by Casting Director, Laurie Records
A multi part series for the not-so-established actor, hoping to improve their career.
Ok, never is a strong word. My mother said, “never say never”, and I am sure yours did too. But I am going to be bold and take a stand in this series and discuss things that I happen to believe actors should NEVER do. I can already hear the stories about your cousin’s friend’s girlfriend who is an actor and did the very thing that I said never to do, and her whole career skyrocketed because of it. There will be these exceptions. I don’t mean NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, but do give these strong suggestions some thought… and take my advice, unless you like banking on a fluke.
Part One: Actors should never go home for the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Winter Solstice holiday. (Did I get them all?)
My timing may be a little off for you to take advantage of this pearl of wisdom this year. Most folks already have their plane tickets home, in their back pocket. But, there is only a small fee to change your ticket… or keep it in mind for next year.
Why, you ask? Everyone says that there isn’t much going on the last couple of weeks of December. Right? Well, let me tell you how it works. Ad Agencies are given a budget every year. They need to spend all of the money in their budget before the year ends. December can actually be a busy month for exactly this reason. They have to spend the money in their budgets, or it will go up in smoke, and will likely be decreased the following year. This can’t happen, so they have to spend, spend, and spend before the year ends.
Of course there are plenty of casting directors who take the same 2 weeks off that you have decided on. The rumors are true, there is not as much going on the last 2 weeks of December, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything. There are casting directors who still work. There are still commercials to be cast. Actors are still needed on Dec 22nd or 27th. And they will be cast from a much smaller pool. Are you starting to catch my drift? Your agent’s office may be closed. How are commercials cast then? The roles are put out to anyone who is out there. Casting directors who may never open their projects to actor submissions, do what they have to do when under the gun. AGAIN, I WILL SAY, CASTING FROM A MUCH SMALLER POOL OF TALENT. If you have never got your toe in the door of commercial casting, this may be your chance. You may get in front of casting directors who haven’t called you in before. You may be cast because you are available to shoot on the 26th of December, and no one else is. This may not be the way you dreamed of breaking into show biz when you packed your car and moved to lovely Los Angeles, but this is not the time to be proud. You don’t have to tell anyone when you are bragging about the national commercial you just booked.
Struggling actors of Los Angeles, go visit the parents for a long weekend in January. The plane tickets are half the price, and you may wiggle your way into some new casting offices and maybe even into a job.
Commercial actors, NEVER go home for the holidays!
Laurie Records, Casting Director