Are Open Call Auditions Outdated?

Sep 25, 2022
Are Open Call Auditions Outdated? | PYR LDN

So we all know the open call audition process too well. You wake up at 5am to join a queue that seems to go halfway around London, but you don’t mind because today is your chance to audition on stage for your dream job! It’s a London audition where you don’t need to be best mates with the production manager's second cousin to get in. But, do they live up to the expectation? 

The Pros of Open Call Auditions

It goes without saying that open call auditions are an amazing opportunity for people who aren’t able to get in the room. You don’t need an agent to book the audition for you, you simply need to turn up, prepped and primed with your brand new repertoire

Open call auditions are fantastic experiences. You get to perform on stage and if you’re new to the audition process, it is a great opportunity to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Further, this might be your chance to audition for shows that, if closed auditions, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to. On this basis alone, open castings are very much a welcomed process in the theatre world!

Of course, another huge pro is that you are surrounded by your people; likeminded Actors and Actresses. It ’s the perfect time to network and build those relationships, which may help you when it comes to future auditions. At Prep Your Rep LDN, we’re all about community and networking and love this perk of the open call process.

The Cons of Open Call Auditions

The first con of open call auditions is of course the endless queuing. Over 2000 people queued to audition for Mamma Mia recently and unfortunately, not everyone was seen. You could wake up before the sun rises and still not get the chance to make your mark on the casting panel. This is a huge downside, especially as sometimes we have to take the time off work or cancel social occasions or self-care days to go for this opportunity.

Another con of open castings is the cost. Ask anyone whose been to a London open call audition and they will tell you how expensive it is. From booking the day off work, to travel and food expenses, it can really add up - and fast. Which is all just salt in the wound if you didn’t manage to get in the door.

Finally, with most open call auditions taking place in London, the system can be unfair to those who live outside of London. You will experience increased travel costs and will have to wake up much earlier than your peers living in the ‘Big Smoke’. 

The Verdict: Are Open Call Auditions Outdated?

For many, open call auditions are the foot in the door, potentially the only way they will get a London audition. We certainly wouldn’t want open call auditions to stop completely, but could the system be improved? We think so. 

We think that open call auditions are essential to the performing arts industry, but they are outdated and in need of a serious upgrade.  Perhaps some form of pre-registration is what is needed, no showreels or tapes involved but simply a name and a time slot. That would at least save every actor and actress in London from sitting on the grotty floor in a queue. 

Alternatively, we recommend aspiring actors and actresses seek external support. While we can’t exactly take on the West End, we can at least help you navigate the process. We are Prep Your Rep LDN, here to help you with audition support and networking opportunities. Think of us as your new bestie who understands the industry! Founded by West End Professional Ceili O’Connor, PYR LDN offers creatives the chance to learn new techniques and build their confidence. 

We do offer pay-as-you-go services but to truly reap the benefits of our community, including exclusive offers, we would recommend our memberships. We hope to see you soon!


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