How to Find Acting Roles When You're Just Getting Started
Updated: May 3
So you want to get into acting but aren’t sure where to find roles. Well I’m here to help you with that. This is a journey that I myself have recently taken (and realistically still taking) and I’ve definitely learned some of the best resources for finding acting gigs.
Local Community Theaters
One of the best places to find stage acting roles is to take a look at the local theaters that are in your area. Oftentimes each city and/or county will have a group that puts on shows that you can audition for. If you’re in a bigger town/city there will likely be several groups in the area. Look on their website and/or social media to find upcoming casting calls.
Local Colleges/Film Schools
The first role I booked (outside of productions done at the schools I attended when I was younger) was as an extra in a student film. Getting a degree that involves filming isn’t a degree where a multiple choice test or an essay can truly demonstrate what you’ve learned. As such, they put together projects that will often require actors to complete. This is a great opportunity to get experience in the acting world and build your resume up. Sometimes you can get footage as well to build an acting reel that you can submit for future auditions.
There are TONS of websites that you can find casting calls on. Many of them require a subscription fee to actually apply, so keep this in mind, especially if your budget is on the smaller side. These allow you to access local, nationwide, and worldwide casting calls and submit to them easily. Some of the big ones include Backstage, Actors Access, and Casting Calls America. They each have their own interface, so you may need to experiment to find out which one you like best. You build your profile with Headshots, resume, and reels that allow for easy submission alongside any requested self-tapes. It can definitely help you keep track of what auditions you have and have not submitted for.
You can find groups all over Facebook that post Casting Calls both locally and nationally. I myself am part of 4 local casting pages as well as some national casting calls as well. Here you can find casting calls in your area (Or outside your area if you are able to travel for roles. Sometimes they’ll even cover your travel expenses). This is a great way to search nationwide without paying for any Casting pages if you don’t have the extra money to do so
Networking is a crucial aspect of being an actor. You are much more likely to be chosen for a role through known connections and recommendations than you are submitting through a portal with hundreds of other actors. Any time you work on any project within the industry make sure to make those connections. Same thing for any classes or workshops. You never know who you might meet and who they might know and be able to connect you to. This also means that when working in these classes, workshops, and projects that you must maintain professionalism. You aren’t going to be recommended by anyone if you don’t have a professional attitude and appropriate etiquette.
All of the super famous A list actors have agents. And really, anyone who starts taking on larger roles in the industry will have an agent. One of the first things that I thought about when deciding to pursue acting as a career was, how do I get an agent? I thought I needed one right off the bat in order to become successful. That isn’t the case, but they can certainly help you get roles that are harder to get and aren’t posted as publicly. This is where that professionalism and networking come back into play. Networking can help you find an agent who can help you reach your goals. In order to get an agent, they often want to see your portfolio of work, which is why this wasn’t the first option in my list. You have to land some roles before you have a portfolio to share. But finding roles through other means, networking and doing your research can help lead you to an agent and help you reach that next level of acting.