I am going to try to power through and finish the remaining actor surveys, so we can announce the three winners of the free 60-minute career consultations worth $100 apiece. In the meantime, here are some more answers to actor questions.
Hint: Before posting a question in the comments area, please read the answers I’ve already posted on the blog. We’re getting a lot of the same questions over and over. There are links on the right sidebar with tags and everything, so you should be able to find answers. Thanks!
Please keep in mind as well that there’s not enough time in the day to answer individual requests. We can teach you to fish, but we can’t do the fishing for you. 🙂 You should be armed with all the tools you need, though, if you just read up.
Without further ado:
Q: How do I get one of those personal phone consultations with you?
Q: Can a person get a phone consultation without having to win it? If so, how can I do that?
Q: Are you offering your $100 career consults to people, even if they don’t win the contest?
A: It’s not our intention, but since we keep getting asked, we may consider a limited number of requests on a case-by-case basis. Shoot an email to tools4actors [at] slateplease [dot] com to discuss.
Be patient; we’ve got a lot on our plates and are not fully set up to accommodate these requests. Thanks.
TWIHARD QUESTIONS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
Q: hi lana! i have a question… well…first.. i’m mexican, i live in Nuevo León, i’m thirteen, and i wanna be Jane in New Moon.. i really want it! i don´t have any experience, but i know that I can do it very well…i speak english a 85% or more, but i can’t go for the casting cause you know.. “money”… but if i could send you a video i could show you that i can act very well… i really want to be JANE!! she is a very interesting character… please…!!!
Q: hello, I’m french and I know that it’s impossible for me to be considered by the casting director but my cousin lives in LA and i could live there for a moment, so maybe they would consider me? no?? and i speak english very well, I got US accent.
Q: Can an Asian be on the film? I’m an asian (Indonesia), am i still have a chance to be just being auditions?
Q: Hey do you think they would cast somebody from ireland? as i would love to be in new moon and i love acting although i have no experience except for the school plays i have done and i dont have an agent either do you have any advice on how to get an agent? thanks.
Q: I am a 16-year-old aspiring actress in washington, and i am completely interested in acting in the twilight saga. I am most interested in playing Kate from the Denali Clan though.
Q: Oh my goodness! I’ve heard some gossip or rumors of that they want the New Moon movie to be out in a year. If that is so, when does the cast stop? Who is really in charge? Where is the direct info.? What if you have a daughter who sometimes lives with a parent/guardian in California and sometimes on the east coast? What would happen (if the possibility were possible)?
Q: My boyfriend is 6’4″ and perfect dark skin long black hair, he would make a perfect wolf! I want information on castings or where to send his headshots please!!!
A: As I’ve mentioned several times before, our office is not casting “New Moon.” By all indications, it is shooting in Vancouver BC. Despite this fact, we are still getting flooded with questions.
Because I understand how the business works, I will answer two general questions, which should give you all the information you need:
“Is it possible to get hired on a film shooting in the US or Canada if I live overseas?”
“Is it possible to get hired as one of the main characters in a film if I don’t have experience and don’t live near the shoot location?”
(FWIW, I covered both of these before in this post and this one).
The answer is that it’s extremely unlikely. Here’s why:
The production company needs to hire someone who can legally work in the country where the film is shooting. This means you need to be a citizen or have a work permit already.
The production company will procure work visas for the stars, if needed, but NOT for anyone else. The reason is that working papers are hard to get! Just look at all the qualifications an actor needs to obtain an O-1 working visa for the US:
* You need to have received or been nominated for a major national or international award (Emmy, Oscar, etc.) OR
* Have documented proof (such as film reviews, publications, contracts or playbills) of at least THREE of the following:
a. You already have national or international recognition;
b. You have already performed or have been hired to perform a lead or starring role in a major production;
c. You have already performed a lead, starring or major role for organizations with distinguished reputations;
d. You have already achieved major commercial or critical success;
e. You have commanded, or currently command, substantial remuneration (i.e. salary) for your services compared to others in your field; or
f. You have already received significant recognition for achievements from recognized critics, organizations, government agencies or other experts in your field.
In other words, if you’re not a star, the production company is not going to bother with the risk and hassle of all this paperwork. There are plenty of experienced, legal actors available in the cities where the film is shooting.
You usually need to be a member of one of the actors’ unions, such as SAG, AFTRA or ACTRA in order to be hired.
Producers are required to consider all available and appropriate union actors for a role, before looking at non-union actors, otherwise they risk getting fined. If you’re not already an established actor, it’s unlikely you’ve got your union card (particularly if you reside overseas).
STARS VS NON-ACTORS
Stars or established actors will likely be hired to play the main characters, not unknown entities.
Remember that producers have to guarantee ticket sales, so that they can repay their investors. It’s a BUSINESS; their job is to reduce financial risk. Actors are therefore considered in more or less the following order, when it comes to hiring the main characters on a major film:
b. Established union actors who are about to become stars (i.e. they have another movie coming out soon that will make them famous by the time this film is released)
c. Established union actors with solid reputations, known to the casting directors
d. Lesser known, but highly qualified professional union actors who are represented by talent agents known to the casting directors
If appropriate actors are still not found, then casting directors proceed to search among:
e. Experienced, professional, represented union-eligible actors
f. Experienced, professional, unrepped union and union-eligible actors
g. Experienced, professional, repped or unrepped non-union actors
h. Students or recent graduates of reputable acting schools or conservatories
It is extremely rare after conducting such an exhaustive search, that an appropriate actor would not be located, but as a last resort, the casting directors can search among the following:
i. Inexperienced actors or “real people” who fit the demographic requirements of the role and who live near where the shoot is taking place (cattle call)
j. Inexperienced actors or “real people” who fit the demographic requirements of the role and who live anywhere in the country (national search)
k. Inexperienced actors or “real people” who fit the demographic requirements of the role, who live anywhere around the world (international search), and who have work papers in the country where the production is based
l. Inexperienced actors or “real people” who fit the demographic requirements of the role, who live anywhere around the world (international search) and who do not have work papers
As you can see, most of the emails I’ve been getting on this subject have been from members of the last two or three categories. Their odds are slim.
DAY PLAYER ROLES
As mentioned in this post and this one, the minor speaking parts will be cast on location, using local actors. Location casting directors like myself will start from category C above and work our way downwards.
You may have a shot at one of these smaller parts, but the higher you are on the list, the better your chances.
Again, extras will be hired in the region where the production is based. You do not need experience to work as an extra, but you do need to live locally and be able to work legally. I discuss working as an extra at length in this post and in this one.
That’s it for now. Next time, I’ll try to answer some of your questions about talent agents.