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What is a callback?

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I see you talking about getting a callback in your acting blog. What is that, and why is it such a big deal?


Getting a role in a play, a commercial, a television episodic or any other creative endeavor usually follows a fairly uniform auditioning process.

There certainly are exceptions where people get roles fairly quickly, but that's the exception to the rule.

When you get that audition, you'll find yourself in a room with a lot of other people who look or sound just like you. This initial step in the process allows the casting director to see a large group of people, and then pick the best of those to come back for a second round.

That's called a callback.

You may also be "put on hold," meaning they like you for the part and are trying to assess your (and others that they like) availability to do the role.


It's important for an actor to remember that getting the audition is your agent's job (or yours, if you're representing yourself), but that doing well enough in the audition to get the callback is your job.

The auditioning process doesn't usually end there. The casting director makes her top choices from the callbacks, and sends those off to the producer of the project, along with her top recommendation. Most of the time, the producer will go with the casting director's choice, but it's far from guaranteed.

If it's a television show, or a studio film, there are going to be more layers of auditioning for those chosen from the actors called back. The studio has their say, the network, film company, writer, director, producer...all of them may say yes or no along the way.

It's not easy.

But it is exhilarating.

Thanks for asking. And for listening.

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