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Tag Archives: tips for auditioning

Reading For Studio Executives: Auditioning For a Series Regular Role on Television

When the Producers decide that they want to take you over to read for the Studio Executives, you first have to make a “test” deal before you are allowed to read for them. This happens because the Studio wants to know how much you will cost before they “buy” you. The Casting Director calls your Agent for “quotes”. Your quotes are the amount of money you have earned for individual acting jobs, but when negotiating a series deal, the only quotes that really apply are if you have booked a pilot or series before, or if you have “tested” for a pilot before. (Example: If you have tested for a pilot before and negotiated the contract to be $30 thousand for the pilot and $15 thousand an episode, your quotes will be 30/15. It is normal for your episodic price to be half the money you made on the pilot.) If you have never “tested” before, you probably have “no quotes”.

The Business Affairs lawyers at the Studio will be making your deal with your Agent, Manager or Lawyer. Technically, a Manager is not allowed to negotiate, so if you only have a Manager you will need to bring on a Lawyer or Agent to close the deal. They will have to structure a contract that includes your pilot fee, your episodic fee if picked up for series, and what “bumps” you get in salary over probably a 5 to 7 year period. (Sometimes merchandising, size of trailer, loop days, etc will be negotiated here.)

The amount of money that the production has budgeted for each part will determine if they can afford you or save money on you, and it is your Agents job to get as much money for you as they can regardless of your quotes! This process can often be very contentious to say the least, so it is in the actors best interest to let your negotiators do their job. And the actor should concentrate on their job…being consistent in the next audition. The talk of money can lead to big dreams for the actor, and I have talked to many, many actors over the years who know they blew it in their read for the Studio because they were thinking…”If I get this job, I can buy that car!”. So it is imperative that you have your mental focus on the scene…not money.

When your deal is closed, you will go over to the Studio that is producing the pilot (Warner Brothers, Disney, Universal, Paramount, Sony, 20th Century Fox, etc.) and read for the Head of the Studio for Television Programming, the Head of Casting, the VP’s of Comedy or Drama Development, among others. Along with your Producers, you could have 10 or more people in the room. You will see in the lobby the other actors who are “testing” for your part and possibly actors reading for other parts. It’s not uncommon to have you sign your contract right there in the lobby, so make sure you get there early so you can read it over and make sure it is correct. Then get into a corner and begin your concentration and focus on your job as an actor.

There is generally no chit chat when you walk into the Studio read…just “Hi”, read, “Bye”. Make sure you take a moment when in the room to locate who you will be reading with and take your 5 to 10 seconds to focus yourself before starting. When you leave the room make sure you don’t leave the building until told you can leave. It’s possible you could be “mixed and matched” with other actors reading other parts.

It is at this point that the Studio Executives and the Producers will decide if they want to take the final step of “testing” you at the Network.

Please visit www.mastertalentteachers.com to view Holly Powell’s video “Reading For Studio Executives: Auditioning For A Series Regular Role On Television”.

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3 Guideposts to Breaking Down a Script

By: Diane Christiansen Here are a few simple strategies to get a quick jump start on not only memorizing, but also understanding your script. Listen for the voice of your character. Read your lines aloud several times, over and over again while reading the other character lines silently. This way the only lines you hear Read the Rest…

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How to “Pop” at Auditions

By Diane Christiansen Auditioning is hard. It is arguably the most difficult aspect of acting. The actor’s imagination must be at it’s sharpest during the audition. You must be able to walk into a bare room and completely transform the environment and energy of the space, leaving an indelible impression on your observers. In other Read the Rest…

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Commercial Improv

Improvisation Training: Vital to an Actor’s Career

When actors interview with me before taking my commercial class, I always suggest that they the take a workshop either before, during or immediately after they take a commercial class. Improvisation, or improv, will help actors to get more Commercial auditions and is a major factor in doing better auditions and, I believe, is crucial Read the Rest…

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The Inside Scoop: A Conversation with Casting Director Caroline Liem Part 1

Written by: Holly Powell I sat down and had a great conversation with Casting Director Caroline Liem who has worked in many different areas and mediums of casting. She has worked on Television Pilots and Series, Feature Films, Voice Over for animation and was Head of Casting for Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

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Educate Yourself Before Your Audition

By: Holly Powell   Thinking back over the thousands of actors who stood in front of me before they began their audition, the one’s I remember most are the one’s who walked in and said “Hi Holly!” I know that seems obvious and simplistic, but it always surprised me when an actor would walk into Read the Rest…

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Casting Director Jason La Padura

Casting Director Jason La Padura: Audition Advice & Tips – Part 3

Jason La Padura has been a Casting Director for 30 years and his long list of Television, Film & Theatre credits include casting all three films of High School Musical, Heros, and Touch to name a few. He also had the privilege and fun of being a judge for The Miss America Pageant. Jason started Read the Rest…

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