So you need some actors? Whether you’re making a music video, short film or podcast, the chances are you’ll need someone to act in it. It can be daunting reaching out to people who work in a different industry to you; Where should you look? What should you ask for? How do you know who to trust? Our guide to finding actors will make it less of a minefield for you.
A good first place to start is to ask whether friends or family would volunteer to take part. Depending on the level of acting that’s required, this could be a great option if you’ve got relatively no budget and aren’t too fussy about the quality of acting in your production. If you need someone with more experience it’s time to call in the professionals.
If you’re running on a tight budget, try your local college or university’s drama/theatre department. Students will be cheaper to hire than professional actors, or may work for free depending on their level of experience. Try contacting a department staff member for advice – they may be able to put you in touch with people personally or let you hand out flyers.
Try getting in touch with local ammatur theatre groups. Use Google, Facebook and Twitter to track them down, then get in touch to see if they can help out with your project. Look up local film groups too, they’ll be able to connect you with actors they’ve worked with before.
If you have a budget and want to hire a professional, there are tons of actor portfolio sites online which let you connect with actors and invite them to audition. Some sites are more professional (read: high budget) than others, some are based in a specific location (not good if you’re based in Brussels but the website is only for actors in L.A.), some cater for only a certain type of actor, so it can be a bit of a long trawl to find the right one.
Mandy is generally regarded as a decent place to find actors of all budgets and ability and is worldwide. In no particular order, other sites that you can use to find actors are:
Once you’ve found some actors that you like, you might want to go pro and arrange a casting call. Casting calls let you see the actor perform in the flesh before you decide who to hire. It takes time to organise and you’ll need a venue to hold it in, but a casting call can be invaluable. This article explains the process in more detail.
Look out for our article on how to work with actors – coming soon!