Educational Theatre of New York

Best Acting Tips for New York

How to Have a Successful Audition in New York

New York City is without a doubt one of the best destinations that any aspiring actor can go to in order to find success. For most actors, the journey towards a successful acting career begins with the audition. After all, it doesn’t matter how talented you are as an actor—once you fail the audition, you can bet that you won’t get cast in the film, play or commercial that you have been hoping for. It’s quite normal to feel the jitters during an audition. Thankfully, there are many things that you can do to make sure that your audition goes as smoothly as possible.

Be prepared

One of the worst things that can happen during an audition is you coming unprepared. Perhaps you were required to bring a monologue but you didn’t. Or perhaps you are supposed to submit two copies of your resume but you only brought one. These little errors already speak a lot about you, even before you start reading your lines. To avoid coming unprepared, make sure that you have carefully read the audition notice, and then read it again. Aside from looking at the requirements that you should bring to the audition, make sure that you also fit the part that you want to audition for. For instance, if the casting director is looking for a Hispanic man in his late 20’s, don’t attempt to come to the audition if you happen to be a 40-year-old Caucasian male.

Learn how to dress appropriately

One of the most common mistakes that new actors make when coming to auditions is dressing outrageously. Just because you are going to an acting audition doesn’t mean that you have an excuse to get into your favorite Halloween costume. It’s generally better that you wear something appropriate to the part you are auditioning for. For example, if you’re auditioning for the part of a high school student, don’t come to the audition wearing a business suit.

Master your monologue

If you are supposed to bring a monologue to your audition then make sure you have perfected it ahead of time. Again, try to keep the part you are auditioning for in mind when choosing a monologue to read. You might also want to prepare for instances when the casting director asks you to read your monologue piece in a different manner. For instance, you might have practiced performing your monologue in a serious, teary-eyed manner. However, be prepared for possible instances when the casting director asks you to read the same piece in a nasty sarcastic tone or a cold and indifferent manner.

Prepare for cold reading

Although many auditions will require you to perform a rehearsed monologue of your choice, there are also many cases when you might be asked to read a new script on the spot. This is referred to as “cold reading”. Cold reading often scares a lot of auditioning actors since they don’t have time to prepare. You can prepare for cold reading by practicing reading aloud.

How To Become an Actor in New York: Auditioning Tips

Auditioning is a crucial part of becoming a successful actor in New York. Before you an get cast in a play, film or commercial, you will need to pass the auditions first. There are many ways to look for casting calls and acting auditions in the city of New York. You can subscribe to magazines and websites, sign up for internship in film studios or hire an acting agent to get you interviews with casting directors. Once you have successfully found an audition, it’s time to focus on the important part, which is acing the audition and landing the part you want. Here are some auditioning tips to help you make sure that your audition becomes a success.

Dress appropriately for your audition

One of the most common questions that aspiring actors ask themselves before going to an acting audition is what kind of clothing they should wear. Generally, it’s best to consider the part that you are auditioning for and use this as your guideline. For instance, if you are auditioning for the part of a businesswoman, then you might want to wear a skirt suit or a formal top with a pair of slacks. If the casting call doesn’t specify the role then it’s best to wear your everyday street clothes. However, stay away from anything too trendy.

It’s also a good idea to keep your outfit as simple as possible. Just because you are auditioning for the part of a woman from the 18th century doesn’t mean you should come into audition in a corset and holding a parasol. Keep in mind that casting directors will primarily be judging your acting skills, not how well you can pull off a costume.

Don’t be afraid of cold reads

A cold read is basically a situation where you will be handed a script or a monologue on the spot and be asked to peform it. A lot of actors are quite afraid of this type of reading. Since they haven’t read the piece before, they obviously won’t have time to prepare. If you already know what you will be reading in advance then it’s helpful to look up the piece in advance so you can practice. However, if you were not informed of what you will be reading then don’t worry! A cold read can also have its advantages. Performing a piece for the first time allows you to become spontaneous instead of being overly prepared.

Be professional

Being professional is just as important as your acting skills when it comes to auditions. It’s important that you behave as professionally as possible.To start with, make sure that you arrive at the audition on time. Time is money in the film industry. Well-established actors who are perpetually late are frowned upon, so imagine how casting directors would feel when an aspiring actor can’t make it on time during an audition. Make sure you practice courtesy as well. If you don’t get a callback after the audition, don’t call and harangue the casting directors. Instead, thank them for the opportunity. You might be surprised how a little courtesy can go a long way.

How to Find Auditions in New York

If you have decided to pursue a career as a professional actor then one of the best places that you can go to is none other than New York City. Along with Los Angeles, NYC holds a lot of good opportunities for aspiring actors. Whether you want to become a successful theater actor or be in the next Hollywood blockbuster, the first thing you will need to do is go to an audition. But how do you go about looking for acting auditions in a large city like New York? Here are some tips to make your search easier.

Get a subscription to Backstage

Backstage is one of the most well-established magazines in the show business industry. It offers great resources for aspiring actors, and also features audition listings. Backstage now has an online version that you can easily browse in order to find the auditions that you’re looking for. Most of the auditions listed are in the areas of New York and LA, but you can narrow down your search even more to more specific locations. Some of the subscription packages may require a fee so you need to decide how much access you want to gain.

Visit My Entertainment World

My Entertainment World is another good resource for actors who are looking for auditions around New York City. This website is not just designed for actors, but for all types of professionals working in the entertainment industry such as directors, photographers, models, stylists and such. One of the advantages of referring to the My Entertainment World website is that you get to see auditions that are categorized by month. So if you wish to have more time to prepare for an audition, then you can select one that will be taking place in several months. Like Backstage, this website also offers paid subscription packages.

Get to know casting directors

Having casting directors know your name is one of the best ways to land acting auditions around New York. Gaining access to a network of casting directors will certainly put you ahead of other beginning actors who are not on anybody’s list. Of course, this is easier said than done. How do you get yourself known by casting directors? One of the easiest ways to do this is by working as an intern for a casting director or in a film company. Not only will this keep you updated about upcoming auditions in New York but it will also help you gain plenty of first-hand experience about acting. By working as an intern, you will get to watch numerous auditions and observe the best ways to get cast.

Get experience in film schools

Film schools are a great place to gain some experience as an actor. Make sure you have a resume and actor headshot that you can distribute to film schools around New York City. If you’re lucky enough, you might get a call from a film student who wants to cast you in their film. This will make a good entry in your actor’s resume.

What to Expect in a New York Acting Audition

Going to your first acting audition can be a very daunting experience for many actors. Acting in front of your bathroom mirror is one thing, but performing your lines with a room full of professionals is quite another. If you have recently moved to New York with a dream of becoming a successful actor then expect acting auditions to become a regular part of your life. A lot of aspiring actors have botched up their first auditions because they simply did not know what to expect. Being prepared does not necessarily mean that you won’t get nervous during your first New York audition, but it will certainly give you a certain calm since you can focus on your acting skills. Here are some of the things that you should expect in a New York acting audition:

You will be watched by a handful of strangers

It would have been easier if you can perform your lines in front of one or two casting directors, but in most cases, you will probably have to audition amidst a roomful of people. Aside from the casting directors, there will probably be a camera man recording the audition. There might also be a producer or director in the audience. The casting director would probably have brought along a bored relative or friend as well. No matter who is in the audience, make sure that you treat everyone with courtesy. That shabby looking guy in the back row who looks like the janitor might easily be the director of the film.

Make the casting director’s job easier

You are probably feeling fresh and excited by the time you enter the audition room. However, since the casting directors would have probably seen hundreds of people by that time, they are most likely no longer in a good mood. Obviously, it will be in your best interest if you don’t do anything to make the casting directors even more tired and irritable than they already are. You can do this by forgetting to bring some of the requirements, talking too much, not reading the audition notice carefully, etc.

You might be asked to do a cold reading

Some actors go into an audition, feeling confident after having mastered their monologue, only to find out that are supposed to do a cold reading. Cold reading is when you get asked by the casting director to read from a new script on the spot. When this happens, all the confidence of the actor goes out the window and he starts to panic. Do not let this happen to you. During cold readings, the casting director will probably give you all the instructions you need. You can also feel free to take a minute or two to mentally prepare. Keep in mind that you don’t have to memorize the lines, you just have to perform them well.

Keep these things in mind before going to your first New York acting audition

How to Find a New York Acting Agent

If you have always wanted to become a serious actor then auditioning in New York will most likely become a regular activity for you. After all, no matter how perfect you are for a certain role in a play or film, you will still need to impress casting directors in order to get the role. And you can only get this opportunity during an audition. Looking for auditions around New York can be quite a challenge and it can be time-consuming as well. You might want to consider hiring an acting agent at this point in your career. An acting agent will not only look for New York acting auditions on your behalf but will also take other steps to help you jump-start your career. Here are some guidelines that you can follow.

Make calls to acting agencies in your particular area

The first thing you need to do would be to research the acting agencies in the particular New York location where you wish to work. Keep in mind that many acting agencies specialize in a particular type of actors. Some agencies represent theater actors only, while some only work with film actors. There are even acting agents who specialize in voice-over actors. Naturally, you would want to select an agency that specializes in your field. You may also opt for full-service agencies that represent all types of actors.

Distribute resumes and headshots

Actor resumes and headshots are indispensable when it comes to auditions and looking for acting agents in New York. Once you have a handful of acting agents that you would like to represent you, make sure that you give them your resume and headshot. Of course, it’s also important for them to see your acting skills in person so you might also want to inform them about any future acting gigs that you may have.

Book auditions and acting gigs on your own

Speaking of acting gigs, it’s important that you learn to look for acting opportunities on your own as well. This is important especially if you have just arrived in New York and you don’t have anyone to represent you yet. Seek out acting experiences,whether it’s a role in a student film or in a local theater production. These events are usually attended by talent scouts, casting directors and acting agents. You can personally introduce yourself to these agents and let them know that you are seeking representation. In most cases, they will probably approach you first. Just be sure to check the agent’s background and reputation before agreeing to sign on.

Ask fellow actors for recommendations

New York is full of aspiring actors so you will likely come across them on a regular basis—in auditions, drama classes or even in restaurants where actors usually work as waiters. Ask them if they have acting agents representing them, and if so, how happy they are with their agents. If you like what you hear, ask your fellow actors if they can forward your resume to their agents.

How to get acting jobs in commercials

Commercials are usually a good start to a career. It is not as big as a theatrical play, television show, or movie, but it will help jump start your acting career in an instant. Finding a spot or a role for a commercial is easier these days because there are more and more endorsements through media, whether on television or on print. There are also voice talents that are needed in commercials. All these acting jobs for commercials may be found with these simple steps.

  1. Find a company or a group of people wanting to endorse a product. The Internet and finding connections with different companies will help you find one easily
  2. Try it! It would never hurt to audition for a job opening even if it is just your first time in acting and modeling.
  3. Find out your best angles so that you would be able to feel confident about yourself making you feel less nervous each time.
  4. Listen to the instructions. The way you deal with the work assigned to you will let the director and advertisers appreciate your talent better.