Category: Advice

How Auditioning is like Jury Duty

Ah, jury duty. A service all responsible American adults face and many fear. Sitting around a crowded room waiting for your name to be called, waiting to find out if the next few weeks of your life will be overtaken by a new role. Wait. This sounds vaguely familiar…

Recently I noticed a strange sensation when I sat in the jury lounge waiting to be called. I had flashbacks of being at EPAs with performers names being announced to stay for callbacks. I sat there thinking, “Call my name! Pick me!” which was odd, since most people would clearly prefer NOT to be picked for a jury.

Some people get called for jury duty but never end up seeing the inside a courtroom. But would you believe that I’ve been called three times and all three times I was chosen as a juror?

Now, I actually like jury duty. I’m one of those rare folks who are fascinated by the system and would love nothing better than to sit on a trial. I started to wonder- what is it about me that makes me an ideal pick? And then a question hit me so sharply that I was taken aback:

If we loved auditions instead of finding them grueling, would actors get callbacks more often?

My name was called to go to our courtroom and I, along with 49 others, were asked to sit in the gallery. By a random drawing my name was selected 8th and I was seated with 19 other jurors in the actual jury box. They then begin “voir dire” – the questioning process. We were questioned on a few things: our ability to be fair and impartial, about our backgrounds, our current jobs and hobbies, etc. (When I said I was an actor and a coach, the judge joked, “Do you have time for hobbies?” I answered, “I get to live my hobby!”) By the end of voir dire 25 people had been excused for conflicts of interest or biases. At the end of it all only 5 people were selected out of our group of 50 to join the other 10 jurors who had been selected the previous day. Guess who got chosen? That’s right, me.

So how can I relate this to my acting so that I can get similar results in the audition room? I have some theories:

Confidence: I’d been through the jury selection process twice before and knew what I was doing. I knew exactly what voir dire was and what results they wanted. I knew I’d be an excellent juror and they’d be lucky to have me, but I also knew I’d be perfectly fine if they didn’t select me. In other words- I had no vested interest in one outcome over another. Perhaps they were attracted to that natural confidence?

Likability: Because I was confident, I was able to really let my personality out. From the comment, “I get to live my hobby” to my willingness to smile and laugh through the questioning process, I imagine that I had an air of relaxed friendliness. When you are relaxed and friendly, it can encourage others to be relaxed and friendly. People like being around those who create ease in the room – what a difference that can make when so many people are afraid to be themselves. Maybe they thought I would bring an air of levity to the courtroom?

Honesty: I got asked some very tough questions and I answered them calmly and succinctly, which could have made me seem honest and trustworthy. Of all three attributes, I imagine this would be the most important.

I know what you’re thinking: What do Confidence, Likability and Honesty have to do with being a good actor? After going through this process I am starting to see that these are all part of the intangibles of human bonding: Will the person be reliable and fun to work with under duress? Will they contribute positively to the mood in the room, especially when working in difficult circumstances? And, let’s face it, likable people are more likely to get ahead than unlikable folks.

So if we can find a way to do THAT in the audition room, wouldn’t we be more likely to succeed?

I always tell my students, “When you audition, don’t go in trying to prove you’re the only person for that role. That isn’t in your control. Go in showing them that you would be an excellent choice for the role. Aim to get into the “yes pile” of headshots that the casting director deems, ‘These actors were very good, and I would like to work with them…today or someday.’ Remember that when you audition you’re not only auditioning for today’s role, but every other role that this casting office has on their radar. If you bring confidence, likability and honesty to your auditions you’ll see your callback ratio start to rise, and you’ll feel so much better in the process.

A portion of this article was published by Backstage.

Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

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What Kind of Career Do You Want?

I try to take advantage of as many networking opportunities as possible: going to plays and screenings, meeting fellow actors and industry folks at parties, taking classes/seminars/master classes with folks whose work I respect, and so on. Not only do I do this for my coaching business, but also for my career as a professional actor. Networking is vital for the survival of both.
One of the questions I am asked most often by industry is, “What kind of career do you want to have?” This kind of question can be networking suicide for actors, because actors have long been trained to want to do everything. When someone asks an actor to be specific about what they want, he/she either freezes up entirely or proceeds to outline a long, tedious list of projects and genres across all performing arts mediums. Actors have a golden opportunity to make a real connection when someone asks this question, which can start the wheels of his/her career in motion. But neither of the above responses really get to the heart of who you are and what you have to offer as a performer.
To take advantage of this type of question, you need to think out your answer in advance. I have developed a short questionnaire that can help you determine what

8 Ways to Get (and Keep) Blog Readers

If a blogger falls in a forest, and there’s no one around to see it…will Google still pick up the feed?
Ha! I crack myself up.
For those of us who spend time blogging, one of the more critical questions is: “How do I get people to read my blog?” After all, if we’re out there hustling to write content for the blogosphere, how valuable is it if no one reads it?
Have no fear. Here are eight great ways to get (and keep) blog readers:
1. Identify your audience. What are you blogging about, and what kinds of people would benefit from reading it? Build your blog around that audience, and use formatting, style, and verbiage to let your audience know exactly what your blog is all about, and why they should stay. This is called creating (and promoting) your “identity.”
2. Write relevant material to suit that audience. Now that you have identified your audience and know what kind of stuff you want to write, make sure that it remains relevant to your audience. If you veer off course (start talking about dinner recipes when your audience was specifically attracted to your acting career), you’ll run the risk of losing those hard-won followers. That said, there’s nothing

4 Ways Theater Actors Can Break Into TV/Film

With the incredible growth of on-camera markets in major U.S. cities (here’s looking at you, NYC, Atlanta and Chicago!), there are many theater actors wondering what it takes to add film or television work to their professional résumés.
Having an on-camera career is not as different from the theater as one might think. I’ll admit, they appear to have opposing viewpoints; theater seems larger than life while and on-camera work seems to focus on the inner life of the character. Further, one of the biggest differences between on-camera and theater is how they harness the audience’s attention. By editing the footage a very specific way, a film director tells the audience where to look. In theater it is up to the audience to create their experience using their own lens, looking at whatever part of the stage and actor they choose.
But the work we do as actors to bring a character to life is exactly the same for theater as it is for film or TV. The difference lies solely in the delivery of that characterization. When I coach actors on transitioning from theater to film/TV, I often hear their concern about “being too big for the camera.” The good news is you can easily overcome

7 Tips for Networking in the Film Industry

I know you’ve heard the saying before: In Hollywood—and in life, really— “It’s all about who you know.” I agree that, in addition to training at a top acting studio, it is very important to know how to network in the film industry.
Your network is everything! Being surrounded by an uplifting, motivating network of people who believe in you and support you is crucial to your success in the film industry.
Here are seven tips for networking in the film industry.
1. Attend events that filmmakers, writers, and casting directors attend. Don’t get me wrong. I love actors. Before running a top acting studio in Los Angeles, I was a professional actor and dancer for 30 years! You should definitely fill your life with creative actor friends. However, often actors get so comfortable in their “actor” groups from class that they spend less time connecting with the people who are actually making casting decisions. Seek out events that you know directors, writers, producers, and casting directors will attend. Q&As are great. Screenings are also great. Charity events are also wonderful places to meet people! Be strategic. Do your research and expand your network to include a diverse

NY TV Casting Directors & Their Projects (Oct 2015)

Photo courtesy of Vanessa Monsisvais / El Paso Times

Many of my students have asked me to compile a comprehensive list of casting directors in NYC who hire actors for TV shows and web series, along with their list of projects. So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about how to reach these casting directors, along with studios where you can take classes/workshops from folks in their office.

Note: This list is subject to change at any time. Not all projects shoot in NYC. Some shoot elsewhere on the East Coast or maintain casting in multiple offices. If it says “Shoots in LA”, it means that they use a NY casting director to manage NY submissions. Other cities, unless otherwise noted, do their primary casting out of NY.)

PRINCIPAL CASTING:

ABC Primetime (Marci Phillips, John Ort)
147 Columbus Ave., Third Fl., New York, NY 10023.

Projects:
Black-ish (Comedy, ABC. Shoots in LA)
The Catch (Drama, ABC. Shoots in LA)
Code Black (Drama, CBS. Shoots in LA)
Dr. Ken (Drama, CBS. Shoots in LA)
The Family (Drama, ABC. Shoots in LA. NY Casting by Janet Murphy Butler)
Galavant (Comedy, Musical, ABC. Shoots in LA)
Of Kinds and Prophets (Drama, ABC. Shoots in LA. NY Casting by Janet Murphy Butler)
Oil (Drama, ABC. Shoots in LA)
The Real O’Neals (Comedy, ABC. Shoots in LA)
Wicked City (Drama, ABC. Shoots in LA)
Secrets & Lies (Drama, ABC)

_____

Douglas Aibel
12 West 37th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10018

Projects:

Mozart in the Jungle (Comedy, Amazon)

_____

Barden & Schnee (Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee)
150 W. 28th St., Ste. 402, New York, NY 10001

Projects:
Happy Valley (Drama, HBO)
Marvel/Jessica Jones (Drama, Netflix)
Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter (Comedy, Adult Swim)

_____

Cody Beke
c/o Comedy Central, 345 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
c/o MTV Networks/Viacom, 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.

Projects:
Broad City (Comedy, Comedy Central)

_____

Sharon Bialy/Sherry Thomas & Associates (LA)
5933 W Slauson Ave #2105, Culver City, CA 90230

Projects:
Sneaky Pete (Drama, CBS. Shoots in NY)

_____

Bowling Miscia Casting (Beth Bowling and Kim Miscia)
609 Greenwich St., Sixth Fl., New York, NY 10014

Projects:
Blue Bloods (Drama, CBS)
Gotham (Drama, Fox)
The Middle Man (Drama, Fox)
Sleepy Hollow (Drama, Fox. Shoots in Charlotte)
Studio City (Drama, Fox. Shoots in LA)

_____

James Calleri Casting (James Calleri, Paul Davis, Erica Jensen)
39 W 14th St, Ste 504, New York, NY 10011

Projects:
The Path (Drama, Hulu)

_____

CBS Primetime (Amy Herzig and Katharina Eggmann)
51 W. 52nd St., Fifth Fl., New York, NY 10019

Projects:
Angel From Hell (Comedy, CBS. Shoots in LA)
Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (Drama, CBS. Shoots in LA)
The Odd Couple (Comedy, CBS)
N.C.I.S. New Orleans (Drama, CBS. Shoots in New Orleans & Los Angeles.)
Taxi 22 (Comedy Pilot, CBS)

______

Ellen Chenoweth
161 6th Ave., 11th Fl.New York, NY 10013

Projects:
Hap and Leonard (Drama, Sundance. Shoots in Baton Rouge ,LA)

______

Kathleen Chopin
12 W. 32nd St., 12th Fl., New York, NY 10001

Projects:
Alpha House (Comedy, Amazon)
Divorce (Comedy, HBO)

_____

Chrystie Street Casting
55 Chrystie St., Ste. 501, New York, NY 10002

Projects:
The Blacklist (Drama, NBC.)
Blindspot (Drama, NBC. Casting by Suzanne Smith Crowley & Jessica Kelly)
The Jenny Slate Project (Comedy, FX)
Outlander (Drama, Starz. Casting by Suzanne Smith Crowley)
Person of Interest (Drama, CBS)

_____

Carmen Cuba Casting (LA)
No address available

Projects:
Red Oaks (Comedy, Amazon. Casts in LA but shoots in NY & NJ.)

_____

Jessica Daniels Casting
330 W. 38th St., Ste. 208, New York, NY 10018

Projects:
Benders (Comedy Pilot)
Life in Pieces (Comedy, ABC. Shoots in LA)
Love is a Four Letter Word(Drama, NBC. Shoots in LA)
Weird Loners (Comedy, Fox. Shoots in LA)

_____

Brandon Dubeansky
c/o Late Night With Seth Meyers, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Seventh Fl., New York, NY 10112

Projects:
Late Night With Seth Meyers (Comedy, NBC)

_____

Jennifer Euston
12 Desbrosses St., Second Fl., New York, NY 10013

Projects:
Girls (Comedy, HBO)
Orange Is the New Black (Comedy, Netflix. Submit c/o Post Factory, Attn: Emer O’Callaghan, 233 Spring St., Fourth Fl., New York, NY 10013.)

_____

Finnegan/Jacobs (Bonnie Finnegan/Steven Jacobs)
330 W. 38th St., NYC 10018

Projects:
Royal Pains (Drama, USA. Casting by Sabrina Hyman, Bonnie Finnegan & Steven Jacobs)
Younger (Comedy, TVLand. Casting by Steven Jacobs.)

_____

Alexa L Fogel Casting (with Christine Kromer)
330 W. 38th St., Ste. 1004, New York, NY 10018

Projects:
Banshee (Drama, Cinemax. Shoots in Charlotte and Pittsburgh)
Deuce (Drama Pilot, HBO)
Power (Drama, Starz. Casting by Christine Kromer)
Quarry (Drama, Cinemax. Shoots in New Orleans and Memphis)

_____

Fox Primetime (Clint Alexander)
1211 Avenue of the Americas, 28th Fl., New York, NY 10036

Projects:
48 Hours ‘Til Monday (Comedy, Fox. Shoots in LA)
Empire (Drama, Fox. Shoots in LA)
The Frankenstein Code (Drama, Fox. Shoots in LA)
The Grinder (Comedy, Fox. Shoots in LA)
The Guide to Surviving Life (Comedy, Fox. Shoots in LA)
Lucifer (Drama, Fox. Shoots in LA)
Luther (Drama, Fox. Shoots in LA)
Minority Report (Drama, Fox. Shoots in LA)
Rosewood (Drama, Fox. Shoots in LA)
Scream Queens (Drama, Fox. Shoots in LA)

_____

Brette Goldstein
630 Ninth Ave., Ste. 1410, New York, NY 10036

Projects:
Donny! (Comedy, USA)

_____

Judy Henderson
330 W 89th St, New York, NY 10024

Projects:
Homeland (Drama, ABC. Casting by Kimberly Graham)

_____

Marc Hirschfeld Casting
5555 Melrose Ave., Marx Brothers Bldg., Rm. 108–109, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Projects:
The Gaffigan Show (Comedy, TVLand)
Us & Them (fka Friends & Family) (Comedy, Fox. Shoots in NY)

_____

Rosalie Joseph Casting
609 Greenwich St., Sixth Fl., New York, NY 10014

Projects:

Blindspot (Drama, NBC)
The Mysteries of Laura (Drama, NBC)

_____

Avy Kaufman Casting
180 Varick St., 16th Fl., New York, NY 10014

Projects:
Billions (Drama, Showtime)
Crime (Drama, HBO)
Crossbones (Drama, NBC)
Sons of Liberty (Drama, History)

_____

Ronna Kress Casting
280 S Beverly Drive Suite 412, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Projects:

The Get Down (Drama, Musical Pilot. Shoots in NY)

_____

Lynn Kressel (Lynn Kressel, Jonathan Strauss, Kevin Kuffa)
West 23rd Street at the Hudson River, Pier 62, Rm. 304, New York, NY 10011

Projects:
Chicago Fire (Drama, NBC. Shoots in Chicago)
Chicago PD (Drama, NBC. Shoots in Chicago)
Law & Order: SVU (Drama, NBC)

_____

Ellen Lewis (Ellen Lewis, Megan Rafferty)
c/o the Post Factory, 161 Avenue of the Americas, 11th Fl., New York, NY 10013

Projects:
The Leftovers (Drama, HBO)

_____

Mackey/Sandrich Casting (Amanda Mackey Johnson and Cathy Sandrich)
292 S. La Cienega Blvd. #219, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(Note: They have a NY office but take submission via their LA office)

Projects:
Shades of Blue (Drama, NBC. Casting by Amanda Mackey)

_____

Jennifer McNamara-Shroff
30 Rockefeller Plaza, Ste. 1623E, New York, NY 10112

Projects:
Aquarius (Drama, NBC. Shoots in LA)
The Carmichael Show (Comedy, NBC. Shoots in LA)
Game of Silence (Drama, NBC. Shoots in LA)
Grimm (Drama, NBC. Shoots in Portland – NY casting only)
The Player (Drama, NBC. Shoots in LA)

_____

Mele Nagler
121 W. Lexington Dr., Ste. L102, Glendale, CA 91203

Projects:
Allegiance (Drama, NBC. shoots in NYC & Israel)

_____

NBC Universal
30 Rockefeller Plz, New York, NY 10112

Projects:
Saturday Night Live (Producer/Casting, Lindsay Shookus)

_____

Wendy O’Brien Casting
2233 Barry Ave., Second Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90064

Projects:
Brooklyn Animal Control (Drama, USA. Shoots in NY Oct 26-Nov 12)
_____

Paladino Casting
540 Broadway, Fifth Fl., New York, NY 10012

Projects:
Taxi Brooklyn (Comedy, TFI)

_____

Laura Rosenthal
401 Broadway, Ste. 711, New York, NY 10013

Projects:
Laughs Unlimited (Drama Pilot, HBO)
Olive Kitteridge (Drama Mini-Series, HBO. Shoots in MA)
Public Morals (Drama, TNT)

_____

Suzanne Ryan Casting
c/o Devlin Video, 1501 Broadway, Ste. 408, New York, NY 10036

Projects:
The Mysteries of Laura (Drama, NBC)
Unforgettable (Drama, CBS)

_____

Mark Saks
270 Lafayette St., Ste. 200, New York, NY 10012

Projects:
Elementary (Drama, CBS)
The Good Wife (Drama, CBS)
Hindsight (Drama, VH1. Shoots in Atlanta)
Madame Secretary (Drama, CBS)
Mercy Street/ Lisa Q. Wolfinger Project (Drama, PBS)

_____

Julie Schubert
330 W 38th St; New York, New York 10018

Projects:
Daredevil (shooting under code name “Ringside”) (Drama, Netflix)
House of Cards (Drama, Netflix. Shoots in Washington DC)

_____

Meg Simon and Findley Davidson
1325 Avenue of the Americas, 32nd Fl., New York, NY 10019

Projects:
A to Z (Comedy – NBC)
Constantine (Drama, NBC. Shoots in Atlanta.)
Containment (Drama, The CW. Shoots in LA)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Drama, The CW. Shoots in LA)
Gotham (Drama, Fox)
The Lottery (Drama, Lifetime. Shoots in Vancouver.)
The Originals (Drama, The CW. Shoots in LA)
Rush Hour (Drama, CBS. Shoots in LA)

_____

Jonathan Strauss Casting
West 23rd Street at the Hudson River, Pier 62, Rm. 304, New York, NY 10011
(see also Lynn Kressel Casting)

Projects:
Law & Order: SVU (Drama, NBC)

_____

Telsey & Co
311 W. 43rd St., 10th Fl., New York, NY 10036

Projects:
Billy & Billie (Drama, DirectTV. Cast by Bernard Telsey and Abbie Brady-Dalton)
I Shudder (Comedy Pilot, TVLand)
I’m Dying Up Here (Drama, Showtime. Shoots in Los Angeles)
LFE (Drama, CBS. Casting in NY and LA)
Members Only (Drama, ABC – Casting by Abbie Brady Dalton)
Penny Dreadful (Horror, Showtime. Shoots in UK)

_____

Cindy Tolan and Adam Caldwell
27 W. 20th St., Ste. 606, New York, NY 10011

Projects:
Deadbeat (Comedy, Hulu)
Hippyish (Comedy, Showtime)

_____

Tucker/Meyerson Casting (Julie Tucker and Ross Meyerson)
11 Broadway, Ste. 415, New York, NY 10004

Projects:
The Affair (Drama, Showtime)
Broke (Drama, AMC)
Crowded (Comedy, NBC. Shoots in LA)
Heartbreaker (Drama, NBC. Shoots in LA)
Hot & Bothered (Comedy, NBC. Shoots in LA)
Limitless (Drama, CBS)
People Are Talking (Comedy, NBC. Shoots in LA)
Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (Comedy, Amazon)
Sleepy Hollow (Drama, Fox. Shoots in Georgia)
Superstore (Comedy, NBC. Shoots in LA)
Tyrant (Drama, FX)
Uncle Buck (Comedy, ABC. Shoots in LA)
White Collar (Comedy, USA)

_____

Meredith Tucker
330 W. 38th St., Ste. 308, New York, NY 10018

Projects:
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Comedy, Netflix)
Vinyl (Drama, HBO)

___________________________________________________

BACKGROUND CASTING:

Background, Inc. (Christine Nelson)
601 W. 26th St., Ste. M224, New York, NY 10001

Projects:
Taxi Brooklyn (Comedy, TFI)

_____

Central Casting
875 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10001

Projects:
Broad City (Comedy, Comedy Central)
Girls (Comedy, HBO)
Law & Order: SVU (Drama, NBC)
Orange Is the New Black (Comedy, Netflix)
White Collar (Comedy, USA Network)

_____

Comer Casting
262 W. 38th St., Ste. 1706, New York, NY 10018

Projects:
The Good Wife (Drama, CBS)

_____

Grant Wilfley Casting
123 W. 18th St., Eighth Fl., New York, NY 10011

Projects:
Gotham (Drama, Fox)
The Mysteries of Laura (Drama, NBC)
Person of Interest (Drama, CBS)
Royal Pains (Drama, USA)
Vinyl (Drama, HBO)

_____

Mat McHugh
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Projects:
Saturday Night Live (Comedy, NBC)

_____

Barbara McNamara
249 W. 34th St., Ste. 500, New York, NY 10001

Projects:
No current TV projects

_____

Roman Candle Casting
243 Fifth Ave., Ste. 555, New York, NY 10016

Projects:
Unforgettable (Drama, CBS)

_____

Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick & Associates
420 West End Ave., Unit Gr D, New York, NY 10024

Projects:
Alpha House (Comedy, Amazon)
Deadbeat (Comedy, Hulu)
Ringside (Drama, Netflix)

___________________________________________________

REPUTABLE STUDIOS THAT REGULARLY HAVE CLASSES & SEMINARS TAUGHT BY TV CASTING DIRECTORS & ASSOCIATES

Actors Connection
The Actor’s Green Room
Backstage University
The Network NYC
One on One Productions

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Now that you have all of this information, learn how to use it! Contact Erin Cronican with The Actors’ Enterprise to set up a FREE consultation to discuss how career coaching and launch your career to the next level!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

Sources for this page:
http://castingabout.com/pages/upfronts2015.html
http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/for_fans/current_productions.shtml
http://backstage.com/nyc-film-production-listings/
http://pro.imdb.com


If you have corrections/additions for this page, leave them in the comments section along with a link that includes the new/corrected information and I will update the page.