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    Posted June 9, 2011

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LORT Agreement Has Self Submission Rule

By Keith Howard, Director of Auditions

If it seems that the number of casting notices requesting photo/resumes for LORT productions has gone way up in the past couple of years, you're not imagining things. The LORT agreement now requires employers to send photo/resume requests for posting by Equity whenever they plan agent-submitted auditions in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. This is one of the many benefits Equity achieved in the most recent edition of the LORT Agreement.

In NYC alone, five of these Self-Submission requests are published every week, on average. Just letting members know that a LORT Theatre is in town, casting a certain production, might be helpful. But the new benefit doesn't stop there. The LORT employer is required to give audition appointments to Equity members who self-submit (one per available role, or five total - whichever is greater).

It's important for members to realize that this new benefit does not change any LORT employer's EPA/ECC requirements. LORT employers still hold Equity Principal Auditions and Local Equity Auditions on a seasonal basis, and they still hold Equity Chorus Calls for each chorus musical. The Self-Submission benefit gives members yet another chance to be seen by people who can hire them or recommend them for casting.

With every benefit comes responsibility, of course. You already know that members who attend EPAs and ECCs are responsible for reading casting notices carefully, typing themselves in or out, preparing well and auditioning professionally. When self-submitting, members are also responsible for observing some simple, common-sense guidelines. When you submit professionally, you'll increase your chance of being given an appointment. Your submission will also reflect positively on other members, on Equity and on the new rule itself.

Here are a few tips for ensuring that your submission comes across as professional and worthy of serious consideration:

  • Read casting notices carefully, and submit only if you are "right" for one or more roles. For these appointments, casting personnel are not looking for actors for "future reference"; they want submissions from good candidates for the roles they're currently casting.

  • Submit only if you are free to work during the entire rehearsal/performance period!

  • If your headshot and resume aren't digital yet, it's time to get this done, because some casting personnel prefer e-mail submissions. If your photographer didn't give you a digital file of your photo, ask for one. If no digital version is available, scan your photo. Consider converting your resume into a PDF, because almost every computer can open them. If you don't have the conversion software, online services can do this for you free of charge.

  • Carefully follow any instructions provided by casting personnel. These folks sometimes get dozens (or even hundreds) of self-submissions in response to each notice, and they can be forgiven for deleting submissions that don't follow reasonable instructions. Get seen, not deleted! Read the entire Self-Submission notice carefully, noting all instructions (some of which may appear on the Breakdown page), and follow them to the letter.

Since the Self-Submission rule went into effect in 2009, hundreds of members have been seen at LORT appointments. Even though the program is new, we have already heard of casting successes. Take advantage of this great new benefit, and let us know how it's working for you.

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