YOUR TOOL KIT
Monday, 05.07.2018, 11:32 PM
Your Tool Kit
By Lori S. Wyman, CSA
What is in your actor’s tool kit? Do you even know what an actor’s tool kit is?
Let me enlighten you. The Actor’s Tool Kit is everything you need to make your career that much more professional.
I’ll start with the Passport, so you can travel all over the world for work. A couple of years ago I did a casting for FF8. That is the 8th installment of the very popular Fast and Furious movie sequence. I was called on a Friday evening by the LA Casting Director and asked me to do a rush casting. They needed to see people by Monday. The catch was that this role was going to work in Cuba and the actors I brought in had to be able to travel to Cuba right away. I started calling actors and agents that night. One after the next was not able to audition, because they didn’t have a passport or it was expired. So many good actors who would have been right for the role never even got the chance to audition because they were not able to travel. After this casting, I went on all of my social media outlets and screamed from the rooftops telling all actors to get a valid passport so that when the opportunity comes up to travel for work, that they would be ready.
Fast forward to last month when I was casting a Hallmark movie that was going to shoot for 2 weeks on a cruise ship. Again, so many actors were not able to be considered for this project because they did not have the proper documentation to travel outside of this United States. We had so many opportunities for actors to work as principals as well as extras and stand-ins, and we heard “no” over and over when we asked if they had a valid passport. Several weeks before this Hallmark casting I was in my waiting room speaking to an actor about the tools he needed to succeed in our business. We started to discuss passports and he said his was expired. I told him THAT DAY that he had to go and renew it so that when the time comes for him to work out of the country, he will be all ready. Don’t you know, there was a role on my Hallmark movie that was perfect for him, and I called his agent to get him to come in and audition. Guess what? He had never updated his passport and now he didn’t have enough time to get it updated. Bummer for him!!!
There are other tools that belong in your kit. Are your headshots updated? Do they look like you the way you look today? I have known of so many actors that want to use a really great headshot that they may have taken 15 years earlier. Technically, it still looks like they do, but it looks like a younger version of them. Here is what happens, though, when you submit a headshot of a younger you. Let’s say you are 50 years old and you are still using the shot of you when you were 35. The photo is submitted to the client of a 50 year old, which is what you are, but you don’t look like you are 50. SO, you are not even being considered. If they do ask to see the 35 year old you and you show up on the casting looking like the next generation up, you won’t be considered for the younger category either. I get a lot of headshots submitted and the first thing I have to go by is what the person looks like. If they have the right look, then I’ll continue looking at the resume.
Let’s discuss the resume now and all of your credits. Do you have an Actor’s Access account? How about a Casting Networks account? Is your resume uploaded to the site? Are your acting credits updated on the resume? This year I have cast so many projects that needed actor’s submissions first. The agent would send me a link with all of the actors they wanted to submit. I would open the link and then start looking at the acting resumes, since my projects were television or film projects. A large percentage of these links did not even have the resume attached. Many of them only had special skills, sports, and physical stats. Since I wouldn’t see any type of acting credits on the resume, I could only presume that this person did not have any. When the agent would ask why I didn’t request to see these actors, I would say that they don’t have any acting experience. Over and over I have heard how many credits this actor has, but they just hadn’t updated their site. This doesn’t do the actor any favors. I have asked the agents to ask their talent to make sure they have a current resume with all of their acting credits uploaded onto their actor’s site.
Do you own your name dot com? If not, go to godaddy.com right now. Put your name dot com in and purchase it. When you are ready to put your website together, you won’t have to worry that someone else owns your name.
When an agent sends me a link and I email them back with the names of the actors I would like to see, I never include an actor who doesn’t have the documentation to back up their talent. How many auditions have you been excluded from because the client reading your materials doesn’t see any reason to bring you in to audition? The answer is that you will never know what you have missed.
Other tools that should be included are wardrobe items. Do you travel for auditions? Even if you only travel a short distance, sometimes you may be on one end of town and your agent calls you to go to an audition on the other end of town. Oftentimes you don’t have the time to run home and get wardrobe to go on that audition with. My suggestion is that you should have several items of clothing in your car so that you are always ready. If one of the characters you often play might wear a jacket, then keep a blazer in your car. Do you often audition in a bathsuit? Then keep one in your car. What about glasses, makeup, or certain ways you might wear your hair? Do you have these items with you when you go out? Do you carry multiple copies of headshots and resumes with you? WHY NOT?
Speak of resumes, do you update it every time you book another job? Are you constantly studying and then adding that training to your resume? Well, you should be!
I have 2 casting rooms in my office. There have been times when I have a casting going on in one room and I pull people from that room to audition in my other room. If I happen to ask for another headshot and resume, then it would benefit the actor to have those materials with them.
You just don’t know when you will be needed for an audition out of town and if you don’t have the necessary materials with you, you might be caught short. Don’t let that happen to you!
You cannot always guarantee that you will book the job, but what you can make sure of is that you will be 100% prepared for that audition. You can make sure your materials are up-to-date so that you will be asked to audition for that all important role when it comes up. Don’t be caught short, ever!
If you are interested in adding to your resume, please look at www.theorganicactor.com at the calendar page to see the upcoming classes that Lori Wyman offers.
Lori S. Wyman, M.S., C.S.A. is dedicated to helping actors pursue their passions so they can live their dreams. Traveling all over the country, Lori draws industry beginners and professionals to hear her expertise on the subject of Auditioning for Film and Television projects. Lori has recently been the Florida Casting Director on Netflix’ Bloodline, HBO’s Baller$, Graceland, Burn Notice, The Glades, Magic City, Pain & Gain, Iron Man 3, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale 2, Every Witch Way, and too many more to list.
She recently completed her Master’s Degree with a concentration in Drama Therapy. She tackled this in order to help actors overcome Audition Anxiety as she sees this as one of the major obstacles facing actors during their castings.
Lori’s Book: The Organic Actor: Insider’s Secrets to Auditioning for Film and Television is widely acclaimed and a “must have” for any actor who intends to make Film and Television acting a part of their acting career.
Lori has been in casting in Florida since 1979. She has been nominated for 5 Artios Awards for projects including “Dexter,” “Pain and Gain,” and “Bloodline,” and has 1 Emmy nomination. She is an Artios Award winner for the acclaimed HBO movie, “Recount.”
Lori's office is located in North Miami Beach, Florida, but she travels all over the Southeast for casting projects. She can e reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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