The major advantage to living in New York City as an actor is the high volume of ‘open calls’ that happen every week. These are auditions that any equity actor is welcome to attend, with or without an agent. Non- Equity performers are also invited to attend and are often seen, time permitting. In my opinion, it is essential to attend these open calls, in addition to the appointments your agent sets up for you. Even if you are not interested in attending these auditions, it is still important to stay up to date and informed about what auditions are happening each week. There are many resources online, and in print that you can turn to. My favorite is actorsequity.org/castingcall. I’ve found that this is the most reliable and professional resource for information about theatre and musical theater auditions in New York City. If you are looking for a more comprehensive listing of auditions, including film and tv, industrials, and extra work, check out backstage.com. They list auditions in a wider variety of regions and cities - you might even find something in your hometown!
On a theatrical audition listing, you will find basic information such as date, time, location, pay rate, what to bring/ prepare, and names of the team - producers, directors, musical director, and choreographer. Often, it will also include a “breakdown,” which is a list of available roles in the show, along with their descriptions. I’ve made a mock up of an audition posting to give you an idea of what to look for, and have provided tips below on how I read and use the listing before attending an audition. It’s a silly example, but take a peek! These listings are the gateway to auditions and it’s important to get familiar with them.
When looking at an audition posting, it is imperative to read carefully! It’s easy to get time or location wrong, or mixed up because they are all very similar!
The information on an audition posting can be used as a clue to give yourself the best chance in an audition. It’s not like cheating on the test, it’s like studying! For example, I recommend researching the choreographer’s previous work - there is so much on youtube these days, you could really give yourself a leg up by familiarizing yourself with their style. It is also important to research the genre and time period of the show, if there is any source material, or if this is a brand new production, whether it’s been produced/ performed anywhere perviously. This research can also lead to photos, videos, previous casts lists, and a lot more information that is helpful in choosing what to sing, wear, etc. for the call. Visit some of the sites I listed above and start getting familiar with what is out there, learning about it is the first step!!!