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Top 10 Ways to Get Yourself Booked on TV Shows, in Movies, Really

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

How did this idea come about, you may wonder? Let’s just say there’s a perfect voice down in Florida that recently piped up in a tone so unique, we just had to find someplace for this talent to land. That said, Amy Baczkowski, an Unscripted Concept Developer, Producer & Booker, based in NYC was willing to help with this challenge to come up with 10 ways to book yourself.

Most recently, as of yesterday, Baczkowski was booking for Mel Robbins (no relation to Tony) for her new show, The Mel Robbins Show. But her resume includes five Emmy awards nominations, and a lively ongoing career as a producer of various projects across the country.

To quote Amy directly, she engages “audiences with thought-provoking concepts,” and works with “nationwide brands and television networks; and has successfully developed and sold episodic series in addition to procuring a steady stream of well-received castings and bookings.”

Before we get to the list itself, here’s her litmus test for booking talent.

What I’m looking for:

Now more than ever people want to connect. I’m looking for life-changing opportunities about anything original that hasn’t been put out there yet, finding something extraordinary in someone who thinks everything about them is ordinary. Those who would be thrilled to have a once in a lifetime opportunity for “fifteen minutes of fame.”

Stories that will amaze:

The most exciting and the most challenging part of my work is I often find myself searching for people who do not want to be found. However, when someone discovers they can identify their ability to define the unique aspects of their life and realize who they can be; when that kicks in the magic starts and that’s when I know I’ve struck gold.

Top 10 Ways to Get Yourself Booked (and not in the slammer, ps!)

Q: What does someone need to know about doing their research to get booked?

AmyB

Amy Baczkowski: Know where to search for booking listings. A basic google search is a good start. When it comes to doing your research it’s important to remember producers are seeking real people to fill a need for a specific ask. Read the casting call or plugger thoroughly. Producers spend a lot of time upfront crafting the perfect language to draw in the perfect fit.

You must identify with all or most of what’s been written in order to communicate the special ask. Be prepared to have examples that specifically relate to the casting call.

The producer will ask you to paint a verbalized picture of how you relate to what they are seeking. The producer is looking for someone who is authentic.

The producer will find the unique element that makes you stand out above the rest, tell them about it! In any successful booking the producer’s main goal is to have that through-line of connection for their audiences.

Great talkers are required!

If you find it difficult to open up in an email response, or on the phone, or on a skype call, there’s a very high probability you won’t be able to open up when it comes time for cameras to roll. 

A genuine enthusiasm to share is required. If all goes well and everything fits the end result will place you in front of a live studio audience or smack dab in the middle of a production crew following your every move.

Q: Is there a perfect fit for the shows you book?

Amy Baczkowski: Always! When the energy is there and nothing feels forced it’s a match.

Q: How does a person with a unique voice get cast for voiceovers?

Amy Baczkowski: This really depends on the project. (See links below.)

Q: Should you alter your appearance or look to help you get booked?

Amy Baczkowski: Your look helps the producer visualize the spot that needs to be filled. Know the style of the show you’re gunning to be on—help to picture yourself in the role.

Q: What’s the universe of reality show slants - or what are the categories or genres (i.e.; make-over, relationship issue fixes, home improvement overhauls)?

Amy Baczkowski: The categories/genres are as vast as the universe itself.

Q: Is there a common mistake all applicants make when trying to land a show?

Amy Baczkowski: A common mistake applicants make is not following through or being difficult to get in touch with. Active productions work on tight deadlines, if you don’t communicate you’re going to miss the boat.

Q: When is the best time of year to think about going on a TV show, or is there a seasonal factor?

Amy Baczkowski: There are active productions running and developing all year round.

Q: Funniest story about epic fail on someone attempting to get cast?

Amy Baczkowski: No comment. ;) Q: Most heartwarming moment of casting?

Amy Baczkowski: Re-uniting two adult sisters separated since birth was a truly memorable moment.

Q: Do you wear your own clothes, and do your own make-up, or is that handled by reality shows?

Amy Baczkowski: This depends on the show. There are projects with dedicated HMU/Wardrobe and others without.

Bonus: How can people contact you if they have something special to offer (a distinctive look or awesome backstory)?

I’m accessible there is a contact box on my page. Head over to my website www.amybaczkowski.com.

Some links and publication recommendations:

https://www.backstage.com/casting/open-casting-calls/tv-auditions/ https://www.centralcasting.com/la/

https://www.nycastings.com/los-angeles-acting-auditions-castings-film-theatre/ http://beinamovie.com/

https://www.voiceactorwebsites.com/voice-over-agencies/

https://www.thevoicerealm.com/

https://www.projectcasting.com/tips-and-advice/how-to-find-acting-auditions/

And remember… the show must go on, so every show needs your talent.

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About Quendrith Johnson

Johnson Quendrith
LA Correspondent for fest21.com & filmfestivals.com

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