Acting jobs can be found throughout the US. If you live in LA, you might know a ton of actors or at least inspiring actors looking for gigs. But audition opportunities for jobs in the entertainment industry are not only found in Hollywood! 

There are plenty of other hubs around the US that provide actors with possibilities of landing a part in a movie, TV show, or even in a theatre production. You just have to go out and look for them.

"Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation”

Talent agents are always on the lookout for fresh talent, but just attending auditions will not get you anywhere if your skills are not up to standard. This is why aspiring actors choose to attend an acting class or hire a private acting tutor.

As an actor, you have to have the confidence to go to casting calls and open auditions, no matter the result. Show business ends up being a numbers game, the more auditions you attend the more likely you are going to be booked for an acting job.

Most actors are not self-trained; instead, they attend a variety of courses including acting classes, voice lessons, and even specialized programs for skills such as improv. By participating in acting classes, auditions, and rehearsals, an inexperienced actor can come to land roles in film and television productions.

Keep reading to find out the best places to look for casting notices and how to ace your next audition.

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Acting Auditions in the US

The road to a career in acting includes many, many, many auditions. Auditions are the way a casting agency can tell if you are right for the part. They will likely ask you to read a portion of the script or even perform a monologue.

performing at an audition
At an audition, you might be asked to perform a memorized monologue. (Photo by Alberto Bigoni on Unsplash)

Auditions can take the form of open casting calls or closed auditions. If you are liked by the judges of the live audition, you will be asked to come back for a callback at a later date. This is like making it to the next round of an interview. The goal of all actors is to receive as many callbacks as possible.

At an audition they might also ask you to bring in a couple of your headshots, so keep some of those to hand before your auditions.

Find out where and how to look for auditions. Postings for auditions can be found just about everywhere, there are hundreds of resources online and even print postings in magazines and newspapers for acting jobs.

Once you have booked an audition, it is time to prepare for it. Here are the 5 steps you should take when preparing for an audition:

  1. Memorize the script - If you are selected to give a live audition, the casting agent will send you a portion of the script that you will have to perform during the audition. It is crucial that you memorize every detail of the script given to you, and that you truly engrain every aspect of the scene into your mind. You can ask friends to rehearse the lines with you or even work with yourself in the mirror.
  2. Understand the script - Acing a script reading is more than just projecting the words on the page, you really have to understand the atmosphere of the character you are portraying. Make sure that you understand the context of the scene and that you are portraying the correct emotions.
  3. Focus on your body language - Acting involves the body as a whole, it is important that you are aware of your body parts are during your delivery of the script. If the script calls for specific actions, you have to make sure to produce those correctly. Take notice of your arm movement, walking, eye contact, and facial expressions.
  4. The slate - This is what the industry calls your introduction. Your slate is you presenting yourself to the producers and casting directors in the room. They may ask about basic facts like your age, your name, your contract type (union or nonunion), among other things. It is important to show confidence throughout the whole audition, even during the presentation of your slate.
  5. Go for it! - If you feel comfortable with the above tips, then this one should come easy. If you are prepared, there is no need to fear the actual presentation. The less stage fright you feel, the better and more confident the judges will perceive you.

After a casting call, a talent agent will hopefully get back to you with news about your performance. Even if you don't receive a callback, auditioning is always a learning experience. If possible, ask the casting directors for their notes on your performance, you can use this to improve your presentations in the future.

Becoming an Acting Coach

After multiple years of an acting career, some actors choose to pass on what they have learned to a younger generation. If you are interested in helping others reach their full potential as actors and actresses, then picking up a job as an acting coach or drama teacher can be a perfect next step in your career.

In order to become an acting coach, the most important thing you have to have is acting experience. Some acting coaches have certifications from universities or special acting teacher programs, although these are not absolutely necessary, it is definitely a big plus.

universities for acting degrees
Universities across the US offer students degrees in acting and performing arts. (Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash)

Acting coaches should also be well versed in different acting styles and techniques. Many teachers choose to specialize in one technique but it is also important to have a basic understanding of different styles used by actors when portraying a character.

Some of the most popular acting techniques include:

  • Method Acting
  • Practical Aesthetics Acting Technique
  • Meisner Acting Technique
  • Classical Acting
  • The Chekhov Acting Technique

The type of style that an actor uses depends on how well they know the techniques and what works best with the character they are trying to portray.

The above acting techniques can also be mixed together so that the actor can pull from different sources and create an optimal representation of the character.

Talent agencies and Scouters might look to acting coaches to refer students.

If you feel ready to teach others about the wonders of acting, check out how you can become an acting coach.

Finding Work As An Extra On Set

A great way to earn on-set knowledge about how the production of a film or TV show works, is to be part of the production. In the early stages of your career, it might be beneficial to look into taking work as an extra or background artist.

Participating as an extra cast member can help you get your foot through the door of the entertainment industry. Film and TV show productions are always looking for people to fill up the backgrounds of their scenes and bring a convincing reality to the set.

film set
Being on the set of a film gives you opportunities to meet important people in the industry. (Photo by Thomas William on Unsplash)

Finding work as an extra onset can be quite easy if you follow our steps.

In order to get jobs as an extra, you must first join a casting company. Most casting agencies now and days are based online. You will be asked to create a profile and upload headshots, your acting resume, and basic statistics about yourself. Sites such as Backstage or Central Casting give you the opportunity to book from over 2000 postings for extras.

In addition, you can look for job postings online on social media platforms. A lot of smaller productions will turn to Facebook and Instagram to post their requirements for extra actors.

Background actors are typically asked to perform simple tasks in the background of productions. However, these simple actions will most likely be repeated multiple times over in a span of 10 to 12 hours. That is the average length of a shift as an extra.

Even though this may sound a bit boring, being on set and in the presence of so many potential contacts of the industry can be very rewarding. Being an extra on an important lot can give you access to casting directors, producers, and agents that you might not otherwise have the pleasure of meeting.

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