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AUDITIONS:WHY THEY ARE A HIDDEN AGENDA

Gerald Langiri
August 10 / 2011

Why are auditions a hidden affair or unheard of yet we end up seeing new programs and movies coming out? When were those auditions held? Many upcoming actors or even established actors depend on auditions to get roles in movies or upcoming serieses. Let me rephrase that, some established actors depend on auditions to get roles others just sit at home and wait for the phone to ring. You cannot blame the latter either; they have probably reached the point where most actors aspire to be. The point where you let your work speak for you and get you the deals without having to spend hours in cues to get in for an audition.

But where does that leave the other 90% of actors who have to go for auditions which we never hear of? I know. Sitting at home wondering where they got those actors in this new show I am watching on my TV set.

I am not 100% sure why auditions are made a private affair or if indeed they are a private affair. I would probably blame the advertisement for the whole thing. Gone are the days when productions houses would print posters or brochures to advertise upcoming auditions. With technology in place and social media sites like facebook/twitter and being in the circle of people who are in the industry in the hope that they will put up a status screaming AUDITIONS AT KNT FOR., most of you will still sail in the boat that goes to I have talent but how do I get discovered?

However, put yourself in the shoes of the people auditioning. If they were to publicly shout Papa Shirandula auditions a week before the auditioning date, they would have to deal with the 100s and 1000s of masses that will actually show up for the auditions. How many people do they need?Perhaps only 10 and let us not forget the people who did appear for the auditions and were never given the chance to show case their talent or lack of it for that matter because time ran out.

They thus probably opt to whisper about the auditions a day before in the hope that not many people will know about them or the people in the acting industry will hear about them and they will in turn inbox each other or text each other about the event. The effect of this is probably to get talented actors in the industry appearing for the auditions and they do not have to deal with the other 1000s of people who would have showed up had they made the auditions public.

Producers always try to find the cheapest and most cost-effective way to run their business. Calling for public auditions means man-power, time and money. What they then opt to do is either contact a casting director, casting agent or call actors directly or now with actors.co.ke, source for the actors from the website. This should tell you that if you are not among the list of people known by these people (producers,directors,casting directors, agents or have a profile on actors.co.ke) you are limiting your chances of getting roles.

Is it fair? Hell no.

Does it work? Sadly yes.

Who benefits? The production house and the actors who knew about the auditions and showed up or who were known by the people hiring.

Where does that leave you and me the people who are not known? Un-discovered and still sitting at home watching TV wishing to kick start your career as an actor but you just do not know where to begin.

Unfortunately, we cannot force the productions houses to advertise for auditions every single time. Like I said, it is costly for them to do so. This is where casting directors/agencies come into play. Productions houses contact casting directors/agents and they in return inform their clients to go for auditions based on the requirements of the production house. However, with productions houses holding their own auditions, one can only assume why they rarely use casting agencies anymore.

Remedy? Let us march into production houses and force them to hold open call auditions. Yeah, that might work and get you a role for the guy who landed in prison for public protests and I will not be there when you drop soap either.

Alternatively, with technology around, I foresee a future where there will be no auditions at all let alone how they are a private affair at the moment. Producers and directors will not have time to have open call auditions. They will simply go to their online database and pick the actors they want. This is where www.actors.co.ke comes in.

If you have not already done so,please create your profile on our website as a starter. Fill in the profile registration form and have your actors resume uploaded for you. Plus it is free which is shocking. This is an idea that has already been welcomed by producers who keep calling week in week out to ask for an actors contact that they have seen on the website. They are relieved about it because it takes away the burden of them holding auditions. It will only take a few minutes to fill in the form and send it back. Few minutes that could be the start of your acting career. Remember, it is not always about attending auditions. Market and Network yourself to the people that matter. Auditions help but with them being fewer everyday and with programs still coming out, you need to get to the people who are making them.

Written by Gerald Langiri.

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