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Decent places to host auditions?


Matthew W. Phillips
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Hello all,

 

I'm currently in pre-production of a short film which I mentioned in another thread, but I can use some help. Thanks to Tim's brilliant advice, I posted my casting call on Craigslist and have received a SWARM of potential inquiries and I'm only on day 2 of 30 in my search phase. I cannot sort out these applicants without an audition, a no-brainer. However, I am wondering what would be a good place to host an audition that will not cut into my already Ultra-low budget? Anyone have any good ideas on the subject? Anything is appreciated.

 

P.S.- This isnt my first film project, but it is the first project that was not with college students OR friends which did not require formal auditions.

 

Thanks,

Matthew

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Hello all,

 

I'm currently in pre-production of a short film which I mentioned in another thread, but I can use some help. Thanks to Tim's brilliant advice, I posted my casting call on Craigslist and have received a SWARM of potential inquiries and I'm only on day 2 of 30 in my search phase. I cannot sort out these applicants without an audition, a no-brainer. However, I am wondering what would be a good place to host an audition that will not cut into my already Ultra-low budget? Anyone have any good ideas on the subject? Anything is appreciated.

 

P.S.- This isnt my first film project, but it is the first project that was not with college students OR friends which did not require formal auditions.

 

Thanks,

Matthew

I'd probably look into community halls, normally owned by the local parish. They generally set out to help the community, as opposed to making profits. So if you was to act like a desperate film maker from the local community trying to make it big, they would probably give you a good deal.

 

Other, more commercial places (theatres, private halls etc.) may seem more professional, but they will obviously cost a lot more.

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  • Sustaining Member

Hi,

 

I have used:

 

- The front room (bad)

- Theatres

- Rehearsal rooms

- Dance studios

- Film studios (It was short notice. They were empty. I got it for a song.)

- Rooms belonging to a local drama group

- A lock-up garage

 

All I'd say is that wherever you do it is better than your front room; asking people, particularly girls, to come to your home is always iffy.

 

Phil

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...what would be a good place to host an audition that will not cut into my already Ultra-low budget? Anyone have any good ideas on the subject? Anything is appreciated.

 

Where are you based out of? Sacramento? If you're a little more location specific, perhaps someone here knows of a few spaces to hold your auditions :)

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Sacramento County or city, specific enough? B)

I would find out if there are any acting studios in the area and see if you can't rent the space on a Sunday afternoon for a great price. Community theatre spaces would be great too.

 

But don't do it at a residence. That is illegal and could get you in some trouble.

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But don't do it at a residence. That is illegal and could get you in some trouble.

 

I went to an interview for a gig at a residence a few months back, and they were holding auditions before and after my appointment. They had signs posted out front and left their front door open. Does leaving the front door open make it legal, I wonder? I didn't ask, so now I'm curious.

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I don't know about anyone else, but I wouldn't personally "turn someone in" for hosting an audition at their residence. It seems sortof a spiteful thing to do as far as I'm concerned. I don't think they'll put you in the slammer for it anyhow. I guess it's technically illegal to film without a permit but I have done that many times as I'm sure every person here has done.

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  • 4 months later...
I don't know about anyone else, but I wouldn't personally "turn someone in" for hosting an audition at their residence. It seems sortof a spiteful thing to do as far as I'm concerned. I don't think they'll put you in the slammer for it anyhow. I guess it's technically illegal to film without a permit but I have done that many times as I'm sure every person here has done.

 

 

I am not sure about the legality, you are correct in questioning it, but bad form it is. I have often used an empty room at a local university. Many schools will let you do it for free. There are loads of places out there, just not the front room

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  • Sustaining Member
Why is it legal to film at a residence but not to audition at a residence? I will lookinto your idea nonetheless.

I can't imagine that it would be illegal. How about rehearsing, or practicing the clarinet? Are those legal? As long as you don't make noise that disturbs the neighbors, what would be the reason to outlaw it?

 

Another approach: Get some soft drinks and food, and make it a party. Yeah, officer, it's a party. I invited a bunch of people over to celebrate my new movie. Some of them are actors I wanted to meet and talk to about it. In their enthusiasm, some of them read a few lines out loud.... ;-)

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Yeah, officer, it's a party.

What you do in your house is your own business. Furthermore, the cops aren't allowed to come in and investigate without a warrant (4th amendment), and if they do ask you what you're doing, you can politely explain that it's none of their business (5th amendment).

 

It's still unprofessional to hold auditions at a house or apartment. I don't recommend it.

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You may have already done this but did you consider posting your need for an audition location on Craig's list?

 

Kindest Regards

-jeff

 

www.jeffsiljenberg.com

 

What you do in your house is your own business. Furthermore, the cops aren't allowed to come in and investigate without a warrant (4th amendment), and if they do ask you what you're doing, you can politely explain that it's none of their business (5th amendment).

 

It's still unprofessional to hold auditions at a house or apartment. I don't recommend it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

...It's still unprofessional to hold auditions at a house or apartment. I don't recommend it.

 

Certainly if you have access to better spaces, then it can be a pretty suspicious choice. :) But for a no/low budget indie, it may be all you can afford.

 

I was doing my auditions in my second bedroom/office. One of the actresses seemed apprehensive about that and asked if she could audition out in the living room instead, but then she saw the camera and my DP.

 

I'm glad I didn't scare her off. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I find that this is a two-stage process.

 

For stage one, I just go to a bar and arrange for people to meet me there.

 

That way, I can get a look at faces and compare to photos and also ask them to say something related to the film in a small digi camera.

 

I also tell them about terms and conditions and what is expected of them etc.

 

This simple process eliminates many. Alot just don't turn up (they like the idea and the glamour but not having to do anything). Also, if they turn up, you just know if they have potential or not.

 

Stage two involves a day shoot somewhere with the digi camera and very low expectations (no payment, a kid camera). You discover alot about people on days like this.

 

After these two stages, you have a much clearer idea who you want to work with.

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  • 5 months later...

You can probably get more professional actors/actresses by posting on ActorsAccess or BreakdownExpress dot com

There is no charge for the listings and the web software is set up for audition schedules, emails, callbacks

and viewing their photos, videos and resumes. Much easier to manage.

 

SAG, AFTRA or Non-Union can be specified in your character breakdowns. My last auditions drew about 2000 very high quality actors after sorting all the candidates for the roles, about 150 were scheduled automatically with

these websites. Then the schedules allow very organized printouts for the confirmed appointments.

 

Best Regards,

 

James L. Perry

Producer

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Sustaining Member

I find that this is a two-stage process.

 

For stage one, I just go to a bar and arrange for people to meet me there.

 

That way, I can get a look at faces and compare to photos and also ask them to say something related to the film in a small digi camera.

 

I also tell them about terms and conditions and what is expected of them etc.

 

This simple process eliminates many. Alot just don't turn up (they like the idea and the glamour but not having to do anything). Also, if they turn up, you just know if they have potential or not.

 

Stage two involves a day shoot somewhere with the digi camera and very low expectations (no payment, a kid camera). You discover alot about people on days like this.

 

After these two stages, you have a much clearer idea who you want to work with.

 

That is just weird...

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  • 2 months later...

There are several local coffee shops around town where I'm at that have community rooms, sometimes free, sometimes $25 for 2 hour blocks. I like these places because their quiet, give a comfortable place for actors to sit, gives them the chance for coffee and snacks, etc. I used to use local theatres and art houses but kinda got screwed a couple times with them changing things on me last minute. The bar thing I've done but in my mind kind of sleazy.

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  • 2 months later...
  • Sustaining Member

Hello all,

 

I'm currently in pre-production of a short film which I mentioned in another thread, but I can use some help. Thanks to Tim's brilliant advice, I posted my casting call on Craigslist and have received a SWARM of potential inquiries and I'm only on day 2 of 30 in my search phase. I cannot sort out these applicants without an audition, a no-brainer. However, I am wondering what would be a good place to host an audition that will not cut into my already Ultra-low budget? Anyone have any good ideas on the subject? Anything is appreciated.

 

P.S.- This isnt my first film project, but it is the first project that was not with college students OR friends which did not require formal auditions.

 

Thanks,

Matthew

When I used to do a lot of casting we always did it in either a studio, or in a side office above or next to a studio. I think one time I saw auditions take place in a hotel penthouse suite, which was pretty ridiculous.

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  • 2 months later...

I would chip in to say, renting a space within a soundstage or theater (black box stage, rehearsal room or stage) would be the most professional. Also my acting teacher, and he was very good, trained by a student of Meisner himself, rented a room in a church in Manhattan, and that worked totally fine, auditions were held there as well. If you really look I'm sure you could find low rates in any city, or try to barter for a lower cost or a freebie with a theater owner who might need something from you.

Edited by Jenna Whitney
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  • 1 year later...

When I cast Narnia: The Musical, we rented a meeting room at the local Library. It was great because it had A/V equipment already there. To what extent local Libraries will rent you a room depends though. Some want only non-profits. Other options include Hotel conference rooms, like we did when I cast The Boxcar Children. If your in a big film city like LA, NY or Chicago, you could always go for a dedicated studio.

 

In any case, 90% of your options are going to cost something.

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