Pilot Season – Go Bold or Stay Home!

Guy working with Eleane Puell in one of his classes at the Electric Lodge in Venice. Courtesy Guy Camilleri.

by Guy Camilleri

The months of January – March is one of the most significant time periods known to actors. These three months are commonly known as “Pilot Season.” A Pilot is a stand-alone episode of a television series that will be used to sell that show and typically runs as the first episode of said series if a network picks it up. For the actor, this time period is filled with an abundance of job interviews and potential work.

That being said, we can ascertain that it is precisely in our best interest to prepare for the onslaught of auditions that are in development as I write this column. Getting your ducks lined up in a row will help you respond in kind to the chaos, drama, comedy and most importantly, to revel in the opportunities for your voice to be heard!

One of the best ways to reduce stress, stay relaxed and concentrate on this extended task at hand is to sharpen your focus and make sure your assets are in order. Here are three things you can do that will assist you in having a fantastic 2018 Pilot Season.

1.    A healthy you is a vibrant YOU!

Without good health, there is no way you will be able to sustain the energy levels required during Pilot Season, let alone when you get cast in a television series. The month of December is the time to visit your Internist (a comprehensive physical), the Dentist, Dermatologist, Chiropractor, Acupuncturist or any other health specialist to ensure you will be in your best shape to GO BOLD during the 2018 Pilot Season.

2.    Get your ‘Personal Brand’ in order!

Now is the time to check in with your team (Agent, Manager, Acting Coach, Publicist) to confirm everyone is on the same page and sending out the right signal as to who you are as an actor and what you are capable of doing. Actors without representation would be best not to rely on pilot auditions as their primary source of bookings. Most castings come from a casting directors industry list and agency submissions.

In regards to your “Brand,” there is tremendous power in knowing your niche and simultaneously knowing just how far you are willing to stretch your comfort zone when that one-of-a-kind role comes your way. Be sure to have that conversation with your team to avoid any miscommunication and more importantly, the buildup of resentments.

3.    Assets, Assets, Assets!

The month of January 2018 may not be the best time to update your headshot! Is your reel updated and is it broken down into individual clips? It’s critical that your resume is current and easily downloadable in a PDF format. Be sure to take a moment and create a folder with your headshots, reel, resume and bio along with the passwords for all of your acting websites. The last thing you want is to scramble around trying to remember passwords driving from one audition to the next.

Is your website ‘mobile friendly’ and does it follow the 3 click rule for Casting Directors to quickly find the needed information on our site?

Your presence via Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) is a requirement for today’s actor. It’s your job to provide your team with the tools of the trade, so they can best represent you and get you pilot auditions.

“Acting is doing, and the doing requires Practice.”

I coined this phrase because it sums up the importance of attending acting class on a regular basis. Acting is not static, and it’s not passive in the sense that you can sit back and read a book or watch a video hoping to learn how to act, or fine-tune your instrument for the upcoming Pilot Season.

Now is the time to audit and enroll in a class that best suits your needs to practice your craft, sharpen your skill set and take risks in a dynamic and safe environment. I would love for you to consider my classes at the Electric Lodge in Venice Beach, California and at the same time, it’s important to me that you will be 100% comfortable in choosing the right studio and teacher.

Good luck!

Guy Camilleri is a Venice-based actor, acting coach, and poet. He teaches regular classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Electric Lodge, in Venice. His private coaching specializes in audition preparation, self-taped auditions, original reels and career consultation. To audit a class, enroll in a class, or book a coaching session go to www.guycamilleri.com. Follow Guy on Instagram @guycamilleri and Facebook.