The work doesn’t always come to you. There are theatre and film opportunities nationwide (indeed, worldwide). Keep an eye out. Why limit yourself to your immediate community? If the right out of town audition comes along, however, it will take some preparation. Here’s a quick and dirty guide to traveling for an audition.
Is It Worth It? If you’re on an actor’s budget, chances are you can’t afford to skip state lines willy nilly. So the first thing is to choose your battles. If you’re considering journeying to an audition, your target must have at least two of the three. So ask yourself: Is the pay offered worth the risk and expense? Is the project and/or role something you are truly drawn to? Are the people you’re auditioning for going to help you grow as an artist and in your career? If you can answer a passionate ‘yes’ to at least two of those, the audition may be worth it.
Research. Remember every audition is a gamble, so you want to minimize every expense possible. Do your research. If you have to stay overnight, (advisable, so you can be rested before your audition) see if you can crash with anyone you might know in the area. If not, look for deals on cheap lodging (the sooner the better). Plan out your transportation to the audition ahead of time. Are you driving? Make sure you know where to park. If at all possible, take your car in and make sure it’s seaworthy for a long trip ahead of time. If you won’t have a car, research public transit to and from the audition location. Set aside some funds for emergency transport.
Business Essentials. It should go without saying, but it is surprisingly easy to lose track of crucial details when planning a trip. So the first thing you should do is set aside whatever you will actually need for the audition. Make sure you have multiple, up-to-date headshots and resumes, an audition outfit and a backup outfit just in case, proper audition shoes, and anything else you might need in the room. Make sure you bring methods to store your clothes safely (hangers, garment bags, travel steamers/irons etc.) to make sure you look your best.
Extra toiletries. Really make sure you pack well on this one. Remember you need more than your usual morning routine supplies–you need to be audition ready. So all the extras! Pack foundation, powder, curling or straightening irons, hair gel, shaving materials–double check to make sure you have everything you need. Maybe some face masks and teeth whitening strips for good measure. Don’t hold back.
Set Aside Recuperation Time. It’s no good to make a pilgrimage to audition for Hamlet if you show up groggy and looking like something the cat dragged in. Build time into your journey for consistent breaks, naps, time to stretch, warm up and shower. Keep yourself in shape and pay attention to your health.
Find a Buddy. If ever there was a time to snag an audition buddy, this is it. It will massively reduce stress, you can split costs, and you can keep eachother sharp for audition prep and logistics management. I highly recommend making it as much of a mini vacation as possible. That way if you don’t book, you will still have gained a valuable experience. Build in time to see some sites and absorb some local culture. It’s worth it in the long run.
Write it off. Times are a’changing regarding what actors can and can’t write off on their taxes, but it is actually worth it to keep track of all your mileage and expenses for this trip. Keep your receipts and document everything. Come tax time, do your research and consult professionals to see what can be written off.
Auditioning out of your general community can be a hassle, but it is a great way to keep your options open. With preparation and a spirit of adventure it can be an exciting experience that sharpens your skills and opens doors to new paths for your future. Bon voyage!
From The Cast It Talent