Friday, January 6, 2012

Soap Me Up: Getting the Soapy Gig

The second in a four-part series about background work on daytime soap operas. Read Part 1 here.

Yesterday I revealed that I occasionally do background work for soap operas. So how did I get started on this cheesy, fun path?

The same way I get everything in my career – commitment and persistence.

I started by submitting my headshot and resume to all the soap casting directors with a post-it note – “Submission for Under 5s and Background Work.” Then I submitted again after four months. And again. And again. Soap casting directors turn over every once in a while, so continually submitting ensures you’re introduced to the latest person doing the hiring.

Every year, I also take at least one casting director workshop with a soap CD and watch at least one full episode of each show every 6 months. Best homework ever.

Eventually someone called. For The Young and the Restless, I actually went in for a meet and greet so the casting director could make sure I understood the gig. The two key concepts for nailing this meeting (or any soap audition situation) are simple – be beautiful and be normal. Casting directors want people who look good who can also be professional and alert on set. Shooting a soap is fast work – they need pros who can dive right in, not beginners.

If you’re interested in this kind of work, do a round of submissions right now! As of today, here are the Under 5/Background casting directors for the remaining LA-based soaps:
Sarah Tirado
Bold & The Beautiful
7800 Beverly Blvd., Ste. 3371
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Jason Looney
Days of Our Lives
3400 W. Olive Ave., Ste. 315
Burbank, CA 91505

Gwen Hillier
General Hospital
4151 Prospect Ave.
Stage 4, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Greg Salmon
The Young and the Restless
7800 Beverly Blvd., Ste. 3305
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(I should note that all the info in this series is based on my experience in Los Angeles. Booking soap background in New York could be a very different beast – I don’t know.)

Tomorrow: What to expect when you actually get a booking!

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