And why it’s important to do so.
It’s the second week of January–I hope you’re all still feeling inspired!
Since it’s still pretty early in the year, I wanted to share a tool you can start using that will truly help your acting career. Spreadsheets. I know–I hate the word, too. But there are great reasons why you should start using a spreadsheet to track you auditions. Below is what you should be tracking and why you should be doing it:
- AUDITIONS: If you are going on auditions, you are a WORKING ACTOR. Don’t forget that! So when you keep count of your auditions, you can see just how hard you have been working. If you do both TV/Film and Commercials, I would keep track of how many of each you get called in for.
- CHARACTERS YOU’RE CALLED IN FOR: This is important because that is part of you “brand”. I will dive deeper into this in another blog soon, but it’s good to know how casting sees you, or what your headshots represent you as most. For instance, if you think you’re a “Friendly Neighbour” type, but keep getting called in for a “Gangster”–perhaps your headshots aren’t showing the right side of you.
- ROLES: This is separate from your character in that it speaks to how large of a role you’re playing eg. Background/SOC/Hero/Actor/Principal/Supporting/Lead. It can be really exciting to look back on your auditions and see it go from the smaller roles, to Supporting and Lead roles!
- CASTING DIRECTORS: Keep track of the casting directors that bring you in most often. This is an important sign, especially if you’re not booking. There are so many reasons why you don’t book a job, but if you keep getting called in by the same casting directors–chances are, the reason isn’t your performance. They keep bringing you in because they think you are a good candidate. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you could improve on–but you should feel good about having casting directors that are consistently bringing you in.
- YOUR CALLBACKS/BOOKINGS: Keep track of your batting average! Knowing the number of auditions vs the number of callbacks/bookings is so important. You might be feeling like you’ve gone on a million and one auditions, and you haven’t booked anything. But when you sit down and review your numbers, it’s more like one callback per 10 auditions. And yes, that means a 90% rejection rate–but that’s not bad for this industry. And there will be times where you are killin’ it and you book back-to-back jobs, then hear nothing for three months–but when you track everything and can look at it all together–they might average out to say one callback/booking per eight auditions. THAT IS AMAZING! If your average is less than amazing, say, one callback every 15 auditions–that’s not terrible either. But it indicates to you that you should invest in some workshops or classes to bring that average up. At this point, I’d like to stress to you that you need to consider callbacks a win. When you get a callback and don’t book, it means you did great–but…(insert all things out of our control).
- PRODUCTION NAMES & SHOOT DATES: This last piece is optional, but it can help you keep track of when productions are happening, when to keep your hopes high, and when to just let it go. Some people say that the moment you are done with an audition, you should put it out of your mind completely. Although I agree with not stressing about it anymore–I think that there is much to be learned from reviewing how the audition went to see if there are learning points. I also like to track what projects I’ve submitted for, and when they are actually shooting. That way, if the date has past, I know for certain that that job was not meant for me. But, if it hasn’t, there is still a chance I could get a callback or booking. It’s not imperative to track this last item, but it’s something I found myself going back to check often so, I decided I should add it. Also, if you keep getting auditions for a particular show but not booking, you might find it helpful to start watching the series to ensure your auditions are reflecting the tone of the show.
I hope that I’ve convinced you to start tracking your auditions. It’s really the only way you can tangibly monitor your progress, and evaluate the trends–Which is imperative to goal setting. If your dream is to become a fulltime actor, but you’re only auditioning 12 times a year–you’re gonna have a hard time achieving that goal. You can look at the data, and say “How can I get more auditions?”
I’ll dive deeper on some of the ways we can use the data to improve our acting career, but for now–START THE SPREADSHEET!