The Actors Resource Guide eBooks - A must have for both professional and aspiring actors alike!
Comprehensive actors resource guides that include listings of talent agents and casting directors, sample actors resumes, acting classes, headshot photographers, extras casting agencies, work permits, child talent information, and many valuable tips and advice.
Each eBook contains a minimum of the following:
• Casting Directors List • Extras Casting Directors List • Talent Agents List • Acting Schools List • Headshot Photographers List • Actors Unions • Sample Actors Resume • Sample Beginning Actors Resume • Sample Cover Letters • Audition Tips • How To Make an Audition Video • General Talent Agent Information • Entertainment Industry Terminology • Child Work Permit Information • Immigration Work Permit Information • Non-Immigrant Visa Application • Miscellaneous Resources • PDF Users Guides
The Actors Resource Guide eBooks are now available for Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Baltimore/Richmond/Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Orlando, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Michigan, Vancouver, New Zealand, Australia, and London.
More locations coming soon.
If you are serious about becoming a working professional film and television actor, then these eBooks are an absolute must-have. Take a giant step towards making your dreams come true and obtain one of the most valuable tools available for all actors - The Actors Resource Guide eBooks.
Click Here to get the Code to put an Acting Auditions Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put a Disney Channel Auditions Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put a Disney Movie Casting Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put a Feature Film Auditions Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put a TV Show Auditions Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put a Become an Extra Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put an Open Casting Calls Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put a Soap Auditions Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put a "Get Started Acting" Banner on your Facebook Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put a Talent Agents Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
Click Here to get the Code to put a Child Actor Resources Banner on your Facebook, MySpace Page, Blog, or Website!
SAG - AFTRA
The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is an American labor union representing over 150,000 film and television principal and background performers worldwide. The current organization is the result of the March 30, 2012 merger of the Screen Actor's Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
According to the SAG-AFTRA Mission Statement, the union seeks to: negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements that establish equitable levels of compensation, benefits, and working conditions for its performers; collect compensation for exploitation of recorded performances by its members, and provide protection against unauthorized use of those performances; and preserve and expand work opportunities for its members.
The Screen Actors Guild was founded in 1933 in an effort to eliminate exploitation of actors in Hollywood who were being forced into oppressive multi-year contracts with the major movie studios that did not include restrictions on work hours or minimum rest periods, and often had clauses that automatically renewed at the studios' discretion. These contracts were notorious for allowing the studios to dictate the public and private lives of the performers who signed them, and most did not have provisions to allow the performer to end the deal.
SAG-AFTRA is the primary performer's union in the United States. The union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. SAG-AFTRA claims exclusive jurisdiction over motion picture as well as radio, television, Internet, and other new media. Internationally, SAG-AFTRA is affiliated with the International Federation of Actors.
How To Qualify For SAG-AFTRA Membership
A performer becomes eligible for SAG-AFTRA membership under one of the following two conditions:
1) Proof of Employment.
SAG-AFTRA membership is available to those who work in a position covered by a SAG-AFTRA (or AFTRA or SAG) collective bargaining agreement. Any person qualifying through work as a background actor must have completed three days of work as a background actor under a SAG-AFTRA (or AFTRA or SAG) collective bargaining agreement.
2) Employment Under an Affiliated Performers Union.
Performers may join SAG-AFTRA if the applicant is a paid-up member of an affiliated performers union (ACTRA, AEA, AGMA or AGVA) for a period of one year and has worked and been paid for at least once as a principal performer in that union’s jurisdiction.
All new members pay a one-time-only initiation fee, plus the first semiannual dues at the time of joining. The national initiation fee rate is currently $3000.00 (initiation fees may be lower in some states). Annual Base dues are $198.00. In addition, work dues are calculated at 1.575 percent of covered earnings up to $500,000.
Once you are a member, you must abide by the rules of membership, starting with Global Rule One and the No Contract/No Work Rule. And, whether you are a SAG-AFTRA member or not - NEVER accept work during a Union strike!
Becoming a SAG-AFTRA member is a very important milestone for every working professional talent in the entertainment industry. But you should not be in a rush to join unless you are absolutely certain that you are ready to compete for professional performing jobs. For actors, you should prepare yourself by studying acting and improv, doing live theatre, and perform in non-union on-camera productions in order to build your resume and gain extremely valuable experience.
Do I need an agent to work in Films and Television?
In response to this question that I am often asked, I have decided to create a separate website that addresses this issue. It includes FAQ, scam alerts, and a state-by-state listing of all legit agents in the USA.
Click Here to go to my Talent Agents information and resources website.
Important information about uploading audition videos
A large number of casting directors and studios are now using Cast It Systems' ActorCast to allow people to upload audition videos for specific projects and roles.
When uploading audition videos, make absolutely sure to follow the directions exactly as stated. If they want it done a specific way, then do not disregard the instructions and do whatever you want. Not following the instructions is a sure way to NOT get a call back.
If you can't follow simple directions on how to tape and submit an audition video, then the casting director will assume that you may not be able to take direction well on set during filming. And that is not a good thing. So be very careful and follow the directions exactly as they are explained. Remember that not following directions can cost you the part!
Note About Managers
A manager is someone who manages your career after you have established yourself in the business. Managers generally get 15% of your gross income from acting jobs. There are many unscrupulous "managers" out there claiming to have the ability to make someone a star. The truth is, a manager can recommend photographers, classes & workshops, resume printing services, etc. But this information is available for free, and is certainly not worth paying 15% of your income.
Simple "Stacking Method" To Memorize Lines
1. First use a pencil and write down or each page of the script (you can also do several pages at a time as opposed to the entire script).
2. Take the page into a quiet room, shut the door, and eliminate all distractions.
3. Look at the first line in your notes and read it out loud. Then, close your eyes and say the line without looking at it.
4. Repeat the step above, this time with the first 2 lines.
5. Next, try it with 3 lines. Then 4. Repeat until you have memorized every line in the pages/script/sides.
After a study session, take a quick nap. New memories are very vulnerable, but studies have shown that sleep helps your new memories stick. After your nap, repeat the memory technique once more for maximum retention.
1. Always know what you are auditioning for.
2. Arrive thirty minutes prior to the audition time. This will allow ample time to check in and warm up, check out your competition.
3. Bring at least 2 photos and resumes. Photos should reflect current physical likeness (should always be updated!).
4. Do not chew gum ( all directors hate it).
5. When attending callbacks, always wear the same attire worn at audition. Try to do everything you did the first time because it has already worked during the first audition.
6. Be confident, smile, always have a positive attitude.
7. Act excited about everything you asked to do.
Be prepared for improvisation.
Different voices and dialects are a plus.
Prepare a dramatic and comedic monologue no more than 2 minutes in length.
Note if the audition is going to provide sides (a portion of the script).
Bring 2 selections of sheet music, 1 up-tempo and 1 ballad, in legible condition.
Be prepared to sing the best 16 bars.
Know your vocal range.
Sheet music should have full musical notation and in the key in which you will perform.
If audition requires movement, dress appropriately.
Wear appropriate dance attire.
Bring appropriate dance shoes.
If the audition requires singing, bring at least 2 selections of sheet music, 1 up-tempo and 1 ballad.
Be prepared to sing the best 16 bars.
Why You Should NOT Call Casting Directors
Unsolicited phone calls and personal visits to casting directors are prohibited in the entertainment industry. Not only does it display a huge level of non-professionalism, it is extremely inconsiderate of casting directors time. They receive hundreds, and even thousands of photos and resumes every week. They certainly can not accommodate being inundated with phone calls from actors, and aspiring actors.
Talent Agents who know casting directors can call them if it is for a very important reason such as rescheduling a client for an audition. But calling casting directors, production companies, producers, and studios is an agents job, NOT an actors. The only exception to this extremely important rule is if you are RETURNING a phone call after they have contacted you first.
How long does it take for a casting director to contact you if you submit a photo and resume?
It is just a matter of waiting. There are no time frames as to when they might get in touch. Sometimes they will keep a photo and resume for future consideration, sometimes they do not. It is all timing. You just hope that they are casting for a specific type when the photo and resume lands on their desk.
Casting Directors do NOT contact you to let you know that they are not interested, they ONLY call if they want you to come in for an audition.
How Films Are Cast
The executives give the "green light" for films to be produced. Then the production company of the project hires casting directors, who in turn send out "breakdowns" of the characters being cast.
These "breakdowns" actually are sent out by a service called "Breakdown Services" and are only available to licensed Talent Agencies.
Then the agents at these agencies submit photos, resumes, and sometimes "demo-reels" to the casting directors. Then the casting directors call in the actors that fit the roles they are casting, usually many many actors are called in.
Then they narrow it down to the best actors who came in and "call back" these actors to read again for the director, sometimes the writer, producer, etc. Then they narrow it down further, and sometimes there are 3 - 4 "call backs" before an actor is finally hired.
Occasionally a casting director will call in an actor who sends a photo and resume on their own without an agent. Some casting directors have assistants who sort through the mail and some do it themselves.
When you are called to audition, you are given "sides" which is a few pages of script to read. You can usually download these lines a few days before the audition. Sometimes they have you do a "cold reading" where you are given the sides right there and then.
When you arrive, you sign in at the receptionists desk, wait in the front office usually with several other actors. When they call you in, you sit down and have a brief conversation with the CD. It is best to ask them a few questions about the script, project, role, etc., before they bring it up! And that is it. If you get a "call back" it is usually within a week, generally speaking.
Actors Headshot Information
What a good headshot is NOT:
1) Your high school yearbook picture.
2) What you think you look like.
3) What your Mom, Dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, priest girlfriend or best buddy thinks you look like.
4) Something created at Sears, Penny's, Glamour Shots or Willie's Weddings Unlimited.
5) A display ad for Cover Girl Makeup, Fashion Gal, Jim's Jewelry, Adidas sportswear, Garfield, The Simpsons, Harley Davidson, ad infinatum, etc., and so on.
A Good Headshot:
1) Really looks like YOU.
2) Doesn't hide the dime-sized purple birthmark on the bridge of your nose.
3) Looks like the camera caught you unaware that you were being photographed, and that you were really thinking about something specific, not just trying to look good for the camera.
4) Communicates your "essence" through your eyes, so that whatever you were specifically thinking about when the photo was snapped is something that will attract the viewer of the photo in a powerful way, so that the viewer will think, "Who is this person?"
Important Safety Information
I always recommend using a PO BOX instead of your home address when submitting. This is another good reason that getting an agent as soon as possible is of utmost importance. Then your agents contact information is all that is listed on the resume, cover letter, and envelope. There is an earlier post about how to get an agent in my blog archives (or table of contents).
Also, NEVER meet someone outside of a professional environment such as a studio or casting/agents office. Do NOT meet someone at a restaurant, private residence, etc. You should ALWAYS let someone else know EXACTLY where you are going, WHO you are meeting, and WHEN you are going there.
And a parent or guardian must ALWAYS accompany minors. A parent or guardian should NEVER be out of eyesight of the minor, whether it be at auditions or on set.
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