Acting Audition: Getting The Callback

    Getting a Callback is paramount to actually landing a role on a sitcom, commercial, music video or movie. However, most beginning actors audition for the role; with the role as the goal in mind. Getting a callback should be what every hopeful actor wishes for after the initial audition.

    Getting a Callback means that the casting director liked your acting audition and feel that you have some potential to fit a specific role. You obviously did something that they liked and are interested in seeing you again.

    If you have an agent and obtained the initial audition through them, then they will probably be the one who will inform you of a callback. If you don’t have an agent or acquired the audition on your own, then you will most likely receive a direct call from the Casting Director.

    The most important thing to remember about getting the callback is to do exactly what you did the first time. Exactly. This means you should wear the same clothes in the same way; if your shirt wasn’t tucked in the first time then wear it the same way for the callback. This goes for everything from your hair style to makeup and nail polish to socks. They liked what they saw the first time, so you should make every effort to duplicate it.

    However, your agent or the Casting Director may ask you to do something different. They may ask you to wear different clothes, a different hair style, less makeup, more makeup, enhance or downplay certain aspects of the character. Try to grasp and visualize what you are being asked to do. Your agent and the CD are on your side and want you to get the part as much as you do.

    If you don’t receive a callback for a particular role, don’t take it personally. It doesn’t mean that you are a bad actor, it just means that you weren’t right for that role. Giving a role to someone who isn’t the right fit for it only makes everyone look bad, including the actor. Just keep trying and believe in your talent.

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    Getting an Acting Audition

    Getting an acting audition is the first step in securing any role, whether it’s a commercial, sitcom, theatre or a film. Auditions are usually acquired through an agent or by self searching open auditions.

    If you have an agent then they will submit you for roles that they feel you have a good chance of getting a callback from. Additionally, you may hear about an audition and contact your agent to see about getting in for an audition because your agent may or may not know about it. If they are aware of the role and didn’t submit you then it’s because they felt it wasn’t the right part for you this time. Be sure to inform your agent of any auditions that you discover independently and they may be able to submit you in for it.

    While there are some things that you can do to improve your chances of landing a role, there are also certain things that are just out of your hands. Don’t become discouraged if you aren’t submitted or given an opportunity to audition for a particular role. This has nothing to do with your acting ability. It just means that they had a different idea for that character; either in looks, talent or a combination of both. If a casting director is looking for a blond with a small stature and you’re a brunette with a big build, then there really isn’t any point in auditioning for that part.

    The best way to improve your chances of getting auditions is to learn all that you can about the art of acting. Study and practice different expressions, scenarios, emotions and characters that you admire. Cultivate your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses whether it’s an emotion, gesture or specific personality. If you feel that you need help and guidance to propel you then you may want to take some acting classes or go to a reputable acting school.

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    “How To Write Your Own Big Break” with acclaimed screenwriter Steven Bagatourian

    In today’s hypercompetitive multimedia climate, it’s rare for actors to be cast in roles that showcase the full range of their unique gifts. Many actors have become disillusioned waiting for that “dream part” to come along and today’s landscape requires taking more initiative than ever before.

    Steve Bagatourian’s “How To Write Your Own Big Break” workshop at Theatre of Arts is formatted specifically to teach actors how to get their work seen by industry professionals and the public at large in order to create the momentum needed to launch a career on their own terms using screenwriting techniques that highlight the actor’s unique talents.

    Where most teachers and consultants will strictly hammer on plot points, etc. because “that stuff is easier to teach”, Steve’s workshops are based on the TWO THINGS he feels matter regarding being a successful screenwriter: the way you write characters and the strength of your voice (meaning, original, etc.) as a writer.

    At the age of 21, Steven Bagatourian’s screenplay, ‘WEASEL’, won the Grand Prize in the International Cinestory Screenwriting Awards com­pe­tition.

    Steve co-wrote the IFC FILMS release AMERICAN GUN (2006) starring Forest Whitaker, Marcia Gay Harden, and Donald Sutherland. The film was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress). Roger Ebert review

    As a professional screenwriter for 16 years Steve has written the first three drafts of the upcoming Tupac Shakur biopic set to be released by Morgan Creek Productions, has collaborated on film and theater projects with a variety of world class professionals ranging from Denzel Washington to Dr. Dre, and has sold scripts to many companies including Warner Bros, New Crime Productions, Mandalay Entertainment, Participant Media, Echo Lake Productions, 20th Century Fox, IFC Films, and Alcon Entertainment.

    Classes are held on Mondays from 7-10 pm – May 4th – June 8th. These workshops are open to all actors over 18 years old.

    The fee is $180 for general public, $150 for Alumni and TOA associates.

    A $50 deposit is required and full payment must be made before the start of class on May 4th.

    For registration and further information/course outline please contact:


    Phone: 323-463-2500 ext.4

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    FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Beauty, Fashion, & Editorial Hair and Makeup artist Kelli Zehnder.

    While larger theatre groups or film/tv productions will often have an ‘on-staff’ stage/set makeup artist, it’s not unusual for you to be expected to do your own makeup if you’re performing in a smaller group or production. In some cases, a makeup artist may ‘design’ the look for your production, and you will then be expected to recreate that look on an ongoing basis for performance. In either case, it’s essential to learn the art of applying stage makeup, and to be able to do so skillfully, and in service to the character you’re playing.

    In Theatre of Arts’ aptly titled ‘Makeup’ class , instructor Kelli Zehnder ensures that students learn the basics of theatrical make up for both beauty and character, as well as the study of how the make-up is applied for film and television production.

    The class focuses on several key application techiques including:

    Understanding how special effects are achieved.

    Aging process.

    Fashion of specific historical periods.

    Creation of wounds, scars and bruises.

    Application of character based make up.

    Basic make up techniques.

    Kelli Zehnder has been doing hair and makeup professionally for all media since 1998. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Tinsel Tokyo, Newport Beach Magazine, Laguna Beach Magazine, and Playboy and she has provided hair and makeup for HealthNet, Budweiser,, Progressive Insurance, and Lezu Atelier to name a few.

    Kelli has also worked with noted fashion and celebrity photographers such as Jon McKee, Howard Rosenberg, Kim Mizuno, Randy Lorentzen, Chad Alan, LUCIMA, Carlo Parducho, Kristina Sado, Robert Wilde, Nick Stern as well as models from Elite Model Management, LA Models, Otto Models, Pinkerton, No Ties Management, Willow Models, Wilhelmina, and Ford Models.

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    Theatre of Arts Richard Tatum to direct ‘Gluttony Lost His Appetite’ at Acting Out! Ink Fest 2015.

    Theatre of Arts voice over and rehearsal production instructor Richard Tatum is directing the comedy – ‘Gluttony Lost His Appetite’ by Audrey Ryan (Friday at 5pm and Saturday at 9:30pm) at the 2015 ‘Acting Out! Ink Fest’: A Festival of Female Playwrights’.

    The weekend-long celebration hosted by the 2Cents Theatre Group (a sponsored non-profit artistic organization) features theatre written by women and runs April 17-19 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Hollywood.

    For day tickets or VIP passes and all the event info CLICK HERE or go to (Single show tickets must be purchased at the door).

    Richard is a director and multi-award nominated actor known for Spyro: Year of the Dragon (2000), The Break Up (2008) and Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (2001), and his 30-year career spans stage, film, TV, commercials and even cartoons. His extensive voice over career has included work for The History Channel (Narration), Rockstar Games (Grand theft Auto V), Square Enix (Final Famtasy XIV), Disney Games (Kung Fu Panda), Legos, McDonald’s, Honda, American Express, Verizon, Guinness, and GM/Buick.

    He is a proud graduate of Oberlin College, the Second City Directors’ Program, Directors Lab West and is a member of the SDC, SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity. In addition, he teaches voiceover under the banner Absolute VoiceOver.


    VO Talent:

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