Actor FAQ

Looking for the Producer FAQ? Click here!

Registering for Stonehenge as an Actor

    • Actor pre-registration is required as audition slots are chosen by lottery (i.e., no walk-ins).
    • Actor Registration is online only, via the partner organization’s website (for the 2018 auditions, this will be WIFV’s event pages for both Session One and Session Two).
    • The partner organization may have restrictions or fees associated with the event based on an actor’s membership with their organization. Stonehenge Auditions only asks that actors be 18 years or older as the actor, not a parent or guardian, needs to sign the release to be videotaped.
    • Actors (and producers) can find out the date and time of the next in-person Stonehenge Audition by checking out the Stonehenge Casting Facebook page, the Team J Twitter feed, or our mailing list. The mailing list is the absolute best way to be the first to know about when Stonehenge Auditions will occur and when registration opens. If you email us directly, we will tell you the same thing.
    • Audition slots are assigned via a randomized lottery. Actors who have appeared in a previous session for that year are not eligible to appear in another session. Actors on the Mud List are ineligible for any session.
    • Audition times are divided into 15-minute timeslots that begin depending on the session. For 2018, both sessions will be from 6:30pm to 9:30pm with audition times beginning promptly at 7pm and finishing at 9pm (i.e., the final session will go from 9:00pm to about 9:15pm)..
    • Actors will get email confirmation of their slot as well as reminders of the date and time of their Stonehenge audition, however it is incumbent on the actor to remember.

Preparing for Stonehenge

    • Monologue(s) must be 90 seconds or less.
    • Please choose monologues appropriate for TV and film.
    • For 2018, you do not need to bring any hard copies of your headshot and resume and we will not distribute any of your materials if you do (nor allow you to distribute anything). You are required to upload your headshot and resume to a DropBox or Google Drive folder and will be provided a link to do so prior to the event. Headshots will need to be PDF, JPG, or PNG format and resumes will need to be in PDF, DOC, or DOCX format.
    • If you need to cancel for whatever reason up to and including the day of the audition, send us an email at stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com.

Attending Stonehenge

    • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the audition location. Check the given Stonehenge event page for location information.
    • You must check in 15 minutes before your audition. If you do not check in when your audition slot is called, your space will be given to an actor on the standby list for that timeslot.
    • There are no substitutions for any of the timeslots.
    • Upon check in, we will take your signed video release as well as confirm you have uploaded your properly formatted headshot and resume to Stonehenge Audition DropBox or Google Drive link (this link will have been provided as soon as registration and no later than lottery results).  If you do not have a signed video release or have not uploaded your headshot and resume, you will not audition.
    • Any actor (guaranteed OR standby) who does not cancel is expected to attend. Actors who have a guaranteed or standby timeslot that do not show and do not let us know will be placed on the Mud List.
    • Remember, both we at Team J and the producers want you to do well. Budget your time to come to the audition relatively relaxed and ready to impress. That will probably involve some “hurry up and wait” time, but that’s film.

Actor FAQ

1. What are the Stonehenge Auditions again?
2. What’s the difference between Stonehenge Auditions and Stonehenge Casting?
3. Should I attend the Stonehenge Auditions?
4. Should I audition if I’ve been to a previous Stonehenge Audition?
5. What if I’m already booked the day of the Stonehenge Audition?
6. How does the lottery system work?
7. Do I have to create a profile on Stonehenge Casting in order to audition?
8. What if I’m registered and I have to cancel?
9. What if I registered and now need to change my audition time?
10. What if I’m late?
11. What if I’m early?
12. What if I’m on standby?
13. What is the Mud List?
14. Do you accept walk-ins?
15. How do I get there?/What’s the deal with parking?
16. What’s the deal with the camera and screen?
17. Can I use a chair for my audition?
18. How do I ‘slate?’ What does ‘slate’ mean?
19. What’s the deal with being taped?
20. What’s the deal with SAG-AFTRA (union) actors?
21. What happens if I go over 90 seconds with my monologue?
22. May child actors audition?
23. How many copies of my resume should I bring?
24. How should the headshot/resumes be formatted?
25. Should I bring demo CDs or other media?
26. May I email you my headshot and resume?
27. May I mail (post) you my headshot and resume?
28. How do callbacks work?
29. What should I expect if I am cast?
30. What do you mean by “monologues suitable for TV and film?”
31. Do you have any additional suggestions based on previous Stonehenge Auditions?
32. What if I have other questions about Stonehenge not answered on this website?

1. What are Stonehenge Auditions again?

Stonehenge Auditions are a series of “speed-casting” events where actors deliver a short monologue to dozens of DC-area filmmakers and casting professionals. You may have heard of similar mass auditions conducted by the Actors’ Center or (long ago) by the League of Washington Area Theaters. Stonehenge Auditions are different because they are primarily for film and video work. You’ll have a camera and bright lights pointed at you, you won’t really be able to move, and you’ll hopefully have a monologue appropriate for TV or film.

Since Stonehenge Auditions started, we know that at least 600 projects have cast at least 1,500 roles with actors first seen at Stonehenge (either in-person or, increasingly, from the videos online).

2. What’s the difference between Stonehenge Auditions and Stonehenge Casting?
Stonehenge Auditions are in-person events historically held in the Washington, DC area. Up until we had a casting website, the event was known as just “Stonehenge.” Now, to cater both to producers who can’t make it to the events and to producers outside the Mid-Atlantic region, we’ve created an online web database called Stonehenge Casting.

Unlike recent years, you will not need to create an actor/performer profile on Stonehenge Casting in order to register for the in-person event, Stonehenge Auditions. For 2018, we’re relying on the partner organization (WIFV) to capture all the registrations. However, Team J is still running the lottery, letting actors know the results, and doing most of the legwork during the event, including videotaping actors.

3. Should I attend Stonehenge Auditions?
Short Answer: Yes, if you think it will help your career.

Really: it’s your call. We can provide information to help your decision, but the decision rests with you.

You will certainly have producers attending who are looking for voiceover artists and on-camera hosts for training videos, but you should still plan on doing a monologue of a character in a film and video style, not a 90-second infomercial spiel.

So, you’re certain you’re prepared to audition for narrative film work. How beneficial are the Stonehenge Auditions? Well, we’ve done several polls over the past 13 years. 87% of actors surveyed reported getting calls or follow-up auditions out of Stonehenge. 100% of the companies reported seeing actors at Stonehenge they have since used or planned to use—remember, that’s at least 1,500 roles in 600 projects since Stonehenge started.

The issue, especially for the experienced actors, is paid projects. We always have producers offering paid projects. However, the focus of the auditions is now ensuring we are continuing to add to the audition videos on the Stonehenge Auditions YouTube channel. We don’t always know which producers check the videos out (we only know they do: a lot). Whenever you get a call from a company, don’t be hesitant to get details—and we don’t just mean pay.

Stonehenge Auditions are open to both aspiring and experienced actors just as they are open to both aspiring and commercial filmmakers. As many actors have told us, the most rewarding acting work is not always the most lucrative. This is one of the reasons why SAG-AFTRA has low budget agreements with many indie filmmakers.

Think about your expectations for the audition, check out the producers and companies listed before actor registration closes, and decide whether or not you’ll benefit from auditioning.

4. Should I audition if I’ve been to a previous Stonehenge Audition?
Short Answer: Yes, if you think it will help your career.

Yes, the answer to this question is very similar to the question above, but here’s a few more factors to help you with your decision to attend:

The producers and companies will never be exactly the same each Stonehenge Audition. That’s one of the reasons we won’t say no to any actor wanting to attend.

However often you choose to attend the Stonehenge Auditions, please change your monologue. Remember, your video audition is online until such time as you ask us to take it down. It’s okay to have several of your Stonehenge audition videos up there: just give us some variety.

5. What if I’m already booked the day of the Stonehenge Audition?
We’re sorry we won’t be able to see you. New Stonehenge Audition dates will be set. You can check back at the Team J blog, subscribe to our Twitter Feed, or best yet, join our mailing list to learn when the next Stonehenge Audition will occur.

6. How does the lottery system work?
Short answer: By randomized algorithm. Every actor who registers gets a guaranteed, standby, waitlist, or ‘not selected’ status.

Always check the schedule of the particular Stonehenge Audition to make sure there are no exceptions, but once registration opens, you will need to register on the appropriate event page (for 2018, this will be the WIFV event page for both sessions). There are 5 Guaranteed spaces per 15-minute timeslot and 2 Standby spaces per 15-minute timeslot.

Once registration for a given Stonehenge Audition closes, those actors who have already auditioned for that year or who are on the Mud List are removed. From those that are remaining, actors are assigned via a randomized algorithm. All the actors who registered will get an email letting them know of one of four statuses:

    1. GUARANTEED (5 spaces per timeslot). You will be auditioning! If you are unable to attend, please send a cancellation to us (stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com). You will get a link to a DropBox or Google Drive folder to upload your headshot and resume. Headshots should be in PDF, JPG, or PNG format — and resumes should be in PDF (preferred), DOCX, or DOC format. Plan on labeling your files YourfirstnameYourlastname_headshot.pdf (or .jpg or .png) YourfirstnameYourlastname_resume.pdf (or .docx or .doc) Your headshot file size should be 1mb or less and your resume should be 500k or less. Combined files could be 1.5mb or less and would be wonderful as a PDF (YourfirstnameYourlastname.pdf).
    2. STANDBY (2 spaces per timeslot). You might be auditioning. If enough actors don’t show, you will audition. If enough actors cancel before the day of Stonehenge, you will be notified. If you are unable to attend, please send a cancellation to us (stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com). You will get a link to a DropBox or Google Drive folder to upload your headshot and resume. Headshots should be in PDF, JPG, or PNG format — and resumes should be in PDF (preferred), DOCX, or DOC format. Plan on labeling your files YourfirstnameYourlastname_headshot.pdf (or .jpg or .png) YourfirstnameYourlastname_resume.pdf (or .docx or .doc) Your headshot file size should be 1mb or less and your resume should be 500k or less. Combined files could be 1.5mb or less and would be wonderful as a PDF (YourfirstnameYourlastname.pdf).
    3. WAITLIST (12 extra spaces total per session). You probably won’t be auditioning, but you might if enough people cancel. Historically, everyone on the waitlist either cancels or gets a Standby slot, and every Stonehenge Audition, someone on the Waitlist will audition… it’s just that statistically, it’s unlikely. If you don’t like your odds or –even better– you get a paid gig, shoot us an email at stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com and cancel. Remember, people on the waitlist do not have a timeslot and should not show up to the Stonehenge Audition unless you’ve gotten an email saying you have a Guaranteed or Standby slot. If you show up without a Guaranteed or Standby slot, you will be turned away. There are no walk-ins.
    4. NOT SELECTED (All the remaining spaces). Unfortunately, you will not be auditioning. Every Stonehenge Audition, dozens of actors are not selected.

7. Do I have to create a profile on Stonehenge Casting in order to audition?
Unlike previous years, no.

However, since we’re not collecting or distributing physical headshots and resumes, you will need to upload your headshot and resume to a DropBox or Google Drive folder.

You’ll get a link to a DropBox or Google Drive folder as soon as when you register or no later than the lottery results. Headshots should be in PDF, JPG, or PNG format — and resumes should be in PDF (preferred), DOCX, or DOC format. Plan on labeling your files YourfirstnameYourlastname_headshot.pdf (or .jpg or .png) YourfirstnameYourlastname_resume.pdf (or .docx or .doc) Your headshot file size should be 1mb or less and your resume should be 500k or less. Combined files could be 1.5mb or less and would be wonderful as a PDF (YourfirstnameYourlastname.pdf).

Some actor will put off uploading their headshot and resume until the last minute. Some other actor will ignore this requirement and assume that they can still distribute their physical headshots and resumes at the event. Don’t be those actors.

8. What if I’m registered and I have to cancel?
Short Answer: Let us know at stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com as soon as possible!

Whether you have a guaranteed or standby space, please let us know as soon as possible—and know that you will have made another actor quite happy.

Even if you have a waitlist space, if you don’t want to wait to see if a standby slot opens up, please let us know. You may have just allowed another actor on the waitlist a chance to audition.

Remember, if you have a guaranteed space and do not cancel, you will go on the Mud List.

If you have a standby space and cannot attend, you also need to cancel. Two consecutive no shows on Standby also gets you on the Mud List. A quick email to stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com and you’ve just given another actor a shot. Go for the good karma.

9. What if I registered and now need to change my audition time?
Unfortunately, because all available spaces fill up so quickly, we are not able to accommodate timeslot changes. You may cancel your existing slot and ask for a different time, and if there are any standby slots open near that time, we can try and put you in there. However, this is no guarantee that the spaces will be open. Historically, there are three to four actors interested for every one audition slot.

10. What if I’m late?
Short Answer: We can put you on Standby for the next available timeslot, but you have lost your original slot.

Remember that you must check in 15 minutes before your audition time to allow us to collect your resumes. (e.g., if you have a 7:30pm audition, your check-in is 7:15pm). There is no phone number to call if you are running late. Please do not call the audition location as neither they nor we can change the clock. You don’t go on the Mud List for being late, you go on the Mud List for not showing and not letting us know.

If you miss your timeslot, you will go into the standby pool and we will try and fit you in at a later timeslot. If enough people do not show up, we will fit you in.

At the same time, do not plan on us being able to fit you in. Your best chance of being seen is to arrive on time for your timeslot.

11. What if I’m early?
Short answer: Wait and be ready for your name to be called.

If you arrive well before your check-in time (15 minutes before your audition slot), feel free to relax. The staff at the check-in table will announce when they’re checking in people for your timeslot.

However, if you’re tuned out listening to your tunes, deep in conversation with a friend, or have somehow locked yourself in the bathroom, we don’t have the time to look for you. Please help us help you and be sure to be within earshot of the check-in table as your check-in time approaches.

12. What if I’m on standby?
Short Answer: Show up to the event, but be aware you may not audition OR cancel because you’d rather not be on standby.

For every 15-minute timeslot, there are five (5) guaranteed spaces and two (2) standby spaces. The standby spaces are at specific times. They are designed this way to lessen the chance that actors will hang around for hours and not audition. Many of us at Team J are actors ourselves, and that’s just not fun.

We have also found limiting the number of standby actors per timeslot means a greater number of those standby actors audition, in part because many standby actors cancel.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of waiting around to maybe not audition, then cancel. Just send us a quick email to stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com to let us know you’re cancelling. It frees up your slot for someone else, who now may have a shot at auditioning.

13. What is the Mud List?

Short Answer: It’s a way to keep inconsiderate actors for spoiling the Stonehenge Auditions for everyone else.

Every Stonehenge Audition, life happens. Actors get sick, get stuck in traffic, or get a paying gig that is too cool to pass up. We understand.

By and large, those actors who have a guaranteed or standby space let us know before the day of the Stonehenge Audition. Or perhaps the day of. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that if you’re not going to show, you let us know.

A quick email to us at stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com before the event and you might have just gotten an actor off of the waitlist into your slot. A quick email to us on the day of the event and someone on standby now gets to audition. It’s good karma.

But in the early Henges, good karma wasn’t enough for far too many actors. So we instituted the Mud List.

Now, if you have a guaranteed space, you don’t show, and you don’t let us know, you won’t be eligible to attend another Stonehenge Audition for five (5) years.

At their discretion, Team J may also exclude you from any other casting calls they run for that same five-year period.

Or you can shoot us an email.

For that same good karma reason, we urge all actors who get standby and waitlist spaces to cancel the instant they know they won’t be making it to that particular Stonehenge Audition.

In addition, if you have a standby space for two consecutive Stonehenge Auditions, don’t show up for both, and don’t let us know for both, we’ll also put you on the Mud List. If you know you’re not going to do standby, just cancel. It frees up your slot for someone else.

Incidentally, thanks to considerate actors, everyone on the waitlist either cancels or gets at least a standby slot every Stonehenge Audition. Some people on the waitlist even audition. It’s not frequent, but it happens: all thanks to considerate actors.

14. Do you accept walk-ins?
No.

Every Stonehenge, all guaranteed and standby spaces fill up.

If you are on the waitlist or not selected OR decide to “just come in” and see if we’ll let you audition because you’re being plucky, you will be turned away.

We’ll also add you to the Mud List for the sake of all the actors who were not selected and didn’t try and game the system.

15. How do I get there?/What’s the deal with parking?
Short Answer: You’ll receive the exact street address in your confirmation email. Parking is historically bad wherever and whenever we have the event. Act accordingly.

The exact street address and other venue information will be included in your confirmation email. We’ll also include any parking details and related directions to the specific Stonehenge Audition event information page. Essentially, depending on other events going on that day, parking may be sparse to downright awful. Please budget plenty of time and/or money for parking or plan to take mass transit.

16. What’s the deal with the camera and screen?
There will be a camera pointed at you during the audition as you will be videotaped. The screen is so the producers can see how you look on camera (often markedly different from how you look in person).

The audition space is usually less than 4′ x 4′ so plan to deliver your monologue standing or sitting. Please slate to the camera. You may deliver the monologue to a character “offscreen” or to the camera as your monologue dictates.

17. Can I use a chair for my audition?
Short Answer: Yes. Do not move the chair whether you use it or not.

The audition space includes a chair. You may sit in the chair or stand in front of it. Please do not move the chair as it is already set up for the camera. Remember, the tiny space in which you have to audition is by design. Moreover, the camera operator has not rehearsed moving the camera with your monologue. Therefore, if you sit or stand during your monologue, the camera operator will not be able to follow you well, because you two haven’t rehearsed it. You two won’t have a chance to rehearse it nor are you supposed to. Ergo, sitting and standing during your monologue is not recommended.

Get into your final position, sitting or standing, then slate.

18. How do I ‘slate?’ What does ‘slate’ mean?
“Slate” in this case means introducing yourself prior to beginning your monologue. Make sure you are seated or standing: whatever position you’re going to be to deliver your monologue (see the question above: you don’t want to sit and stand during your monologue). After you are in position, look for the camera operator. They will signal you to begin. State your name and the name of your piece. For instance:

“Hello, my name is John Smith, and I’ll be doing a piece from Seven Guitars by August Wilson”

“Good afternoon. My name is Jane Doe. I’ll be doing Marina from Local Hero.”

That’s it. Remember, the timer will not begin the stopwatch until you begin your actual monologue.

19. What’s the deal with being taped?
Short answer: You will be taped. This audition is designed to get audition videos up on our YouTube channel, actively used by area producers to find actors and for actors to get additional auditions.

By registering for a given Stonehenge Audition, you are agreeing to be taped for Team J’s private casting files as you would for other casting directors and film/TV auditions. You must also sign a release to allow us to post your audition to our YouTube channel. For 2018, one major format change is that we’re only auditioning actors who will be taped, so any producer can access your audition later. You may ask us to take down your audition video from the YouTube channel at any time.

Seriously, local producers love the YouTube Channel. It has over 140,000 views — and actors have told us they’ve been called in years after they did a Stonehenge Audition based on that video alone. The online videos, more than the event, have become how Stonehenge keeps working for you.

We cannot, at this time, provide you with a separate video. It will be available on the Stonehenge Auditions YouTube channel. You can actually google how to download the video if needed.

By the way, there’s any number of reasons you might want to ask that your video down. You don’t need to justify it, just let us know and it’s usually down within 24 hours.

However, to audition, you must sign a release first. The latest Stonehenge Audition release is here.

20. What’s the deal with SAG-AFTRA (union) actors?
SAG-AFTRA actors are very welcome to audition because every Stonehenge Audition has producers who are or will be a SAG-AFTRA signatory for the projects they’re casting.

Historically, indie and low-budget productions have been well represented, so you can expect many companies casting under one of the SAG-AFTRA contracts designed for indie films, specifically the short film agreement or the ultra-low budget agreement.

Remember, the Stonehenge Auditions are open to aspiring and commercial filmmakers just as it is open to union and non-union actors.

Every Stonehenge Audition we work with the professional organizations (e.g., WIFV, TIVA, etc.) reach out to the local film offices in order to attract a wide variety of filmmakers, casting directors, and production companies.

If you are concerned, we recommend checking the list of producers attending, usually updated daily on the particular Stonehenge info page. Bear in mind however, that since producers can wait until the day before to register AND since many filmmakers like to keep their schedule flexible at the last minute, you will not see a complete list until the day before the Stonehenge Audition — and by then, lottery assignments to actor have already been given.

21. What happens if I go over 90 seconds with my monologue?
Short answer: The timer will politely say, “Time” and you should then stop, thank the producers, and exit the stage.

Every Stonehenge Audition, actors go over time. Some ignore the “Time” politely-yet-firmly stated by the timer and we need to get a big cane…

No seriously. It’s fine. We’ve seen people go over before, but you’re done. If it happens that you do go over 90 seconds, simply say, “Thank you” and exit the stage. There’s no shame.

Of course, you should choose and practice your monologue so that you can reasonably perform it in under a minute and a half—without sounding like a speed reader. Practice with a friend. Have them raise their hand at 80 seconds just like the timer will do. Try and have a monologue that is 80 seconds or less and you’ll leave the producers wanting more (hint: that’s a good thing).

This might be a good time to reiterate that we really are very excited to have you audition and want you all to do wonderfully. At the 90-second mark, some actors are hitting the crescendo of their monologue and the timer would rather not stop you. But hey, we have a lot of actors to see in a short amount of time. We need to keep things moving. So again, please pick a monologue comfortably under 90 seconds.

22. May child actors audition?
No.

We are aware this is a change from the Stonehenge Auditions many years ago, but there are no exceptions.

Since we are now taping all the auditions to post online, and are keeping the online videos to adult actors, all the actors need to be 18 or older.

If an underage actor performer shows up for the Stonehenge Auditions, they will be turned away.

We would love to have a child-only version of the Stonehenge Auditions and do plan to offer a “Kinderhenge” in the future. If you want to be put on the mailing list for when “Kinderhenge” starts, drop us an email at stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com.

23. How many copies of my resume should I bring?
Unlike previous years, none.

You will be required to upload a copy of your headshot and resume to a DropBox or Google Drive folder prior to auditioning.

You will receive the link to this folder as soon as registration and no later than the lottery results are emailed out. Headshots should be in PDF, JPG, or PNG format — and resumes should be in PDF (preferred), DOCX, or DOC format. Plan on labeling your files YourfirstnameYourlastname_headshot.pdf (or .jpg or .png) YourfirstnameYourlastname_resume.pdf (or .docx or .doc) Your headshot file size should be 1mb or less and your resume should be 500k or less. Combined files could be 1.5mb or less and would be wonderful as a PDF (YourfirstnameYourlastname.pdf).

If you bring physical headshots and resumes to the auditions, we will not distribute them for you (nor allow you to do so).

We will confirm you have uploaded your headshot and resume upon check-in. If you have not uploaded your materials, you will not audition.

24. How should the headshot/resumes be formatted?
Headshots should be in PDF, JPG, or PNG format — and resumes should be in PDF (preferred), DOCX, or DOC format. Plan on labeling your files YourfirstnameYourlastname_headshot.pdf (or .jpg or .png) YourfirstnameYourlastname_resume.pdf (or .docx or .doc) Your headshot file size should be 1mb or less and your resume should be 500k or less. Combined files could be 1.5mb or less and would be wonderful as a PDF (YourfirstnameYourlastname.pdf).

25. Should I bring demo CDs or other media?
No.

Not all of the filmmakers will be interested in those media. Those that are interested may contact you for them after the auditions. You would do far better to make sure your Stonehenge Casting profile is up to date.

26. May I email you my headshot and resume?
Only if we request it.

If you’ve ever had to upload a photo or resume before, we do not expect DropBox or Google Drive to be problematic. If you never have, ask friends or fellow actors for help.

27. May I send you my headshot and resume in the mail?
No (much as we like the United States Postal Service).

Seriously, good headshot copies are pricey. Save the money.

28. How do callbacks work?
This depends entirely on the producers who are attending.

Each company will handle its own callbacks based on your audition today and their individual needs. You may not hear from anyone for months, or you might hear from a bunch of people next week. We often schedule Stonehenge Auditions right before film competitions such as the 48 Hour Film Project to increase the chance of you getting work sooner.

Also, and we didn’t realize this until we’d done the Stonehenge Auditions for a while, but you may get a call years after you audition, thanks to the Stonehenge Audition YouTube channel.

29. What should I expect if I am cast?
The short answer is: the pay varies, but you should always aim for good experience.

A specific producer will be able to tell you what compensation they offer. Please bear in mind that film competitions like the 48 Hour Film Project are volunteer only. Per the rules of the competitions, no one on the teams gets paid (but they should definitely feed you).

In the realm of independent film, most of the projects in the DC area are still low to no pay, or for deferred pay. “Deferred pay” usually means no pay unless the film makes money. Producers generally offer screen credit and a copy of the final film, as well as feeding you during the shoot—and hopefully giving you some great acting opportunities. We are by no means advocating actors should not expect to be paid. Be sure to ask the producers for details and if it doesn’t sound like a good opportunity, pass.

Casting agencies, multimedia companies, and production houses all have different rates of compensation, not coincidentally related to the budget of the project they’re working on.

Regardless, the producers should be able to answer all your questions or find people on their team who can. You should never accept a role if you’re getting red flags whether it’s safety, professionalism, or even when you’ll get paid.

In terms of acting for film and video itself, you’ll find it offers several different challenges unlike acting for theatre. Rehearsal time is truncated and sometimes non-existent. You may need to take one of your fellow actors aside to run lines and feel comfortable. Films are often shot out of sequence. You need to find a way to pop into whatever emotional state your character is at that time. Films are usually shot by location, not in scene order.

Another aspect of filmmaking that actors should know about is that long hours are not uncommon (but always make sure filmmakers are up front with you about their schedule, their expectations, and your compensation). Not only that, as an actor, you will be asked to do the same scene again and again—and to hit your marks as precisely as possible each time! Then, the filmmakers will tinker with their equipment and ask you to do that same scene again, so the camera can take it from a different angle. The routine is monotonous, but your acting has to remain fresh. And remember, you might do a perfect “take” and an equipment glitch—something forever out of your control—means you have to do it again. Welcome to film!

30. What do you mean by “monologues suitable for TV and film?”
Short answer: One that showcases you and causes no producer in the audience to go, “Wow, that’s a theater actor.”

Most producers think this is easy, but we know acting for film and TV is a specific style just like knowing how to do classical Greek or Shakespeare plays is an acting style. You have a little leeway in picking a monologue you can delivery in a Film/TV style (not as much as some think), but you absolutely have to pick one that will work for the needs of Stonehenge Auditions.

Besides picking a monologue that can be comfortably performed in 90 seconds or less, the basic guidelines for choosing a monologue apply: choose a monologue that best shows your skills and is appropriate for the project you’re auditioning for.

As an actor, you should already have a number of monologues in your repertoire. You may have a dramatic monologue, a comedic monologue, and a classical monologue. In fact, if you do a lot of classical work, you may have a dramatic and comedic monologue for that as well, because your Neil Simon piece just won’t fit when you’re auditioning for a Shakespeare comedy.

Likewise, you should have a TV or film monologue. This doesn’t have to be a monologue from TV or film—in fact, you may wish to avoid popular, well-known film monologues as you would popular monologues from plays. The important thing is that you practice the monologue in the style of TV and film.  Many, many theatrical monologues do not lend themselves to a film/TV style. Be warned! You have to have a monologue that allows for a film/TV style.

What does that mean? That means you are much more understated. Even if you are in a film with a hyper-real genre (e.g. horror or fantasy), the acting generally starts from a more naturalistic place. Take care not to pick monologues that are too melodramatic. Monologues with such histrionics do not lend themselves to film. Good monologues should have subtlety and powerful meaning in subtext. We want to see small moments and you act with your eyes.

This underscores another point. Yes physical presence is important and, naturally, as filmmakers we are very concerned about your appearance. However, you don’t need to gesticulate much—if at all. Indeed, some filmmakers would rather have you in a straitjacket for the whole audition so you will be forced to act with your eyes and face alone. Why? In production, you may be six inches from the camera and you won’t be able to move—otherwise you fall out of the camera’s frame.

If your strength is as a quirky or off-the-wall character, find a monologue that allows you to do that with your eyes and subtle intonation of your voice. Film is an intimate medium and you want to draw us in, not push us away.

This leads to the next point. Thankfully, since this FAQ debuted for Stonehenge III, actors have learned to dial themselves down. However, lest we backslide into loud, unpleasant, and inappropriate monologues, we will continue to be frank and perhaps a little harsh. Here it is:

No yelling.

To be clear, we are not looking for timid actors who can’t be heard. We are not opposed to high-energy monologues or enthusiasm in general. If you need to belt out an expletive or a command to a character “off-camera” in the course of your monologue, that’s fine. None of this involves yelling.

No monologue we want to see, regardless of the source material, involves yelling, especially the sustained yelling we had to endure far too many times during the previous Stonehenge Auditions. We will be sitting right there, not 10 feet from you. Out of simple decency, you don’t need to yell.

Imagine, if you will, that you’re reading a web page, perhaps very much like this FAQ right now, and all of a sudden

THE WRITING BECOMES LARGE AND IS IN ALL CAPS FOR NO APPARENT REASON. IT ISN’T HELPING EXPLAIN ANYTHING. IT’S JUST BIG AND OBNOXIOUS AND HORRIBLY OUT OF PLACE.

Did you enjoy that? Neither did we. Yelling takes us out of the moment, and in that moment we have one thought: “Don’t hire this person.”

When you yell “IN ALL CAPS” like that, you have no chance to display subtlety, subtext, or tell the story with your eyes. Moreover, we’ve noticed that actors who succumb to sustained yelling have more awkward physicality, or worse yet, start gesticulating wildly. Remember those filmmakers that would prefer you be straitjacketed? They’re now looking for a taser—anything to stop you before you hurt yourself or others.

Speaking of weapons, brandishing one during your monologue, even if it is actually fake, (“it’s just a prop revolver”) is not a good idea. Luckily, no one has done that yet at the Stonehenge Auditions, but there may be an actor out there not reading this, ready to make that ill-conceived choice. Do them a favor and let them know scaring the bejeezus out of people you hope to work with is very counterproductive.

31. Do you have any additional suggestions based on previous Stonehenge Auditions?
The actors who have read the FAQ generally do well. We can tell when actors haven’t read the FAQ, especially when it comes to monologue choice.

Seriously, if you pick a bad monologue, and especially one where you’re yelling for a while, your appearance at the Stonehenge Auditions will serve to “un-cast” you from dozens of film and TV projects — possibly for years to come. Does the “no yelling monologues” note make sense now?

Don’t forget to put your phone number AND an email address on your resume. There should only be one of each.

Please allow plenty of travel time. It doesn’t matter why you’re late: if you’re late, you lose your slot and we’ll try and fit you in. Drive safe, walk safe, stay positive.

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun. We’re doing this because we love to make films and are excited to have you come and audition.

32. What if I have other questions about Stonehenge not answered on this website?
Email us at stonehenge@teamjabberwocky.com.

Looking for the Producer FAQ? Click here!