Get a Great Role In a Great Production
I'm usually asked this by actors, and what they really mean is, "How can I get a great part in one of your plays?" Well, the answer - which you'll find below - may not be what you'd expect.
There are two paths to the stage of a great theater company: I call them the paths of Inspiration and Perspiration.
Some actors are so wonderful, so charismatic, and so powerful on stage, that they don't have to do anything to get cast.
Once we see them, we hunt them down and beg them to work with us before Broadway or Hollywood whisks them away. If you are lucky enough to be one of these actors, then you needn't read on - you're probably getting more offers for great parts than you know what to do with.
But if you're not - and this is probably true if you're new to the business - there's a much better strategy: Find a theater company producing good work, and ingeniously insinuate yourself into its consciousness.
Here's what I suggest:
Don't use mass emailing
Mailing letters to theater companies asking for an audition, or "to keep me in mind for future projects" is generally a waste of time. Theater companies cast at specific times for specific parts, and it's very easy for mail like this to get unintentionally (or intentionally) lost.
Instead, focus your efforts on one (or two) awesome companies
See a lot of plays. Talk to a lot of theater people. Then choose a company (or two) that does exactly the kind of work you'd love to be doing, and which is composed of exactly the kind of people you'd love to be working with. Research the company; talk with the managing director or some of the actors. Ask if there are any events (readings, benefits, etc.) that you could attend.
Don't just send them a letter.
Best of luck in all of your theatrical endeavors!
By Chad Gracia
Executive Director of Inverse Theater Company