How I booked a pilot for MTV
Right before the holidays I was fortunate enough to book a pilot for a new TV show on MTV. I say fortunate as though I had no control over it, because I didn’t, but what I did have control over was creating the circumstances to book the role, making the most of my time on-set, and leveraging the booking post-filming. I wanted to share with you my tips and tricks to booking the role and beyond.
Tip #1: Cultivate key relationships
I had auditioned a few times for the casting director that was overseeing the casting for the MTV project. I would email her personally for roles and opportunities, but only when they were a perfect fit for me and not just for the sake of reaching out. I would also congratulate her on new projects to show that I was interested in her growth as well and not “just what’s in it for me.” For more tips on to cultivate more effectively, read one of my past articles here.
Tip #2: Be confident. Believe in yourself with unyielding faith.
While on the elevator to the audition, I was accompanied by one of the building’s handymen. He looked over at me reviewing my lines and said, “Headed to casting? Are you going to book the role?” Without even thinking or missing a beat, I smiled, looked him straight in the eye, and said, “Yes.” He was so taken aback that he just laughed and shook his head and said, “With that type of confidence. I believe you.”
One of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten on my journey is, “If you don’t buy it. Who will?” You can’t forget to do your inner work to get external results. Practice your mantras and affirmations, practice speaking positivity and success, be gentle and forgiving with yourself, and truly buy-in to the fact that your dreams aren’t out of reach, but by the mere fact that you are on your journey, you have already won. Say “yes” to you.
Tip #3: Never forget that preparation is paramount.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. I walked into the audition prepared. I knew who my character was, I knew what it was uniquely about myself that I was going to bring to the character that no one else could bring, and I knew that the outcome wasn’t up to me, but this was my time to play. I was prepared to play within the given circumstances of the audition.
I came prepared to set. Well-rested, positive attitude, off-book but open to direction and notes, and most importantly, I came prepared to learn. To learn from the director, the other actors, cast, and crew. I came prepared mentally, physically, and spiritually to receive the most out of the experience while giving back and adding value to it as well.
Tip #4: Don’t forget about marketing.
After I received the news that I booked the pilot, I sent out a newsletter to my friends, contacts, and industry folks to let them know about the booking and other career highlights. I also sent out personal postcards to my target group of casting directors and industry peers. There’s no shame in spreading the word about your accomplishments, just remember to do it authentically and to always offer a way to add value to their lives or give back somehow.
Tip #5: Say thanks.
Often we forget about one of the most important steps in the trajectory of our careers. Being grateful and saying thank you. I made sure to thank everyone, including my fellow actors, for the opportunity to work and share my gift and purpose with others.
So thank you for reading my article and if you found it of value, please share with your friends, comment below, and tweet @candywashington and let me know.