AH-HUH..... good old pilot season aye? I Remember when I was 17 years old, in Sydney Australia, I was about to embark on my first pilot season journey. It was late October and I had met up with some friends of mine who were also actors. The conversation quickly turned to the fact that this "Pilot season" was coming up shortly and everyone wanted to know how we were preparing for it. It is pretty safe to say now that not one of us actually knew anything about pilot season or how to go about it successfully. I mean, I didn't even have an agent! what was I thinking!
Pilot season is the biggest auditioning / working period for actors throughout the year, and many actors will receive a massive volume of auditions throughout this period. Pilot season is here film and television studios give out permissions to film makers, writers, directors etc. to film the first episode of their show or a small portion of their film to gage whether or not they are interested in picking it up and putting it on air. There are a tone of things that you have to have done in order to even "Qualify" for pilot season. If you aren't getting auditions throughout the rest of the year then don't expect to get any during pilot season. You have to set yourself up before the fact, to even be seen during pilot season.
So how do I do this?
Well there are a number of things. Firstly - you NEED, I repeat, NEED an agent that receives briefs from America and Australia. you need an agent that actually has goals for you and frequently submits you for auditions in a variety of different acting categories. There are some agencies out there that don't really have your best interests at heart, so be mindful of this! I have always been of the belief that if you sign with an agency, and do not receive an audition within 3 months - you should move on. There re plenty of auditions going around all year long. Also take into account whether you are doing enough - are your headshots updated, do you have a showreel, are you keeping your profiles up to date, are you keeping in contact with your manager and showing that you are eager to audition.
How do I find an agent that ticks all of these boxes?
Well, you have to test the waters a little bit. Very rarely will you find the right agent for you fist time around. That is just part of the gig really, there is a reason why many people find struggle in this business, its the ones who can push through and outlast the struggle that find success. Eventually you must have faith that the process will work, and you will find the right agent for you. I am 23 years old and have been working with agents since I was 15 - I have only now in my early 20's found the right agent for me, so it can take time. The only way to ensure that you find that agent is to keep pushing, don't be afraid to move on to other agencies if you feel that it isn't working out.
How do I make the most of pilot season?
Pilot season in essence, is very simply. Get as many auditions as possible, go to every single one and hopefully you will get some offers. But the process of getting yourself to a point where you CAN take full advantage of pilot season is the tricky part!
Josh Lacy - CEO of Top Tier Actors Studio.