January can be a quiet time in the industry, with not much going on. After the festive season, people have a list of New Years resolutions to fulfil and part of this, if you’re a performer can be to say ‘right…time to land that dream job.’
You sit down at your desk on the first day you start work after the clock has chimed midnight on January 1st and many people are put off by the fact that January can be a quiet month.
Unless you’ve been in panto, you could well have had time to get geared up and motivated to start writing to people and then the negative doubts start to creep in about how many other people are doing exactly the same thing and how there’s ‘probably no work out there anyway.’
That’s not altogether true. Before Christmas, many company executives were putting together advertising campaigns for EASTER and beyond and those adverts will be filming soon. Those parts will need casting and new seasons are starting elsewhere soon too.
For starters, the Chichester Festival Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe cast in December and January for forthcoming projects and many independent producers and producing theatres across the UK are doing the same.
You can often find details out just by looking at the Casting section of the website. Or you can give the theatre company a call and speak to the receptionist – asking who’s in charge of casting and who you should write to. You’d be amazed at how much information you can get just by asking a few polite questions. They will be busy doing a number of different tasks and their super objective will be to get rid of you as quickly as possible and quite often, this can lead to them giving you all of the information that you require. Don’t be too probing and my advice would be, do not ask to speak to the person you are trying to reach – the chances are they won’t be available and if they are, all of your efforts have suddenly turned in to cold calling and you might as well have been calling up to sell the theatre a water cooler.
You can also phone the offices of producers and ask who to write to so that you can be included in future castings. They can only say ‘no’ and you don’t have to give your name in the first instance. You certainly won’t have been the first person to do it. You’re far more likely to get a response by speaking to a person, rather than emailing a generic address.
To summarise, January needn’t be a wasted month in terms of landing that dream acting job. There’s plenty of opportunities to be fulfilled and if not… There’s always the other 11 months to achieve your goals for the year!