When you are starting your career, you will most likely not have any credits or agent representation. So you will have to find projects and self-submit to build your resume. Actually finding projects yourself and self-submitting to them is absolutely key even if you have representation. You have to be constantly looking for opportunities to perform at auditions because that is one of the few aspects of this career that is in your control. As you do more of it, you get better at it. You also hone your craft and comfort level, and get better known by the buyers (casting directors, producers, directors).
A note on your initial resume – it’s okay to start with no credits. Everybody has to start somewhere. If you’ve done some student films or shorts before, list them. Also list classes you’ve taken. Just don’t lie about work you didn’t do.
Create your profile on these websites and self-submit to projects. All these sites have email notification system to alert you when projects have roles that fit your profile. Make sure you are signed up for these and submit yourself as promptly as you can.
- Love2Act (http://www.love2act.com/new) – If you are new to acting, this is an ideal way to start building up your resume. This is site is focused specifically on indie projects in Atlanta.
- Actors Access (http://www.actorsaccess.com) – Most commonly used by casting directors working on the big SAG projects. Creating a profile is free but additional services such as uploading a demo reel or modifying pictures cost money. You can sign up for email notifications to receive breakdowns based on your geographic preference (in this case, “Southeast”) and your gender, age range etc. Submission is $2 per each role you submit for or free if you buy the $68 annual membership.
- 800Casting (http://800casting.com) – this is a paid website, i.e., you need to pay to even create a profile. Basic membership starts at $49.95/year and goes up from there. You can sign up for email notifications here too. But submitting to projects is free. Specific to the Southeast.
- NowCasting (https://www.nowcasting.com) – another “free to register” website with extra services costing money
Other such websites are:
- Backstage (Atlanta Auditions) – http://www.backstage.com/casting/open-casting-calls/atlanta-auditions
- http://atlanta.craigslist.org/search/tlg – a lot of hip hop related opportunities. Though I have booked some work through this when I was starting out, there’s lot of scammers and unreliable. So overall be careful about Craigslist and use your judgment.
- IndieFilm Casting – as the name suggests, focused on indie, non-union projects. You can sign up for email alerts. The email subject will mention the project name and location. So if it is Atlanta based, you will know right away and can then choose to self-submit.
Background, or extra, work is not the same as being a principal actor on a project. The pay rates and treatment on set are vastly lower for extras. Typically $64/8 hours or 72/10 hours but it really depends on the project. That said, if you do not have day job to support you, or if you wish to get a glimpse of the enormous work and complexities of a professional SAG production, this is one way to do it and get paid. There are plenty of opportunities to do background work. Just signup for alerts from these:
- Bill Marinella Casting: http://www.facebook.com/billmarinellacasting
- Catrett Locke Casting: http://www.facebook.com/CLCastingCo
- Cherrix Casting: http://www.facebook.com/CherrixCastingATL
- Christopher Gray Casting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/250424711642058
- Cordon Extras Casting: https://www.facebook.com/bacatlanta
- Extras Casting Atlanta: http://www.facebook.com/ExtrasCastingAtlanta
- Hylton Casting: http://hyltoncasting.com
Last Looks Casting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lastlookscasting