How Actors Steal Auditions from Actors | Answers for Actors

Actors are stealing your audition appointments. Actors who mischievously reap resources; yours and my clients’.

Paul Russell
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Actors are stealing your audition appointments. Actors who mischievously reap resources; yours and my clients’.

Recently my office sought non-union actors for a union project. Hundreds of agent and unrepresented-actor submissions were reviewed. Appointments were given. Every actor confirmed their appointment personally or via representation. Audition day came. Double digit no-shows occurred.

How much did each actor’s absence cost? Sum expenses (casting fee, advertising, studio rental, staff salaries, estimated producer expenses including accommodations and transportation) divide that total by the number of actors scheduled, equals…(drum roll) $535.00 plus per actor.

Adding up to over $6,400 does not account for other costs incurred: scheduling an additional audition session to compensate for the M.I.A. actors, communication costs, time pulled from other projects for all involved, and office expenditures for both the casting office and the producer. Add in those totals and the outlay spent towards each actor’s appointment increases several hundred dollars.

And were you robbed of a great value: an audition? Twelve no-shows meant that twelve other actors could have been seen. And one of those twelve could have won work. This happens often on nearly every audition session: no-show actors who by not attending a confirmed appointment robbed a fellow actor of an employment opportunity. (Although I’ve never incurred a dizzying dozen deficits like this in one session.)

Some restaurants charge the credit card of customers who bail on a dinner reservation. Why not impose similar of no-show actors at auditions?

Outrageous? Not according to one actress I encountered who demanded after being cut from a dance call that I and my client pay for her transportation expenses to and from the audition studio. No go girl.

Paul's book ACTING: Make It Your Business!Doubtful the twelve absent actors were together on a stalled train. And if they were all detained elsewhere why not a single e-mail or call explaining their absence? It’s not a casting office’s responsibility to track down no-show job applicants. Our role is to assist actors who commit to the professionalism of the audition process. Mature, responsible actors know that if detained or foresee their absence to an audition professional protocol is to promptly advise the casting office.

As attributed to Woody Allen, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Twelve actors are presently failing their careers. Worse, they’re failing themselves. If only they simply… showed.

My Best,

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Paul Russell’s career as a casting director, director, acting teacher and former actor has spanned nearly thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. Paul has taught the business of acting and audition technique at NYU and has spoken at universities including Yale, Temple and the University of the Arts. He is the author of ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor. For more information, please visit

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ACTING: Make It Your Business

Author: Paul Russell

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