Steps taken before an actor books a job vary. Sometimes there’s a direct booking, meaning you’re chosen from just your headshot and resume (and perhaps a viewing of your demo reel) or from your voiceover demo. The vast majority of the time, there’s an audition and often a callback, especially for on-camera jobs.
Most of the time, you don’t get it. In fact, some acting teachers encourage you to go in with the mindset that you won’t, such as Michael Kostroff. I’ve come across various ratios of auditions to bookings. One in 25 isn’t uncommon. Your callback ratio is very important too, as are the types of jobs you book, get called back for and who they’re for. Also important is what happens after an audition/callback, even if you don’t ultimately book the job.
You could get put on hold or “on ice,” meaning you don’t have the job (yet?) but can’t accept any others on that day. There’s also first refusal, meaning they’re interested but not ready to commit. If you book another job for that day, you have contact the first job and give them the opportunity to book you or say no before you accept the second. There’s also check avail (CA), which means they want to know if you’re available on a certain day…or days. I’ve been getting more and more of these, which is both exciting and frustrating.
Exciting: My agent (and casting director, if one is involved) know the client is really interested, which means I’m on the right track. I’ve made it to the final few. The agent has to contact me about the CA, so I’m staying top of mind. It’s rewarding to be considered for a variety of opportunities and to get that close.
Frustrating: There’s no way to know when I’ll find out if I get any of the jobs or not. And if I do get the gig(s), I don’t know when I’ll get the call time or location. Right now I’m on a check avail for a VO today (which I found out about around 4pm yesterday, after another check avail yesterday afternoon for yesterday afternoon) and another for Monday (found out on the 23rd after a first check avail received around 8pm on the 22ndfor the 25th or 26th). Whew.
I’m supposed to shoot a TV commercial next week (which I got called back for in late August and had three CAs for). I know the day, but don’t know which of two parts I got, when or where. So making plans…for more auditions, other jobs, social engagements, even doctor or hair appointments, can be a challenge. Thankfully I’m not a procrastinator, because I need to stay ahead of deadlines on other projects in case more auditions, callbacks and bookings pop up.
Looking forward to finding out what’s next.