First: apologies for the radio silence! During the eight months I was in the Netherlands I dreamed of being busy and so now the universe is like: “You want busy? Take this!” I’ve had the fourth of July festivities (and accompanying eh..refreshments) followed by a 4.30AM call for a music video followed by a 18 hour shoot followed by moving to my new apartment till 2AM and then the many administrative moving hurdles, auditions, Ikea trips, hikes and social gatherings on top. It’s all good of course, but it’s made finding time for blogging difficult!

So, what have you missed? I had my first theatrical audition which means for film or TV and my first callback! A callback is basically the next round of auditions, and I had one for a commercial. I’ve now done about five auditions here in LaLaLand and although I go them on my bicycle like any good Dutch girl would the auditions here are different from those in the Netherlands…

1. Headshots
 In LA you’re always expected to have a headshot and resume with you whereas in the Netherlands they just print out a paper with tiny photos of all actors that come in to audition. For some reason headshots need to be 8×10 which I’ve never understood since it’s not an existing paper format.

2. Sides
 While in Netherlands you’re expected to know your lines and be off book, whether for a commercial or theatrical audition, in LA they have different rules. For a commercial you should be off book, the reason that with sides looks fake. For a theatrical audition however, you should always hold your sides, otherwise you’re basically saying that your performance in the audition is finished and final. Or something like that. Either way, it makes them nervous when you don’t have your sides, so they usually provide them during the casting.

3. Casting Studios
Commercial auditions in Los Angeles are held in studios where lots of agencies are holding castings at the same time. So you come into this place and it’s swamped with all sorts of different people auditioning for different things. Then you have to find your casting assistant or sign up sheet, sign in, and wait with the rest of the cattle. This is how I came to encounter my first crazy stage mom lashing out at her child for being, well, a child. In the Netherlands casting agencies have their own studio in-house, so it’s always very laid back and not crowded by actors.

4. Instructions
In LA every 10 minutes or so a casting assistant comes in to collect everyone that has recently signed up for the commercial. Then they take you to the studio where the casting is done to give instructions about the audition. Some are such an elaborate string of events instructed so quickly that it takes all my attention and English skills to keep up. In the Netherlands the instructions are given by e-mail in advance, and again at each audition individually. Which of course is only possible because they have much less actors coming in.

5. Slating
There’s a thing calls slating in LA, which is basically introducing yourself to the camera. It’s very short and quick and I am not sure if this is only for commercials, but I didn’t have to do it for my theatrical audition. In the Netherlands they usually want to know more than your name, they also ask what things you’ve done and some people add things they think are funny. I don’t know, I kind of prefer just saying my name, they have your resume after all!

6. Callbacks
In the Netherlands you always get informed whether you’re called back or not after the audition. Even when you don’t get the part or a callback they email you, and sometimes even call. It’s very polite but I prefer the LA way: just let me know when I do have a callback. Otherwise every time a casting agency calls my nerves shoot up, and it’s just awkward when you don’t get the part.

Well, those are the ones I’ve noticed to far, but I’ve only been here for a little over four weeks. Hopefully soon I’ll get to tell you about the differences in what it’s like to get the part! What are auditions in your country like? Love from LA!

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