When it comes to pilot season (January to around the end of April), you need to get the best possible advice to maximise your chance of success. To put it mildly, this is one of the busiest times for Agents, Producers, Casting Director’s, Networks, Actors – The Industry. Casting Directors are looking for the next big thing that will carry-forward their TV series.
If you’re considering to go to pilot season or you’re in the midst of the mayhem, here’s some advice from our Founder of Performers Connect Sylvie…
“When it comes to pilot season (especially in Los Angeles), auditioning is fast-paced. Sometimes you don’t get a minute to catch your breath. Sometimes there is no process when it comes to the audition room. I’ve seen actors go in, quickly greet everyone, talk a little about themselves and then run the scene. Once this is done, they call in the next actor and so on. You may get a chance to adjust your scene but in some cases, you may not. It’s all about you bringing in your A-game immediately because you don’t often get a second chance. Being in this environment, if it’s your first time, can be daunting. You may have come in with the highest expectation which ultimately if you’re not successful, may hinder your confidence and momentum to want to come back for the next pilot season.”
Performers Connect helps actors to learn how to use a script to their advantage. Rather than seeing it as endless pages of dialogue, review it as an opportunity to really tackle the pages by marking it with lines, underlining the words, add notes, highlight or circle things to emphasise sections that you know you’ll need to do, allowing you to remember visually what this looks like in your mind when thinking about that particular dialogue you’ve just marked. It’s not just about learning ALL the words. It’s also about understanding the story, the dialogue, the characters – the ability to express playing the role, feeling the role and having that freedom in the moment of being as one with the character. Taking those words off the page and being attuned to them. Being in the moment is important when it comes to how you bring the script to life.
“It’s not about just reading a script and following directions. It’s about finding a way to get into the character’s mindset or finding a different way to look at it. You need the make-believe to feel truthful and sincere,” Sylvie says.
When it comes to acting, try not to compare yourself with other Australian actors. It’s very easy to think this way because there have been some great Australian actors who’ve gone over to the US and have done very well for themselves. Agents talk about how the Hemsworth broke into the US but; the reality is that when you walk into an audition room, it doesn’t matter if you’re British, American or Australian. It’s about, ‘How good are you?” It all comes down to how hard you work and how committed you really are to acting. Having unrealistic expectations or thinking you’ll achieve stardom overnight is not the case. There are always stories about actors who have had an ‘instant-break’ though if you found out what their story was they’d say something on the lines of, ‘It wasn’t an instant-break. I worked back and forth for years.’ Pilot season as we know it is very competitive but remember, everyone has their own journey. As an actor, you should always be working on something. Whether it’s short films, web series etc, you need to continue honing your skills so that when you do get an opportunity, it’s just another scene rather than it being such a huge and momentous moment.
What makes LA so inviting is the amount of work that is available. In 2017, nearly 500 scripted series were shot in the US. This number has more than doubled in less than a decade. This is mainly due to streaming services. In Hollywood, it’s buzzing during pilot season with over 80 pilots being shot by major US studios in each pilot season. Approximately $4 million is spent with a lot of risks. If you secure a role on a pilot, you’ve invariably received the golden ticket but it’s your first step with only a few pilots ending up as a series.
Whilst of course it’s very important to have your skills as an actor – the craft, you also need to know what you need for pilot season. Do you have your Actors Toolkit in order, Headshot, Showreel, CV and Online Profiles and Representation. If you’re unsure where to start, don’t fret, that’s where Performers Connect can help. If you’re an actor who is looking to secure an agent we can help. You can contact us via phone to book a time on 0421 388 142 or you can fill in your details via our Contact Form.