Of the many actors I’ve interviewed and talked to personally I would say that there are at least two main objectives for most of them. One falls under auditions: getting in the biggest rooms for the best roles. And the second one falls under agents: getting representation that can get you into those bigger rooms.
My on-camera agent Brian Keith Graziani and I have been working together since late 2020 for a range of projects--from commercials and industrials to TV dramas and docu-series. Brian himself started out as an actor and singer, and just sort of fell into casting, which then led to talent management and representation. While he still loves performing, this new career path has allowed him to have a greater impact on the careers and livelihoods of other actors.
Having had such wide-ranging experiences in theater, Brian is uniquely qualified to guide and represent actors like myself. And he certainly has a lot to say, he’s not one to hold back what he thinks at all, especially when it comes to auditioning, communication, and one of my least favorite parts of this business: self-tapes.
Audition and Submissions Tips When Using an Agent by Brian Keith Graziani
If you decline an audition through an online system, email your agent as well. They often do not get notifications when you decline for some reason.
Unless your tape request specifies not needing one, always include a slate (stating name, height, and location).
Be sure to double check casting self-tape labeling requirements (i.e. how to name the video file) and how to submit it (YouTube, DropBox, eco-cast, etc.). Each office has their own system for receiving and organizing submissions.
Be sure to double check if casting specifies they want everything in one file or separate files. If casting doesn't specify, it's probably best to separate files as a safe alternative.
Double check due dates! Extensions are sometimes possible, but asking for it after everything is due just makes everyone look like we dropped the ball.
Be open about needing a break. The self tape fatigue struggle can be real and it's important to communicate such a feeling if you ever need a minute to recharge.
A piece of advice: Say yes and get seen. Unless you feel like the quality of work you're presenting wouldn't present you in the best light, there is always merit to getting into the "room" and making sure casting knows who you are. If you have a major "why" then ask...but remember, every minute spent trying to convince you to submit for a job is a minute that could have spent submitting or pushing you, so trust the process.
Are any traits that make for a successful actor? The answer is always "the actors who work the most and garner the most fruitful results from auditions are the ones who work with an agent daily to make their expectations clear". Clearly communicate what you will do, and want to do, just as much as what you won't do.
Final Five Questions
When it comes to theater, Brian Keith Graziani has been many things — actor, singer, casting director, talent agent. And each job has given him new perspective and understanding of what it means to succeed in this very subjective and finicky industry. After sharing his three stories from his time in the business, He also answers five final questions on the WINMI Blog.
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