I'm shocked how often talent do not do this simple step to help them prepare. Review past ads when possible or look up the brand and site to see what colors they tend to have. If you are auditioning for a Target commercial and are not an employee in the ad khaki pants and a red top is a huge mistake but if it is as a cashier you just helped yourself get closer to booking the job.
Hot tip: Never show up way early to your Eco Cast Live audition with a casting director, they are in the middle of their audition with other talent. You should try to show up 10 minutes early and see if things are lining up. If it didn't work log out and try again when it is 5 minutes before your audition time. Then you wait around for up to 15-20 minutes if you can. Only if it didn't work out 15 minutes after your audition time contact your agency for help, find someone on staff via email/text/call.
Training is part of your preparation!!!
First of all you should be finding basic info online. YouTube, books, websites will all help you get some of the basic info like how to get an agent, what are the first steps, what to expect during auditions and so much more. You can get so much info for free why pay for it? Save your money for in person acting classes or private coaching for big TV and Film roles or for taking an acting class in person with a casting director in your state. My site and YouTube videos have tons of info for free.
You should have your regular acting coach/studio that you can go to for big roles to help prepare for auditions. I recommend Cara Alvey in Tempe and lots of others in Arizona so depending on where you live try to find an acting coach near by. I also don't recommend some companies so watch out ask me or other actors. Training with the casting directors is also a good idea as well. You will feel more comfortable around them later in auditions, you will understand how they communicate and what they like. You also give them more time to get to remember you for future castings. I personally recommend in person training as much as possible with those in your market. Then when you can afford to train with others also via zoom go for it you have a chance to work with some great acting coaches this way. Last of all plan trips and train while you are away. Lots of companies will have 1 or 2 day workshops or 1 or 2 week camps for kids or sign up for some private lessons with a top acting coach.
Garth Williams Casting https://www.garthwilliamscasting.com/
Jan and Garth Williams also have a theater company https://almostfamoustheater.com/
Dearing Acting Studio is also Phx Casting https://www.dearingstudio.com/
Good Faith Casting is located in AZ and NM https://www.goodfaithcasting.com/actors-resources
*See Common Sense Academy page for information on self-taping along with tips and a video link of what not to do since that needed to be said.
An Actor Closet
Talent should have a space set aside for a few things in their closet clean and ready to go to an audition or job. Nice casual outfit is very common and nice upscale casual. Have a good wardrobe for auditions and jobs in also part of your job as an actor. Having a few outfits/tops, jackets are key. See other page on this site The Actors Closet about this specific subject that is often over looked by actors and is a common mistake. Best part the wardrobe for an actor is not expensive with no name brands needed. You are often asked to take some wardrobe to a shoot, please remember to never leave anything behind and to take more then needed on hangers and leave some things in the car. Take photo's of what you have so you can show wardrobe dept. It is always better to be over prepared, early and the most professional talent on set.
Vouchers and contracts on set.
Make sure you have your agency voucher or low budget contract! You have to have a paper trail on all jobs. For SAG/AFTRA jobs they will provide a contact on set and make sure the address on it is your agents and you mark the box that says checks go to your agent. This allows the agency to do the math and make sure you are not missing any more money that is due to you for OT, wardrobe, travel expenses and more.
Time to get paid!
When you fill out a W4 on set you should get a copy of the pay stubs from that job. This is extremely important when doing SAG work and especially National SAG commercials where you filled out a SAG contract on set. Those can pay over $50,000 with over 20 checks over the year and you want to know you got them all. I know of an agency that did not pay over 20 of their talent years ago so you want to keep track. Take a photo of everything you fill out on set also. If you think you missed out on some money didn't see the pay stubs you can call SAG about this if it was a SAG job and need to get help. Another reason why you want to work with good people. Talking to other actors on set and asking them later can also help so remember who you were on set with. Dani's Agency does send pay stubs to talent with total gross earning shown from payroll companies. Talent only get a pay stub if the client used a payroll company and you filled out the W4. Most non-union jobs don't use payroll companies. The agency bills for the jobs could have 10-20 talent on the commercial. They get the check deposited and then issue checks minus the commission owed to the agency and mail out 10-20 checks. Most of these non-union jobs pay between 30-60 days. If you work on a job like this the rate is established before you audition or book the job. All talent should have paper work on set saying what they are making X amount and sign it, this is normally a voucher supplied by the agency. This allows you to know you are making a $1000 for the day and they signed it saying they are paying you a $1000 per day. Nothing shady then. But if you didn't know what you were making or were not told to fill out paper work you should ask others in your market with that agency and without that agency if that is normal. You should be concerned about payment and making sure it is all done correct and fair. Talent that make more then $600 a year will get a 1099 from the agency for that work and a W4 from the payroll company from those jobs.
OMG I can't believe I have to say this. You should always look up where you are going before you go there, like on an actual map people. Often folks use GPS to get them somewhere and if they made any mistake it takes them somewhere else and until you arrive at your destination to see you are in the wrong spot you wasted your time. Always confirm on a map that is where you should be. Read everything casting offices move so don't assume you know where they are because you have been there before. Arrive 15 minutes early to auditions and 20-30 minutes early to a job and just make sure you are in the right spot and then go back to the car to gather things, chill, relax and listen to music to get you in the right mind set. Set timer so you are walking on set 15 minutes early or at your scheduled time for an audition. Casting doesn't want you early to auditions in waiting rooms not enough space, wait in car for your scheduled time. Same with Zoom or Eco cast Live auditions/callbacks log in only 5 minutes before your time and wait unless other direction is provided.
Casting Networks Tips
Update Agency Profile!!!!
Talent need to update all the sites they are on. You should do this every 6 months. You also need to review the site to see if anything was missed before. Dani's Agency does a yearly review with all talent in person. This allows us to see if anything is missing and get talent on new sites as they come up over the years. Biggest mistake talent do is not updating the sites with new headshots. You also can have two profiles personal and agency on CN site so make sure you are updating your agency profile. See photo in red are notes from Misti.
Include your real age on sites. Some jobs have an age requirement alcohol, casinos, retirement are just some examples.
Adding your age range is important.
Updating your age range every year or two is required especially for kids.
So many talent do this step wrong. See Misti's notes in red to help. Most agents want to approve ALL shots under their brand since the photo represents you and the agency. Only upload professional shots taken by an industry photographer. They might charge you to add new shots.
All audition coming from your agent are from their time zone. If you live out of state confirm the time zone audition time. In AZ we have to change from MDT to PDT.
From above go to account settings step 2 and then notification settings.
Adding text feature so you get a text when you have an audition notice and your agent and casting director are waiting on you to confirm or decline.
A common mistake talent make is not update the sites with new phone numbers or email address. Extremely important!!!!
Some talent get to many mass emails from CN site. You can edit your profile and get less or none. If you have an agent you don't need to get any of these since we are submitting you on projects. Thousands of talent can't get an agent so they need to do this on their own every single day, review breakdowns to find something they fit and then submit.
An Actors Playlist!
Preparing mentally is just as important as all the steps that took to get you to this point. Finding the vibe and feeling of the role you are going for is so important. Wardrobe, makeup, glasses, hats, jewelry, facial hair all help an actor transform. You may need to feel sexy, bad ass or sometimes you just need to be pumped up and feeling good to help build up confidence. These are some of my choices for some music to help you next time. Please notice how the music artist changed up their look in the videos. Katie Perry does this in "This is how we do"