You’ve finally decided that acting is something you’d like to take up. Phenomenal! Acting is glorious. This is how to begin.
The first step to landing a role in a show, whether it be theatre or film, is of course, finding an audition. You cannot play a role without an initial audition, unless you are an A-list star and movie writers compose screenplays with you in mind. Every actor who wants a role must audition first; it simply is inevitable.
So how does one hunt down the sneaky, elusive audition?
There are many basic places to start searching for a show that is being cast. Your local theater is a first-class revenue in which to begin researching shows. Often, these theaters have websites that you may visit and, with a brief search, you will find the information for season performances. The only difficulty with local theatre is that most often, local theaters cast an entire season of shows all within a few days. However, this can be rather convenient. This is opportune not only for the directors but for you as well-because in one performance from you, you are reaching five or six directors, rather than having to return and audition multiple times. If the date has passed, keep the theater in mind and check back for next season’s auditions.
Another good, local place to find auditions would be in schools. More often than not, you must be a student to audition for school shows-especially high school shows. They tend to be pretty strict about that. I had a friend in high school that once went to the rival school to audition for Oklahoma!, and as he stood up to perform his monologue, the director stopped him and asked him what school he attended. Needless to say, the director was not entirely amused.
Your local college or university is also a good place to look. Even if you aren’t a student there, you might become a part-time, or one-time student, to enroll in one of their acting classes. Not only are you continuing to perfect the craft of acting-which all actors should do-but you are opening yourself up to many opportunities. Your instructors will have all sorts of resources for you, such as auditions and free shows or workshops you can attend. Better yet, more often than not, your instructor will also be a local director, therefore giving you a little bit of an “in” to your town’s theater scene.
Other excellent thespian resources are ones that might seem just a bit too obvious to work. Websites such as craigslist.com in your region will often have listings for student films or festival films that you might not be paid for, but will provide you with excellent screen credits to build up your resume. Your newspaper is also a great place to look. The classified job sections will sometimes have auditions posted. If you have a weekly “things to do” entertainment section, it will usually have a section called “calls for entry” or “auditions.” These are great resources.
Remember, finding an audition is the first step. You must have the perseverance to not only find one audition, but many auditions, because you won’t always get a role. Not being cast does not mean you are a bad actor! Often you just don’t look or sound or feel perfect to the director. Auditioning again and again will get you used to performing in front of people and each one will get better as you move along.
Check your local theaters, schools, papers, and websites for those audition listings. They are out there, you just have to look!