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My name is Maggie Bera, fellow actress and blogger based in NYC. I designed Actor Aesthetic as a way to record and pass along what I've learned about auditioning, performing, and actor lifestyle tips and techniques. It takes a village!

Non-Equity Actor's Guide to the 5 Types of New York Auditions

Non-Equity Actor's Guide to the 5 Types of New York Auditions

There are five types of New York auditions (with some fancy acronyms): Equity Principal Calls (EPA), Equity Chorus Calls (ECC) for Dancers, Equity Chorus Calls (ECC) for Singers, Open Calls, and Submissions Calls. So how do you go about them if you are an EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) or non-Equity?

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I got you.

Equity Principal Call (EPA):

Who: Singers and actors

How to get a slot: Monitor will begin taking sign ups an hour before the audition, with union actors being the first to sign up and receive slots. EMCs will put their name on an EMC waiting list in the order of arrival. Non-Equity actors will also put their name on a list, but it will be a list for non-Equity actors.

*EMC: Will be seen only if an equity member doesn’t show up for their appointment, if the team is running ahead of schedule, and there are no equity alternates left on the alternate list. EMCs MUST sign up before lunch break. EMC list is honored before non-equity list. Bring your EMC card.

*Non-equity: Will be seen only if an equity member doesn’t show up for their appointment, if the team is running ahead of schedule, there are no equity alternates left on the alternate list and no EMCs left.

General rule: Keep your audition under 2 minutes, at least 32 bars, and follow instructions on the audition notice.

Procedure: You must be there when they call your name. If the stars align and you happen to snag a spot, the monitor will line you up, tell you who is in the room and what they are looking for.

Equity Chorus Call (ECC) for DANCERS: 

Who: Dancers

How to get a slot:EMC and non-equity are all considered non-equity at ECC's. You sign up on an unofficial list the morning of the audition and will be seen only if time allows. If the creative team types equity actors, non-equity will not be seen.

General rule: Audition notice will tell you what you need to bring, however, ALWAYS bring both music book and all dance clothes/shoes

Procedure: Once all equity members have been seen, wait for your name to be called and monitor will give you audition card with number on the top. Fill out the audition card with name, audition, phone number, email, and resume.

Callbacks and cuts: The creative team may make a cut and ask certain dancers to stay and learn more choreography or sing after all other dancers have auditioned. They will tell you which type of music/how long of a cut they would like before you go in.

Equity Chorus Call (ECC) for SINGERS

Who: Singers

How to get a slot: EMC and non-equity are all considered non-equity at ECC's. You sign up on an unofficial list the morning of the audition and will be seen only if time allows. If the creative team types equity actors, non-equity will not be seen.

General rule: The audition notice will tell you what you need to bring, however, ALWAYS bring both music book and all dance clothes/shoes

Procedure: Once all equity members have been seen, the monitor will line up groups of 10, collect headshots and audition cards, tell you who is in the room and what they are looking for. At 16 bars, monitors typically get through about 40 people an hour.

Callbacks: Theaters may ask you to stay and dance after all singers have sung.

Open Calls: 

Who: No difference between Equity, non-Equity, and EMC in the order in which you'll be seen

General Rule: Please don't arrive 5 hours before and sign up 30 of your friends.

Procedure (toss up!):  Some are run like equity chorus calls honoring the first person in line. Some have no monitor and an unofficial list will be honored. Some theaters see everyone. Some theaters may type. Some theaters may cut the list off at a certain number. 

Pro: Opportunity for non-equity to be seen and hired

Con: Can be completely chaotic, especially if it is highly advertised

Submission Calls:

Who: Submissions can be for equity, EMC, OR non-equity

How to get a slot: Through agent, or self submission through email, mail, Actors Access or Playbill.com, etc.

Procedure: Once you get a slot, arrive AT LEAST ten minutes before your audition, check in with the monitor, and wait until they are ready to see you.


 

Final note for EMC's - in the EPA vs. ECC debate, your union status will be honored at EPA's. You will be treated as non-equity at ECC's.

For more information on Unofficial Lists, click here. Happy auditioning!

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