Audition Song Selection, What to Expect, Tips, and More!
Moving to NYC: The Actor's Guide
So you just moved to New York City, and you have big dreams about being an actor on Broadway. How do you turn those dreams into a reality? There's no exact science when it comes to getting started, but I'm here to provide you with a few tips on how to get started with auditioning and getting acclimated to life in the big city.
Living in New York City as an Actor
Before you even think about going to your first audition, there are some simple living requirements you should figure out. If you still need an apartment, I recommend looking at apps like Roomi that help match people with roommates and subletters. There are also lots of Facebook groups that do this! If you're looking to rent an apartment on your own or with roommates you know, Streeteasy will be the way to go, which posts all the apartment listings in the city. Once you have a place to stay, make sure you figure out the essentials of the neighborhood - where are you doing your laundry? Where are you buying groceries? What are all the nearest subway stops? Remember that you are a human being before you are an actor, and prior to jumping into the audition scene, I recommend getting settled - there's no rush, and it's important to get your routine established!
Auditioning in New York City
Your first question probably has to do with how to find auditions. I recommend starting with BroadwayWorld's audition listings - many open auditions will be posted in their Jobs section. I also recommend checking out and making profiles on websites like Actors Access and Backstage, which also actively post auditions and allow you to submit yourself for consideration online. Keep an eye out for EPA's - Equity Principle Auditions - and ECC's - Equity Chorus Calls. Those are open calls for members of Actors Equity Association, and a great way to be seen for Broadway shows. Assuming you are not yet in the union, you will likely have to show up very early and put your name on a list of non-union auditioners that the panel will see at the end of the day if there is time. These are often an all-day affair and you will, in many cases, not be seen. This can be upsetting, but keep trying, and always keep an eye out for non-equity auditions and online submission requests.
Interim Jobs for Actors
In all likelihood, you will not be able to support yourself as an actor right off the bat. You'll want to find a job that pays decently and provides you with enough hours, while providing you scheduling flexibility to be able to audition. The go-to, of course, is waiting tables. Earning tips at a restaurant can be a great way to make a living and pay your bills while you focus on auditioning. Other options include tutoring - many SAT/ACT tutoring companies pay very well and allow you to create your own schedule. I also recommend fitness, for those of you who are inclined that way. Many dancers especially go this route because its a way to make money while staying physically fit and in shape - something that's very important, especially in musical theatre.
In all of these cases, if you haven't moved yet/are still in school, I recommend getting some experience prior to moving. Whether you're in high school, college, or just living in a city outside New York, try to get a job waiting tables, teaching fitness classes, whatever sounds most appealing. Jobs in New York City are incredibly competitive, and you'll be much better suited to get a great gig right off the bat if you have a decent resume, experience, and references. It's not a necessity, but if you have the time before moving, it's definitely worth exploring.
Networking As An Actor
My final tip for anyone moving to the city is to find a support network as soon as possible. New York is enormous, overwhelming, and quite daunting. It makes the experience so much easier once you find people to hang out with, confide in, and lean on. It makes your losses easier to
deal with, and your wins so much more enjoyable when you have people to share them with! If you didn't move with friends, make sure you're going out and introducing yourself to likeminded people - I promise New Yorkers are kinder than they are given credit for.
I hope this helps ease some of your stress about your big move - best of luck on your New York adventure!