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Audition Breakdown - Actors Access

Audition Breakdown

Hey everybody! Welcome back to the Green Actors Guild. This week we are tapping into breakdowns. No, not mental breakdowns or character breakdowns (yet) but Audition Breakdowns! More specifically those EcoCast that come from Actors Access.

What is an Audition Breakdown?

What is an Audition Breakdown? Well, when a Casting Director releases a casting call and starts to request auditions, the production description is called a breakdown. It basically outlines all the required details needed for your audition and the essentials of the whole production.

What does an Audition Breakdown look like?

Below I have included an example of a recent Audition Breakdown I received from a Casting Director via AA (Actors Access). Let’s dissect the points and their meanings.

Audition Breakdown
Actors Access EcoCast Example

Eco Cast Title: Production Name:

  • The Casting Call title within Actors Access.

Breakdown Title:

  • What is the audition called. This can change at any point in pre-production.

Breakdown Left Heading:

  • Union Status -Union, Non-Union.
  • Shoot Window – How long production estimates to shoot & when the week will be to shot.
  • Run or Usage: How long this project will run within it’s designated markets ( local, regional and/or national), and any conflicts associated

Breakdown Right Heading:

  • Casting Director – Who’s encharge of finding talent for the production.
  • Start Date: When the project will start.
  • Rate of Pay: If it’s a national or regional project. The pay rate for this specific character. Typically, a day rate. This also includes buyout. A buyout is what the production will pay for the rights to your footage, i.e no residuals.
  • Location: Where this production will film.

Additional Notes: 

  • Typical logline or storyline, aka a short production summary.

Role Name: 

  • The character title you are requested to act out

Role Description: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Physical features – Tall, short, color hair desired, thin, heavy, athletic, etc.
  • Brief emotional detail of your character – brooding teenager, spunky best friend. This is a brief look into the character.

Casting Director: 

  • Name of Casting company and/or Casting Director

Audition Instructions:

  • Normally Slate specifications are listed here. If you need a recap over proper slate instructions, recap our previous discussion here.
  • Small script hints are added in.
  • Lines can be input here, but in most cases, you will find Sides.
  • Presence on background and camera angles will be added.

Audition Deadline:

  • When the audition is due.

Instruction Detail:

  • Acting sides – or better known as the script for your audition.

Short but Sweet!

That’s it for this week, pretty short yet pretty sweet. Audition Breakdowns are one of the most common things Actors will be sent, and knowing how to interrupt the long list of details is important for a talent’s success.

Until next week Green Actors, get in a solid acting studio and start laying the foundation for your career!

See ya next time!

Audition Breakdown – Actors Access – YouTube
How to Slate

PLEASE SLATE – What the?

Welcome back! Let’s talk about slating. Well for starters, what is a Slate? In simple terms, when actors a slate, they are providing a brief introduction of themselves before diving into the audition. Here is what I mean.

You Booked an Audition…Now What?

So you booked an auction? Perfect! That is the goal, right? Out of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of submissions you were picked by the Casting Director to shoot your shot at the role.

What do you do next? Most of the time audition requests are extremely detailed and will provide all information the CD (Casting Director) is looking for, this includes slate requirements. (Just an FYI’ll talk about Audition Breakdowns at a later date).

However, there are instances when a CD does not specify their slate needs, in this case, you will stick to the industry standard of slate. Make sure you sound welcoming! A slate is the first impression for a Casting Director. Be relaxed, comfortable, natural, and avoid sounding robotic.

How to Slate for an Audition – Basic Industry Standard:
  • Name
  • Location
  • Representaion
  • Height
  • Age (IF under 18 years of age)

Casting Director Slate

Ok, so your audition request includes specific slate instructions. What do you do? In short, you do them. Sounds cheeky but true. As I said, I will address Auditon Breakdowns at a later time but for now, I cannot stress enough READ EVERY SINGLE DETAIL FROM YOUR CASTING DIRECTOR.

Below I have included an example of a recent audition I received.

Casting Director Slate Example:
CD Audition Slate Request
CD Slate Request

As you can see, this request was straight and to the point. The CD requested Name, Agency, City, if you have an At-Home recording studio, and what type of equipment you use.

Although her requests might seem strange, the last two bullet points pertain to the project and were needed for the production company.

Other Common Request on Slates

Local Hire:

It is not uncommon to see local hire status requests within a slate. This just means the Production Company wants to know if you’re willing to work as a local hire.

What is a Local Hire? When talent is willing to work as a local to filming locations. In other words, if talent does not live in, let’s say Dallas, then they are willing to pay for transport, hotel, and food throughout production.

Vacicination Status:

Let’s face it, we are in a post-pandemic world, and unfortunately, that means Production Companies have to keep the cast and crew protected throughout filming. This includes, but is not limited to, continuous Covid testing regardless of a vaccine.

With that being said, I have seen many requests coming into identity vaccine status within slates. All this means is to state:

  • “I do have the Covid Vaccine”
  • “No, I do not have the Covid vaccine”

If you are not vaccinated, and it is because of health-related issues or religion, make sure to include this within your statement. 

  • “No, I do not have the Covid Vaccine. I have a medical condition preventing this, and will provide documentation as required.
  • “No, I do not have the Covid Vaccine due to my religion. I will provide documentation when required.
Profiles & Full Body Shots:

In most slates, facial profiles are requested, along with full-body pictures. You can film these as requests are submitted or have them done professionally each time you update headshots.

In short, profiles are filmed like this:

  • Turn to the right and hold for 3 seconds.
  • Turn to face the front and hold for 3 seconds.
  • Turn to face the left and hold for three seconds.

See the photo sample below. Remember this will be filmed, not still shots.

How to Film Slates

When it comes to camera angles and direction with slates, make sure your shot is Close Up. This is an industry-standard technique unless stated within your Casting Directors notes. 

Close Up Slate
Close Up Slate

That’s A Wrap

That’s it for Slates. Pretty straightforward. A slate is an introduction to who you are before having to dive into a character. Pay attention to your CD’s notes, read every word sent your way and do the best you can! Natural is best, followed closely with welcoming.

Be sure to check out my Amazon Picks for my favorite at-home recording equipment!

I’ll see yall next week!

– Green Actors Guil

Talent Agent Representation

Talent Agent Representation

As a Green Actor, finding Talent representation can be overwhelming when you have no clue where to start! This week, we focus on key tips to finding representation in your local market.

  1. KNOW YOUR MARKET:

For Starters, know your market! In Texas, we are considered to be a Commercial Based market. This means most of our auditions are for regional commercials. Yes, large productions film in the South Central Region (Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas) but most of these auditions fall to talents with a developed marketing package. Market packages consist of Headshots, Resumes, Reels, and Cover letters. We will discuss these at a later time. So, know your market and the type of auditions to expect from your local talent agent.

2. KNOW WHICH TALENT:

Next, know which talent you want to be! There are so many avenues to the Film Industry, most think it just acting, directing, or writing. While these are some of the main categories, there are many different sectors to the industry. Such as Writing, Directing, Producing, Choreography, Stunts, Dancing, Acting, and more. Know which types of talents your agency of interest represents. It is also important to note their affiliations. See if the agency works with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Writers Guild of America (WGA), Directors Guild of America, (DGA), just to name a few.

3. RESEARCH AGENCIES:

Now it’s time to research agencies! Backstage is a great tool for not only auditions but industry references! I have linked their page for industry talent agents. Here, they have consolidated all the agencies, identified their afflictions, the types of submissions they require, and the talent they represent. Review this list and identify which agencies you qualify for and which ones you do not qualify for. Many times, you can decide your qualifications based on submission requests.

Agency list

4. PICK 5:

After reviewing the list from Backstage, identify 5 agencies you want to submit for. You can always increase this number based on responses from Talent Agents. Some agencies will respond yes or no, but the majority of the time if an agent is not interested, they will send NO response. Do not take this to heart, it just means they are not looking for your specific talent at that time.

Remember: Pick these agencies based on current qualifications.

5. SUBMISSIONS:

Once you have identified your Top 5 Agencies, head to their website and find their submissions link. Although Backstage has identified each agency’s requirements, it is always good practice to double-check. The most common marketing packages agencies look for are Headshot, Resume, Reel. Other’s will require a Cover letter, Voice Over Reel, Letter of Recommendation. Do not let this stress you out. Focus on the materials you can provide, for the agencies you qualify with. If a specific agency is wanting a master marketing submission, push it aside for a later date. Just because you do not qualify for them now, does not mean you can work towards their qualifications.

Remember: The Agency you sign with now does not have to be your representation a year or two years down the line. Gain that experience, gain that credit and aim for a higher leveled agency. You want to excel in your career, not stay stagnant.

That’s it for the week! Make sure to check out our shop for our Character Development Journals.