Hollywood in Los Angeles, California is often considered the showbiz capital of the world. This is not really surprising as it houses a whole lot of film production studios, casting and talent agencies, is home to a great number of actors and celebrities and plays host to thousands of acting auditions per year as well. Because of this, it has drawn a great number of aspiring actors who want to make a name for themselves in the entertainment industry.
However, LA is not the only location in the US where you can find a wealth of auditions, whether you are an aspiring actor, dancer or singer. There are other cities all over the country that also hold a great number of them that could propel your name into the limelight.
So, to acquaint yourself with the the top 5 major locations for acting auditions, check out our list below:
For many actors, Los Angeles is the place to be. Being in LA gives them an edge over the others, since it is where the best talent agencies, the biggest production companies and the top casting offices are. The idea of living here basically allows an actor to be in the loop and deal with people who can get them their dream job.
The city is now called the “Creative Capital of the World,” for reasons that one in every six locals works in a creative field. According to the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, “there are more artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, dancers, and musicians living and working in Los Angeles than any other city at any time in the history of civilization.”
Performing arts play a vital role in the cultural identity of Los Angeles. In a report by the same institution, “there are more than 1,100 annual theatrical productions and 21 openings every week.” In fact, the Los Angeles Music Center, one of the three biggest performing art centers in the country, serves over 1.3 million visitors annually.
Lots of notable groups and organizations perform and reside in the city, including the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Center Theatre Group and the Los Angeles Opera, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Los Angeles is also home to premier institutions like the USC Thornton School of Music and Colburn School.
LA is also home to Hollywood, which is globally recognized as the center of the motion picture industry. Each year, the entertainment capital hosts prestigious entertainment events like the Academy Awards, which is the oldest and one of the most outstanding award ceremonies on the planet. It is also home to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the oldest film school in the US.
Many film companies are based in New York, but most of the production happens in Los Angeles. With that being said, the city has abundant opportunities for artists, crew members and cinematographers.
New York City may be as congested as LA, but still, it is a popular filming location for movies, television programs and has even inspired a great number of books.
The Big Apple is best known for Broadway shows though. These productions are the theatrical performances done in 40 different professional theaters, situated along Theater District and Lincoln Center that offer more than 500 seats. The history of Broadway started in the year 1880, when the theaters in New York began featuring a new kind of stage act, which later became known as the Broadway musical.
The Broadway Theater District of New York City is a popular tourist attraction, with Broadway shows earning billions and billions each year. According to The Broadway League, Broadway shows sold approximately $1.27 billion worth of tickets in the 2013-2014 season, and had an 11.4% increase from $1.39 billion from the previous season.
New York City is also home to 12 influential and prestigious arts organizations, which include the New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, the Juilliard School, the Vivian Beaumont Theater, Alice Tully Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Tisch School of the Arts and Central Park SummerStage.
Plenty of films have been set and will soon be set in New York City, but among the most unforgettable ones are Sex and the City, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. The city also served as the backdrop to films like The Wolf of Wall Street, Side Effects and Winter’s Tale.
Chicago is the third largest media market in the country, after Los Angeles and New York City. Not to mention, four of the biggest TV networks in the United States own and operate high-definition TV stations here and these are CBS, ANC, Fox and NBC. Talk shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show even broadcast here.
Other than New York, Chicago also has their own Broadway-style entertainment featured at five different theaters – the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Bank of America Theatre, Broadway Playhouse and Cadillac Palace Theatre. The city also hosts the annual Joseph Jefferson Awards, an event that gives recognition and acknowledgment to outstanding theaters within the area.
As Chicago, Illinois boasts a breathtaking skyline and a historic neighborhood, it is known to be a world-class film destination. With its thriving film industry, the city has become the home to renowned actors and film crew.
Audiences from all over the world flock to Chicago to witness how its streets and landmarks are portrayed in films and television. Since 1980, over 1,100 feature films and TV programs were already filmed here, adding $2 billion to the city’s annual revenue. As a film-friendly location, plenty of blockbuster movies were shot here and these include Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Contagion, The Dark Knight, The Blues Brothers, Ferries Bueller’s Day Off, Batman Begins, I Robot, Wanted and Public Enemies.
For TV shows like The Bob Newhart Show, Shake It Up, Family Matters, Prison Break, Chicago has been a good setting. The city even served as the location for medical dramas, such as Chicago Hope and ER. It is also the current filming location of Showtime’s Shameless, NBC’s Chicago P.D., and CBS’s Mike and Molly and The Good Wife.
Because a huge number of films and television series were filmed in Chicago, it is ranked as one of the most respected production centers in the nation. Each year, hundreds of national and international photo shoots and commercials are done in the city, providing quality jobs for locals and generating more opportunities for business owners.
Miami, Florida is home to lots of entertainment venues, performing arts centers and theaters. The latest addition to its arts scene, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, is the second largest performing arts center after New York City’s Lincoln Center. The center draws a huge audience from all over the world for its world-class musicals, large-scale operas, concerts and ballets.
The city is home to other performing arts venues as well, including Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center, Lincoln Theatre, Colony Theatre, Coconut Grove Playhouse, New World Theatre, Manuel Artime Theater, Jackie Gleason Theatre, Actor’s Playhouse, Playground Theatre, the Fair Expo Center, Bayfront Park Amphitheater, Wertheim Performing Arts Center and Ring Theater.
A vast number of singers, actors, dancers, musicians and orchestral players perform in Miami. This is largely because the city has plenty of symphonies, performing art conservatories and orchestras like FIU School of Music, Florida Grand Opera, Miami Conservatory, New World School of the Arts and Frost School of Music.
Also as a major fashion center, Miami is known to be where plenty of the top modeling agencies and the most popular models in the world are found. The city hosts lots of fashion events and shows, including the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and the annual Miami Fashion Week.
Miami, Florida, being a center for film and television productions, is also a favored filming location because of its climate. And because a large portion of the city’s population is Hispanic, Miami has been a major center for Spanish-language film and television production. As a result, plenty of Spanish-language programs are filmed here, including game shows, reality shows, variety shows and the so-called, “telenovelas.”
The city has served as backdrop for award shows and television shows for years as well. But, it was only in the year 2000 when it became a popular setting for reality TV shows. A wide array of films and shows, both fictional and non-fictional, has been shot and set wholly or partially here. These include The Golden Girls and Miami Vice. Some scenes of Lost and Thunderball were done here as well.
In a year, Miami’s filming industry contributes around $2 billion to the country’s revenue, with $100 to $150 million coming from over 1,000 filming shoots. Within the city, there are approximately 3,000 films and entertainment companies, and thus, employing around 15,000 locals.
Atlanta is among the few cities in the United States with companies in almost all major disciplines of performing arts – ballet, music, opera and theater. The city attracts lots of Broadway acts, exhibitions, shows and concerts, with its performing arts district concentrated in Midtown Atlanta. Now, the city is called, “the new Hollywood.”
The Fox Theatre, a historic landmark and the highest grossing theatre of the city, hosts most of the major Broadway acts. Atlanta is also home to lots of theater groups, including the world-renowned Center for Puppetry Arts, the Horizon Theater Company, Theatrical Outfit, Seven Stages Theater, Actor’s Express and the Shakespeare Tavern.
Outstanding local theaters in the city are honored and given recognition as well, as the city hosts the yearly events like Suzi Bass Awards and the Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards. Atlanta also hosts the Atlanta Film Festival, an international film festival held every April, showcasing a wide range of indie films, from horror to sci-fi.
Other than that, there are other film festivals here, including the Peachtree Village International Film Festival, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the Out on Film Gay Film Festival, Atlanta Underground Film Festival and a lot more.
Dubbed as “the Hollywood of the South,” more and more film productions are ramping up in Atlanta. Not only does the city offer a charming and savvy location for filming, it also has great shopping and dining destinations. Not to mention that Atlanta has an ideal climate, which draws more film and TV producers. Some notable productions that were done here include Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Zombieland, The Walking Dead and Drop Dead Diva.
In a typical day, locals and tourists are privileged to celebrity sightings in the city. Lots of Hollywood royalties like Kim Kardashian, Ludacris, Ne-Yo, Jane Fonda, as well as the cast members of The Real Housewives are seen strolling around town.
These cities are great places for aspiring actors such as yourself. But, at the end of the day, regardless of what city you choose to be in, the fate of your career lies in your hands.
If you lack the determination and passion to become successful in the industry, your acting career will never soar as high as you would want it to. So, it you will have to be driven and work hard in order to ace your acting auditions and get booked for your first major break.