Hollywood Talent Agent Auditions: The Truth About Stand-Ups

What is the best method to showcase your talent to a talent agent? Is it a monologue? Is it a staged scene? Is it a cold read scene? Is it a real demo?

The answer depends on the actor. It’s a case-by-case answer because each actor has a unique background. For example, if you are a veteran actor with great credits and demo material, then by all means let your demo do the talking. If you are a child actor or a young adult actor, you may not have credits or demo images because you are just starting your career. Maybe you have great stage presence and room-filling charisma. Then you may want to get in front of talent agents so they can experience your charisma.

If you’re basically a newbie or have limited credits, the agent will mostly be based on your appearance, your training, and whether you have any experience on set.

In recent history, only one in three talent agents asked you to bring in a scene or monologue, and today, that’s even fewer, so you probably won’t be asked to do that. But they might ask you to read some “copy” for a commercial or possibly give you a scene to cold read with them. They almost no longer ask for scenes prepared in their offices.

Good, bad or indifferent, they mostly go through your interview, look now and see if other things on your resume convince them that you probably know what you’re doing.

Understand that your interview is extremely important.

Any self-respecting talent agent places a lot of emphasis on the way you interview. I believe in the adage, “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.” If you lack “personality,” a sense of self, “star quality,” and charisma in your interview, why would a talent agent assume you’d bring these qualities to an audition with a casting director?

This is just the fact of the matter for the actors making their way into the “Hollywood food chain. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work at your craft. In fact, your craft should be so impressive that you can shine and stand out in just two lines.

A final piece of advice:

If you’re willing to take a risk and you’re very confident, then offer to do a monologue for the agent, he might let you. Then blow them up again! Take off their socks!

If you want to do that, choose a light-hearted and entertaining monologue that shows off your talent and is a character you could play on TV. Make sure the monologue is light – DO NOT do Shakespeare and DO NOT do a super dramatic break up scene – wrong time and place.

Make it 2 to 3 minutes long. Be super well prepared. Make sure it’s super cool and surprise them. You only get one chance to make a first impression. It starts with great head shots, then ends with a great acting monologue.

The truth is, agents and casting directors are always hoping that the next actor they meet is the one they’ve been waiting for! If you don’t have the tape to show them that you are The One, show it live and in person, right in front of their very eyes.

And that’s the truth about it!

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