How to Audition for a Role on ‘Orange is The New Black’

Project Casting

Want a role on Orange is the New Black? Learn how to audition for a role on Orange is The New Black 

Orange Is the New Black is a comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and first released on Netflix on July 2013. The series, produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television, is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, about her experiences in prison. The second season premiered on June 2014 and the series has been renewed for a third season. Few months later, the series received 12 Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

Orange Is the New Black centers around Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a bisexual woman living in New York City who is sentenced to 15 months in a women’s federal prison, for transporting a suitcase full of drug money to her former girlfriend Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) who is an international drug smuggler/mule. The offense occurred ten years prior to the start of the series, and in that time Piper had moved on to a quiet, law-abiding life among New York’s upper middle class. In prison, Piper is reunited with Alex (who named Piper in her trial resulting in her arrest), and they re-examine their relationship and deal with their fellow prisoners.

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Orange Is the New Black has received critical acclaim. For Season 1, Metacritic gives a score of 79/100 based on reviews from 31 critics, indicating generally favorable reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives a score of 93%, with an average rating of 8.2/10 based on 40 reviews. The site’s consensus is “Orange Is the New Black is a sharp mix of black humor and dramatic heft, with interesting characters and an intriguing flashback structure.”

The second season of the show was also received with critical acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes gives a score of 97%, with an average rating of 9.1/10 based on 35 reviews. Metacritic gave the second season a score of 89 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”. David Wiegland of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the season a positive review, calling the first six episodes “not only as great as the first season, but arguably better.”

According to IMDB, Jennifer Euston is the casting director behind Orange is the New Black, and has worked on several major motion pictures including Bachelorette, The Campaign, and The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard. 

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Euston was recently interviewed by Cosmopolitan about being a casting director:

How do you keep track of so many actors? Do you watch a ton of TV, or do you have a mental Rolodex?
It’s my brain. I know it sounds strange, but I’ve been tracking actors since I was so young. I would fall in love with people like Jim Carrey. I saw him in Once Bitten and In Living Color and was obsessed with him. By the time I got to college, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective came out and all my friends called me. They were like, “That guy that you always talked about is in the biggest movie of the weekend.” I’m like, “I know.” I had that happen a lot growing up, because I’d be like, “This person is not famous, but there’s something there.” And then I was able to transition that into a career, which isn’t very common.

When you’re casting for a TV show or movie, do you ever have to think about how many viewers that person will draw?
I hate casting someone in a part just because they’re a star, and I try to avoid it at all costs. If they’re a star and they’re right for the part, that’s one thing. If you’re just hiring them because they bring money or viewers or whatever, that’s really hard for me to come to terms with because, for me, that’s not a creative thing, it’s more about the bottom line.

I’ve been so lucky with both Girls and Orange Is the New Black because we cast the best people for the part. That’s what attracted me to the jobs, because they told me, “We don’t need any names for this.” If I get approached by a project and they’re like, “Well, we need names,” I’m like, “You probably need to find someone else, because I’m not going to be your girl and I’ll be resentful and you don’t want that.”

Euston writes on her Twitter account that actors should submit to her by e-mailing your headshot and resume to: [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow her on twitter @jeneuston.

Central Casting New York is the background extras casting company for Orange is the New Black. To audition for a background extra role, make sure to sign up for our free newsletter and follow all of the New York City casting calls here.

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