Tips and AdviceCasting Calls 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Casting Calls

Casting Calls 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Casting Calls


Find Your Next Role: A Comprehensive Guide to Casting Calls

If you are an aspiring actor or actress, then casting calls are an essential part of your journey towards getting the right role. Casting calls are the lifeline of the entertainment industry, as they bring together talented actors and filmmakers to create wonderful movies, TV shows, and theater productions. However, for those who are new to the industry, it can be difficult to know where to start. This comprehensive casting call guide will help you navigate the process and find your next role.

Understanding Casting Calls

What is a Casting Call?

A casting call is an open invitation for actors to audition for an upcoming project. It is a chance for a production team to find the right actor or actress to bring their vision to life. Casting calls are usually held for various roles, including lead roles, supporting roles, and extras. These can be for movies, TV shows, plays, commercials, etc.

When a production team is looking to cast a role, they will put out a casting call specifying the type of actor they are looking for. This can include age range, gender, ethnicity, and specific physical attributes. For example, they may be looking for a male actor between the ages of 25-30, with blonde hair and blue eyes, who is at least 6 feet tall.

Types of Casting Calls

There are two primary types of casting calls: open and closed. Open casting calls are open to anyone who meets the basic criteria the production team sets. Closed casting calls are only open to actors invited to attend by the production team or their agent. Closed casting calls are more exclusive and usually reserved for higher-profile productions.

It’s important to note that even if you are invited to a closed casting call, it does not guarantee the role. You will still need to audition and compete against other actors who have also been invited.

The Casting Process

The casting process usually involves several stages. First, there will be a call for auditions, where actors will be asked to prepare a monologue or a scene from the script. It’s important to note that actors should be prepared to perform the scene in various ways, as the production team may want to see different interpretations of the character.

From there, callbacks will be held for actors the production team is interested in. This is where actors will have the opportunity to meet with the director and producers and potentially read with other actors who have been cast in the project. This is also where actors may be asked to adjust their performance based on feedback from the production team.

Finally, the role will be offered to the actor who is deemed the best fit for the character. It’s important to note that even if an actor does not get the role they auditioned for, they may still be considered for other roles in the project. Casting directors often keep actors in mind for future projects as well.

In conclusion, casting calls are an essential part of the entertainment industry. They allow actors to showcase their talent and potentially land a role in a project. By understanding the casting process and the different types of casting calls, actors can better prepare themselves for auditions and increase their chances of success.

Preparing for a Casting Call

Researching the Project

Before attending a casting call, it is essential to research the project you are auditioning for. This will help you understand the style of the production, the tone of the character you are auditioning for, and the role requirements. Knowing these things will allow you to prepare accordingly and give you an edge over other actors who have not done their research.

When researching the project, start by reading the script. This will give you a sense of the story and the characters. Take note of the setting, the time period, and the production’s overall tone. You can also research the director and production company to better understand their style and approach.

It can also be helpful to research the genre of the production. If you are auditioning for a horror movie, for example, you may want to watch other horror movies to get a sense of the style and tone of the genre.

Building Your Portfolio

Your portfolio is your calling card as an actor. It should showcase your best work and demonstrate your range as an actor. Your portfolio should include your headshot, resume, and a reel of your previous work, if you have one. Ensure your portfolio is up-to-date and relevant to the role you are auditioning for.

When choosing what to include in your portfolio, think about the character you are auditioning for. If the character is a dramatic role, include dramatic scenes from your previous work. If the character is comedic, include comedic scenes. You want to show the casting directors that you have the range and ability to play the role.

Getting feedback on your portfolio from other actors or industry professionals can also be helpful. They may be able to offer suggestions on how to improve your portfolio and make it more appealing to casting directors.

Choosing the Right Monologue or Scene

Choosing the right monologue or scene to perform for a casting call can be challenging. You want to choose something that showcases your range as an actor, but also fits the tone and style of the production. Be sure to read the script beforehand and choose a monologue or scene relevant to the character you are auditioning for.

If you are unsure what to choose, consider working with a coach or mentor who can help you select the right material. They may also be able to offer tips on how to deliver the monologue or scene in a way that showcases your strengths as an actor.

Remember that casting directors are looking for actors who bring something unique and interesting to the role. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make bold choices in your performance.

Dressing for Success

First impressions are crucial at casting calls, so it is important to dress appropriately. Dress in a way that matches the tone and style of the production. For example, if you are auditioning for a period piece, you should dress in period clothing. If you are unsure what to wear, dress in a neutral outfit that is neither casual nor formal.

Make sure that your clothing is clean, pressed, and fits well. Avoid clothing with logos or patterns that may be distracting. You want the focus to be on your performance, not your outfit.

Remember that casting directors are looking for actors who are professional and prepared. By researching, building a strong portfolio, choosing the right material, and dressing appropriately, you can give yourself the best chance of success at a casting call.

Finding Casting Calls

Online Resources and Websites

There are many online resources and websites that list casting calls. Some popular ones include Backstage, Casting Networks, and Actors Access. These sites allow you to create a profile, search for casting calls, and submit your portfolio and information to casting directors.

Networking in the Industry

Networking is an essential part of the entertainment industry. Attend events, join industry groups and organizations, and connect with other actors and filmmakers. Building relationships with people in the industry can lead to new opportunities and help you to find out about casting calls that may not be posted online.

Social Media and Casting Groups

Social media is a powerful tool for finding casting calls, especially if you follow the right accounts and groups. Many casting directors and production companies post casting calls on their social media accounts. Additionally, there are many casting groups on Facebook and other social media platforms where actors can share information, ask for advice, and find casting calls.

Talent Agencies and Managers

If you have an agent or manager, they can be a valuable resource for finding casting calls. They will have access to casting calls that may not be posted online and can help you to prepare for auditions. If you do not have representation, consider reaching out to talent agencies in your area to see if they are accepting new clients.

Attending a Casting Call

What to Expect at an Audition

At an audition, you will typically be asked to perform a monologue or a scene from the script. You may also be asked to read a scene with other actors or take part in improvisation exercises. Be prepared to take direction from the casting director and producers, and be open to feedback.

Tips for a Successful Audition

To have a successful audition, you need to be prepared, confident, and focused. Make sure that you arrive on time and are well-prepared. Be confident in your abilities and take risks when performing your monologue or scene. Finally, stay focused and listen to the casting director and producers.

Handling Rejection and Learning from Experience

Rejection is a part of the casting process. Even the most talented actors will experience rejection at some point in their careers. It is important to not take rejection personally and to use it as an opportunity to improve your skills. Keep practicing, taking classes, and learning from your experiences. Eventually, the right role will come along.


Attending casting calls can be a daunting process, but with the right preparation and mindset, you can find success in the entertainment industry. By understanding the types of casting calls, preparing for auditions, and finding the right opportunities, you can take control of your career and find your next role. Remember to stay focused, stay positive, and keep pursuing your dreams.

Megan Diane
Megan Diane
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.

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