to a good audition, it’s necessary to be able to let go once a director throws you a curve-ball. Casting directors will often give you a bit of direction, and if they tell you to change your decision, it doesn’t mean they don’t like it – they just want to see that you can listen to them, and take what they’ve said on board. Do not let that throw you. Go into the room with a rehearsed scene in mind, and be ready to throw that all away and play. It’s a difficult mindset to be in, but is achievable with focus, preparation and confidence.

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How to audition for tv shows

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The Percy Jackson books encouraged many kids to get into reading back in the 2000s and they were arguably ripe for adaptation from the get-go.

Written by American author Rick Riordan, the first novel in the series – The Lightning Thief – was released in 2005 and was adapted into a movie back in 2010, with director Christ Columbus at the helm.

A sequel – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – was released in 2013 and served as an adaptation of the 2006 novel. However, the further three instalments never reached screens.

So, many fans of the books are thrilled to learn that Disney Plus has begun the casting process for a new series.

Here’s how to audition for Percy Jackson…

  • SHADOW AND BONE: Filming locations

Luke Bryan: My Dirt Road Diary | Official Trailer | IMDb TV

How to audition for Percy Jackson at Disney Plus

Disney is calling for actors who can play the role of Percy and you can send in your audition tape to the link below for consideration.

The email to send the audition footage to is [email protected] .

Now, here are the things to consider before applying…

To audition, you must be able to “play 12”. If you can, choose your favorite passage from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series and film yourself reading it.

It’s important that you look directly at the camera [straight-on] during a portion of the audition. This allows the person viewing the tape to see your face as you deliver lines.

Once you have delivered the passage, you must state your NAME, AGE, HEIGHT, and WHICH CITY you live in.

Once recorded, email the audition footage as either a .mov or .mp4 file.

Click on the link here to read the instructions and details of the audition process in more detail.

  • SHADOW AND BONE: Creators talk season 2

Demigods, it’s (one of) the moments you’ve been waiting for:


For all the details (including how to audition) click the link below!

— Rick Riordan (@rickriordan) April 27, 2021

Percy Jackson: Disney Plus casting call

At the moment, the team is only accepting auditions for the main role of Percy Jackson, so it’s worth considering this before selecting your favourite passage from the books.

As highlighted by ScreenRant, the series is in very early stages at the moment but it’s said that season 1 will be an adaptation of 2005’s The Lightning Thief.

Rick Riordan is involved in the project and clarified in a blog post that they are looking for somebody who can pass as “12” years old:

“We are looking for an actor who can ‘play 12’. That allows for a range in the actual age of the actor, but the goal is to stay true to the original story and have Percy’s character age from 12 to 16 over the course of the TV series, assuming of course we are lucky enough to make all five seasons…”

He also adds that sending a tape to the aforementioned email “is the only means through which unsolicited audition tapes will be considered.”

It’s certainly worth giving the blog post a read in full before getting to work on your audition tape.

Some people make the mistake of diving right into a Disney Channel audition without taking the time to build your skills.

Although this could delay your audition by a few months or years, it’s better to go into a Disney Channel audition fully prepared and with your skills honed.

After all, it’s better to delay your audition but increase your chances of getting a part rather than auditioning sooner but not getting a callback.

You Might Also Be interested in:

Here are some ways to start small:

  • Take classes at your local performing arts school, as many different types as you can.
  • Participate in as many local theater productions as possible.
  • Get an agent who specializes in the type of acting you want to do.
  • Take as many gigs as you can for commercials or small parts in movies/television shows.
  • Network locally before branching out to national networks.

Doing all these things before tackling Disney helps sharpen your skills, build confidence, and give you the experience you need to take on a Disney Channel audition.

Disney Channel Auditions: Learn New Skills

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare.

There is no such thing as being too prepared for an audition — but that’s a tricky thing to say when you don’t always know what to expect, or what casting directors will ask of you. So your best bet is to prepare everything. But don’t worry, this isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds.

Practice, practice, and practice more until you are comfortable and confident in delivering your material. Make sure that what you prepare truly shows off your strengths. Record 30-60 second clips of singing, dancing, and acting clips that show your range, showcase your voice, and resonate with your audience.

It’s great to have these clips on hand to share with agents and casting directors when looking for opportunities. But preparing them also means you’ll know them well enough to perform them on the spot if asked to do so during your audition.

Show Your Personality

  • Be thorough when answering questions, rather than just giving a yes or no response.
  • Dress appropriately, yet make sure that what you wear has a flare that represents your personality.
  • Listen to your instincts when reading an audition script and let your intuition guide you to make the character personal to you. Casting directors can sense when you’ve made a personal connection to a character and can develop that character throughout your audition.
  • Make eye contact, smile, and have confident body language. Remember that most your personality won’t be conveyed in what you say, but rather in how you say it.

Know All of Your Options

The Walt Disney Company is the largest entertainment conglomerate in the world. While this makes it one of the most coveted and competitive roles, it also means that there may be more opportunities than you think.

Disney owns dozens of networks and channels. So rather than limiting your goals only to Disney Channel Original Movies or shows that air on The Disney Channel, auditioning for one of the networks Disney owns is a great way to get your foot in the Disney door.

Here are some of the companies (at least partially) owned by Disney:

  • ABC
  • ESPN
  • Touchstone Pictures
  • A&E
  • The History Channel
  • Lifetime
  • Hollywood Records
  • Pixar

So, if you’re auditioning for one of these networks, you are technically auditioning for Disney. Once you have a role with one of them, it will be easier to work your way up into the Disney roles you have always wanted.