Careers In Culture
Film and Broadcasting - What You Need to Do
Work Search Strategies
On this page:
- Interested in Performing? Tips to Better Auditions
- What About Agents?
- The Cover Letter
- The Performer's Résumé
- Résumé for a Behind-the-Scenes Worker
- Résumé for an Arts Administrator / Manager
Interested in Performing? Tips to Better Auditions
Performers usually have to audition in order to get work. Producers and directors often want to try out many people before finding the one they think is right for their production. Auditions are never easy. No matter how confident they feel, most performers find auditioning stressful. However, you can learn attitudes and develop techniques that will help you hone your auditioning skills.
Tips to Better Auditions
Research the Company
do some research into the type of production company you are seeking work in and their artistic direction, and design your performance with that in mind. Contact professional organizations for advice on auditioning.
Consider auditions as performances
Auditions require as much preparation and energy as actual performances. Don't skimp because it isn't the "real thing". Do the best that you can do.
Master your material
Whether you're going to perform a text, song, dance or acrobatic feat, make sure you have prepared your lines or movements. When you know that you have the material under control, you'll feel more confident, posed and positive.
Be ready physically and mentally
Auditions require your top performing and concentration skills. Being tense and nervous may stop you from doing your best. Know how to prepare by using relaxation and warm-up techniques.
If you flub a line or make a mistake, just keep going. Chances are, if it's a minor mistake, nobody will notice. Even if it's a major screw-up, stay cool. Your reaction to a mistake says as much about you as the mistake itself.
You're not being judged solely on your performance. If you get the job, these people will have to work with you. They want to know what kind of person you are. So relax, and have some fun.
Audition often. The more you do it, the more comfortable you're going to be with the process. Another tip- do mock auditions in front of your friends.
Getting turned down for a job is often not a reflection of your auditioning ability. There can be other forces at work. Maybe it's an image thing. Maybe you're as good as the other actors that auditioned, but the director had her heart set on somebody else. Don't worry, you'll have another chance.
You won't get most of the parts you try out for, but if you were well prepared and did your best, then consider your audition as another chance to perform, gain experience and become visible.
How to Find Audition Opportunities
Use your network to talk to experienced people. Ask directors and casting agents what they look for. Talk to other performers and try to learn from their experiences and techniques. Consider taking courses in auditioning if you feel you could use more guidance. The more practice you have, the more skilled you will be.
News about auditions is often spread by word of mouth. Canadian Actors' Equity Association (often just called “Equity”) posts general auditions on their website. Union des artistes (UDA) can help you find an audition coach. And you can find other great resources and information by researching some of the organizations listed on UDA’s website.
The best way to find out about audition opportunities is to get involved with people in your field of interest and build your personal connections. Join appropriate unions or professional associations, and take advantage of their professional development and networking opportunities. And don't forget to live up to your responsibilities as a member of these organizations.
What About Agents?
Agents are essential for performers; you will not find work without an agent or connections with casting people. If performing is your career path, and you want an agent, then you'll need to make yourself visible. Volunteer in student films, perform in live productions and make a demo of your best work. If you belong to a union, and are looking for extra experience by volunteering, check to make sure you are adhering to their performer regulations. When you do find an agent interested in representing you, make sure you talk to people in the industry to find out his/her reputation and if he/she would be the best agent to represent you.
The Cover Letter
If you're a creator, you will be developing original work to sell to film, television or radio companies. Your original creation will be your "calling card" to getting work. But if you're a performer, behind-the-scenes worker or arts administrator/manager, a cover letter and résumé will be an important part of your work search package.
Make sure your letter supplies information so you can be reached easily.
City, province/territory Postal code
Telephone: (area code) phone number
Your email address
Address your cover letter to the right person, spelled correctly, even if it means a phone call to the company. Employers are interested in candidates who show initiative.
Their job title
Their company name
City, province/territory, Postal code
Indicate the specific position you're applying for, or the type of contract work or assignment you're seeking.
I am pleased to apply for the position of station manager at Star 85 Radio, as advertised in the Truesdale Courier on June 3, 2010.
Explain why this particular position and organization interests you.
I am familiar with the film and broadcasting sector through my volunteer and summer employment experiences and would enjoy working for an organization such as Star 85 Radio, well known for its excellent news and current affairs programming.
Explain your interest in the position/work and in the organization
As my attached résumé illustrates, I have many years experience working in community radio. My recent experience as station manager for Tuesdale's only community radio station has taught me about new technologies that are available to commercial FM radio stations. I would love to have an opportunity to work with your team at Star 85, and working with you to develop online programming.
Request an interview and say that you will follow up with a phone call.
I would be pleased to review my qualifications in more detail with you. If I haven't heard from you by June 12, I will call to follow up. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me.
Cover Letter Tips
- Have your name and address at the top.
- Be brief—one page only.
- Make sure there are no typos or spelling mistakes.
- If writing is not your strong point, ask an editor or a friend to review your letter.
The Performer's Résumé
Under the Spotlight
People who hire performers are looking for experience and physical types to fit certain roles. Usually your résumé should be presented on your agent's letterhead, with your agent's name included as part of your contact information. Keep your résumé to one page, if possible, and include an 8" x 11" black-and-white photo of you taken by a professional photographer.
Indicate your physical type.
Weight: 150 lbs.
Be sure to include your agent's name (his or her contact information will be on the letterhead).
Contact: (your agent's name)
If you've had a lead or principal role, indicate that information rather than naming the character.
Film and Television Roles
The Crazy Troubadour
Jason/Underhill Film Work
Sam/Underhill Film Work
Ken/Statten Tagalong Films
State your role, the name of the movie or video and the production company.
Moving the Mail
Postal worker/Greenlight Productions Inc.
Tambourine Taco Commercial
Diner/Truesdale Advertising Agency
Indicate your education and training, including the names of your teachers.
On-camera workshop: Betty Dutton
Stage Combat: Phillip Morgan
Dance: Brenda Canton, Morley Karr, Patrick Lambert
Movement: Ted Weelde, Elaine Farley-Smith
Singing: Fran Triber, Marshall Stiele
B.A. Honours in English and Film Studies: University of British Columbia
Other interests: Pop singing, tennis, fencing, swimming
Résumé for a Behind-the-Scenes Worker
A High-Exposure Résumé
Employers want to know what type of experience you've had, whether as a professional worker or a volunteer. Keep your résumé brief – one to two pages – and make sure it is neat, free of typos and well formatted.
Include information that can help an employer reach you.
3269 York Avenue
Regina, Saskatchewan V2I 7K0
Telephone: (306) 555-2315
Let employers know the specific types of technical experience that you've had.
|Sept. 2008 - Aug. 2009
Provided lighting for ON-AIR
|May 2008 - July 2008
|Shop and Lighting Technician
Provided lighting for hotel conferences
West End Community Theatre
Provided lighting for production of 'Twas
the Night Before Christmas
|Sept. 2005 - May 2007
|Lighting Designer / Technician
West End High School
Designed and provided lighting for six
concerts and three drama productions
Show other types of work you've done that relate to your career path.
Automated lighting programming
Inventory stocking and cleaning of shop lighting equipment
Indicate your education and specialized training.
High school diploma. West End High School
Specialized workshops in photography
Specialized course in computer-aided theatrical lighting
Guitar, basketball, hikinbg
References upon request
Résumé for an Arts Administrator / Manager
Right On Target
Highlight your career objective in arts administration/management and your related work or volunteer experience. Make sure that your résumé reflects your professionalism. Keep it short, neat and free of typos or spelling errors.
Include information that can help an employer reach you.
City, Province / Territory, Postal Code
Telephone: (Area Code) Phone Number
Tell the employer about your career aspirations.
To combine my interest in theatre with my business skills to build a lifelong career in theatre arts administration.
Summarize your specific work experiences in your field of interest.
Theatre Work Experience
Etobicoke Summer Theatre Festival - administrative assistant to the Festival Director
Etobicoke Community Theatre - box office manager and assistant props handler
Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School Drama Society - president and fund-raiser. Also producer of annual school revue
Toronto Dinner Theatre - publicity assistant in co-op school placement
Show other types of work you've done
Other Work Experience
Retail salesperson, High Top Sporting Goods
House sitter for five regular clients
Indicate other specialized skills that would be useful in an arts administrative position.
2003 - Present
Arts administration program
2000 - 2003
High school diploma
Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School
Show other skills that you have that are relevant to the arts administration position.
Software expertise in word-processing, database and computer graphics programs
Internet and E-mail proficiency
Interests: Reading, going to theatre and films, skiing
References upon request