I have to admit I’m feeling a little rejected. I just emailed an agent friend here in New York to get together for a long-overdue drink. She told me she was too busy and to email her again in a few weeks. I tried to schedule a call with a casting director I know in LA. Same thing: call back in mid-March.
Am I a loser? No, they’re all busy because it’s pilot season! This is the time of year when all the new TV shows that networks have commissioned as pilots for the coming year get produced. And of course that means they need actors: That can be a good and a bad thing. The bad news is that every professional actor knows this information, and those with agents swoop down and gobble up all the good roles. If that’s you, great! But if not, it can be tough to cut through the clutter.
But there’s good news too: Pilot productions need all sorts of performers, not just represented actors. It’s a numbers game: this time of year, there are the most productions, so you have the best chance of landing a role.
Here’s how to maximize your chances to get cast in pilot season.
1. Use Your Special Skills
If you watch TV, you’ll see that most lead roles are filled by professional actors. But there are also lots of specialty roles that require special talent. Even if you don’t feel “special,” I bet you have some skill that’s needed by a casting director. For example, this week ClaimFame is featuring a casting call for basketball players who are fit and athletic. I bet you never thought your hoops skills could land you on TV!
2. Extra! Extra! Work as an Extra
The days when people looked down on being an extra are long gone. There’s no better way to get your foot in the door, get experience on set, and even get paid! And nearly every pilot needs extras. ClaimFame has tons of roles for extras – usually new ones every day. So check out our Extras Page to see the latest opportunities.
3. Hit the Road!
Okay, so maybe the perfect opportunity isn’t right in your hometown. Still, if you got cast for a production in a nearby state, wouldn’t it be worth a short road trip? For example, ClaimFame features dozens of roles in Atlanta [link], just a few hours’ drive from many locations in the Southeast. The good news is that almost all applications can be submitted online, so you don’t have to pack your bags until you know you have a part!
Are you having a pilot season experience? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or: