A casting call is a notice posted by a producer, or casting director of a job opportunity, for an actor, in a movie, on television, on stage, or in a commercial. Talent Agents or managers are the only people who have access to see the casting calls offered. These opportunities are listed in a daily distribution called Breakdowns. Depending on the importance of the role, casting calls may be open to the public. This is usually for community theater or non-union films.
Casting is an important process in pre-production in which a casting director, producer, director and/or choreographer selects a cast for a production/project. If your agent or manager thinks you're right for the role, they will submit your headshot and resume to the casting department. If the casting director feels your look and experience meet the vision for the role, they will call you in for an audition.
There are typically many stages involved in a Casting Call. In the first audition, an actor will be required to have an acting piece prepared, which will vary depending on the project type. For example, you may be required to perform a prepared monologue. A monologue is an uninterrupted speech directed towards another character. It is important to remember that the monologue you choose should reflect your ability to play the role you are auditioning for. Or, you may be given Sides, which are a scene from the script you are auditioning for. You will be required to perform these sides with the casting director. Keep in mind the casting director will usually be seated and reading the other character's lines with a dead pan face and monotone voice. However, you, as the actor, will be required to evoke the necessary emotion needed for the scene. If you are auditioning for the stage, you may be required to prepare a song. The song you choose should once again highlight your ability to play the character you're auditioning for.
If the actor does well in the first audition, they may get, what is known as a Call Back, or second audition. At a Call Back, an actor will be required to perform the same piece they did in the first audition. However, at the Call Back, the casting director or director may give you direction on your performance. Oftentimes they are testing your ability to take direction. Even if they thought you did an excellent job in your first audition, they need to see your aptitude for working on set.
For Print Advertising or TV Commercials, talent will be individually called into a room by a casting director, photographed with a Polaroid camera, or put on video. All of the talent from that day is then viewed on a website by the clients. They might make a choice that day, the next, or even a few days before the production begins. Commercial and Print casting calls occur more frequently than any other type.
One of the most important things to remember when going on a Casting Call is that preparation is everything. Even if you are not right for the role, you must leave a good impression with the casting director if you ever hope to be called in for another role. Acting classes and private coaching are invaluable in making your Casting Calls turn into leads in movies or on stage. Becoming an expert at Casting Calls, is a sure fire way to turn your acting dreams into a reality!