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How to submit for auditions: 5 tips

Are you a self-submitting actor? Are you wondering not only how to submit for auditions — but also how to increase your chances of actually being called in?

It may seem like a simple, 30-second task— submitting yourself for a role — but there are actually specific things that you can do to better your chances of being invited in to audition!

1. Follow directions carefully

This sounds simple, but having worked on all sides of this business, I’ve seen how, time and time again, the actors that pay the closest attention to casting instructions and details advance the quickest.

Photo credit: muathuoctot.com

Photo credit: muathuoctot.com

Casting offices are BUSY. They have limited time to review profiles and submissions. If they are giving an instruction about how to label a file or title an email, it is for a very specific reason. Chances are, if you don’t follow protocol, your submission will be overlooked! Not because casting directors don’t care — I’ve only ever known the friendliest of casting professionals — but because their filing systems are designed in specific ways, and mismatched submissions will fall through the cracks.

When submitting yourself for a role, it is absolutely essential that you follow all instructions to a T! If they ask for a link to a video, send a link — and not a huge file. Imagine if you got 100 video files to download to your computer, every single day. You would run out of space!

If they ask you to note special skills, concisely note your special skills. On Breakdown Services, only a few words in the “notes” section of your profile are viewable under your thumbnail photo. Make sure the first few words count!

2. Submit right away — and only once

Thousands of submissions come in to casting directors each day. You greatly increase your chances of being called in if you submit quickly!

However, you do not necessarily increase your chances of being called in if you submit more than once, on different platforms (e.g. Actors Access, LA Casting, Casting Frontier). This becomes confusing to people who are scheduling you — they can’t recall if they’ve already scheduled you through a different casting website. They don’t want to book you twice and take away an opportunity from another actor — and neither do you — so keep it simple, and submit just once.

3. Submit specifically

Know your brand! Submit on roles that are a great match for you. If you submit on 3 different roles for the same project, you’d better have the headshots and marketing materials that reflect the essences of the different characters. If you’ve already made a strong choice — and matched yourself appropriately — you are making the casting director’s job so much easier.

When you submit yourself across a multitude of types and characters, casting directors won’t readily know how to categorize you. It’s best if you are very specific from the get-go — with your marketing materials and with the types of roles/projects that you target.

4. Have amazing headshots

Have a headshot that is professional, is engaging, and showcases your personality —when reduced to thumbnail size.

Often, casting directors actually don’t have time to watch your reels. They make decisions purely based on your headshot. They are looking at a small thumbnail in a sea of thumbnails, so make sure you stand out!

Are you wearing flattering, bright colors? Are you smiling with your eyes? Test your materials on friends and peers, and see what they have to say.

5. Be featured in the first moment of your demo reel

Imagine that someone only has 5 seconds to watch your reel. What is happening in the first 5 seconds? Is the focus on you and your amazing talent?

There is no need for a long title card with your name and your union status at the start of your reel. No need for a long montage to music. Just jump right in to a close shot on YOU being fabulous. Because you are! And know that you have approximately 5 seconds to grab someone’s attention.

Good luck!

These are just a few tips that we hope will help you to advance in your career. Stay tuned for more advice and updates. We wish you the very best of luck in your acting pursuits!


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