Finding auditions for legitimate, paying jobs can be difficult if you are not signed to an agency. Difficult, but not impossible. And because opportunities to audition are limited before you are signed, you have to jump at those chances when they arise. This brings us to that all-important question: where does an unsigned dancer find auditions? Agencies use casting websites to find auditions for their clients. You can too! Below is a list of reputable casting resources. Shop around, and find one that works for you.
I personally feel, this is the most popular casting website for work in the Los Angeles area. Agents use this website a lot! It is a great resource. Note: you will see some unpaid and student work here as well.
Anyone can create an account. Once you do, you will submit yourself for projects. If you fit the criteria, casting will contact you with a request to come in and audition. LA Casting requires a monthly fee of $14.95 (subject to change, as all fees are) to keep your profile on the website. You get to upload one photo for free; after that, there is an additional cost of $25 per photo. This can get pricy. But think of it as an investment. Sometimes, you need to spend money to make money. Just make sure that you’re using your money wisely. If you’re going to pay to upload additional photos, then those photos should be showing a variety of different looks.
Another popular website used by casting agents is Actors Access. Again, anyone can create an account. Actors Access doesn’t have as many postings as LA Casting, but it sometimes lists jobs that are not on other casting websites. This site offers two different options for profiles. The first option is to create your free profile on the website. If you see an opportunity you would like to apply for, you have to pay a small submission fee. If you would like to add your reel or a specific video to a submission, then there is an additional charge for that as well. The second option is to pay $68/year (again, subject to change) for your account. This allows you to apply to as many auditions and add as many materials as you would like. No matter which option you choose, you get to upload two photos for free. Each photo after that is an additional charge.
Backstage.com is one of the best casting websites for dancers who don’t live in L.A. I have yet to find another website that advertises as many opportunities for jobs outside of LA. I have lived in a number of cities in the Midwest, and Backstage.com never failed to provide me with audition notices, regardless of my location. On the other hand, when it comes to L.A., this site doesn’t post as many paying jobs as LA Casting and Actors Access do. Like the other two casting websites, though, you will have to pay for a subscription to maintain your profile on the Backstage. There are different packages to choose from, but a year-long subscription costs around $150. On the plus side, you do not have pay to add additional photos on this website!
This is your go-to place to find all Disney auditions! Sometimes Disney posts auditions on the casting websites listed above, but not always. Double check the Disney website to ensure that you never miss an audition. The site is free to use and open to the public.
This website is most useful for dancers living in New York City or on the east coast. Answers4dancers.com is very Broadway-heavy when it comes to auditions. I had an account with them for a while, but it wasn’t particularly useful for me once I moved to L.A. Though it is still a great resource, note that Answers4dancers has a rather niche focus. So you won’t find all of the job opportunities that other websites might post. Again, you will have to pay to keep a profile on the website. Like Actor’s Access and Backstage.com, a variety of packages are offered. But an average, year-long subscription is currently around $75.
When taking classes at the major studios in your city, be sure to walk down the hallways and check bulletin boards for audition notices. It may or may not be paying work, but it’s a great way to meet new people and find opportunities. Bulletin boards aren’t as efficient as websites, but it never hurts to look!
Theme Parks and Cruise Lines
If you’re interested in working at theme parks or on cruise lines, then your best bet is to go directly to the source. You may find these jobs posted on some of the casting websites listed above. But you are guaranteed to find them on theme parks or cruise line’s website itself. Save yourself the hassle, and check out these sites:
Additionally, search Facebook for dance groups in your area. I have found a handful of last-minute opportunities and auditions for local performances/gigs through these groups! Always be on the lookout for auditions on Instagram, too.
Finally, remember that these websites are not only dance-focused! There are also opportunities for singers, actors, models, etc. You may have to dig a little bit to find what you want, but the opportunities are there. Further, remember that many of these casting websites post unpaid and student work opportunities. If you are trying to change fields in the industry or develop new skills, unpaid work is a great way to do that. And if you lack credits on your resume, taking a few free jobs isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Keep in mind that most of the websites have different subscription packages. Review your options carefully, and decide out what is best for you!