Without the right strategy in place, casting director workshops can be a daunting + confusing experience.
That’s why career coach Arriane Alexander is sharing her expertise as both a casting director and a working actor to help you make the most out of workshops.
Check out her article below to learn her behind-the-scenes secrets to maximize your efforts + build lasting relationships with industry big-whigs.
Sometimes I hear this from my clients: “I have done the workshop thing and it didn’t work.” When I question how they “did the workshop thing”, they usually tell me that they went to a couple of workshops, took in a scene that wasn’t right for them, and then didn’t get called in immediately for a Series Regular… so they think workshops don’t work. Hmmm… seems like there is a better strategy.
What is the purpose of workshops? It’s not to book jobs. It’s to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS.
I promise you, the more relationships you have as an actor, the more work will come your way.
Now, how do you become a Workshop Whiz to make a clear, solid impression with casting directors and build relationships, so the next time they are casting a role you are right for, they think of you?
Follow these three simple steps, give yourself a good 8-12 months, and see what happens! I encourage my clients to focus on TV CD’s, because that is where the most work is available.
1) Who Do You Think You Are?
The word “type” is overused, but I don’t have a better word for it, so I’m going to go with it. The biggest confusion I see in workshops is that YOU aren’t clear on your type and your best casting. Once you are clear on who you are and where you fit on TV, everyone else is clear too.
How do you find out your type?
Watch TV – see what roles you can play on a variety of shows. For example, do you fit better on a 1-hr procedural or a multi-cam sitcom? An NBC show or an HBO show?
Ask friends how they would cast you (it is better to ask strangers but you can start with friends and family).
(TIP: You can start here: Is your essence more of a victim or a cop? A lawyer or a defendant? A teacher or a principal? A doctor or a nurse?)
The more clear you are on Who You Are, the easier it is to cast you.
2) And… Scene
I think one-on-one workshops are the best way to showcase your awesomeness, and you need a really good scene. Not a scene that you pulled off a website that a whole bunch of other people are doing, but a scene that is specific to your strengths and type. You want to showcase the amazing things about YOU.
How do you do this?
Watch TV – Watch the shows that you can be cast on, look at the roles that you can be playing on those shows, and transcribe scenes from them. Make sure they work in a workshop setting.
(TIP: It’s always best to have a 2-person scene so it doesn’t get confusing).
It takes awhile to find them, but the perfect scenes are out there for you.
3) So many CD’s and TV shows, so little time!
Be smart about which CD’s you target and make sure they are casting shows that are right for you.
How do you do this?
Do your research – find the top 10 shows that you could be cast on today.
Use castingabout.com to find out who is casting those shows and where they are casting.
(TIP: Start with shows that are casting in the city where you live. It’s more challenging to book a project that shoots out of your city.)
Also, use theworkshopguru.com to find out where these CD’s are workshopping in LA and NYC.
Make your list of 10 CD’s or less, and workshop with these people consistently. Build a relationship so they trust you.
You can do this. Building relationships through workshops really works.
Arriane Alexander is a Big, Blonde & Beautiful Career Coach, Working Actor and an expert on all things Sparkly. She can be seen on this season’s “Justified” and as the host of “What’s Happening LA”. Also, she moonlights as a Casting Director, having just completed the feature film “Tiger Orange.” With a Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology and a decade long career as a Sales & Marketing expert in the fashion industry, she coaches clients to go for their goals in a supportive, enthusiastic and stylish way. After many years working in casting sessions and as a reader at The Actor’s Key, she knows the behind-the-scenes secrets and how to help actors actually make in a lasting impression in the room.
For more info on how to tailor the workshop experience for YOU, email her at email@example.com and visit her website at arrianealexander.com.
Let us know how you’re going to make workshops work for you in the comments below.