What’s A Realistic Booking Ratio? Veteran Actor Publishes His 2019 Audition Stats
It’s time to check in on 2019’s audition statistics. You may be asking yourself: Did I have a good callback ratio? What about my booking ratio?If you’re not keeping track, you may never know. We recommend tracking your auditions, callbacks, avails, bookings, etc. because “what gets measured gets improved.”Actor Edward Hong (60+ TV/Film credits) openly shared all his stats (auditions, callbacks, bookings, etc.) and some great takeaways from his 2019 year in our Career ACTivate Elite Coaching & Mastermind Program FB group and he’s been generous enough to allow us to share it here on this blog.
The first section highlights his stats. In the second part, he doles out his major takeaways as well as highlights/lowlights for 2019.
Edward’s 2019 Audition Report
THEATRICAL (multiple reps, theatrical, management, voice-over, and stage)
— My Reps sending me out —Auditions received through DDO (started on 8/3/19): 7Auditions received through Sovereign (ended on 8/2/19): 4Auditions received through Authentic Talent: 16Auditions received through Atlas Talent Agency: 175Direct Requests: 2
TOTAL Theatrical Auditions via Reps: 204
Callbacks: 0Avails: 0Bookings: 2
** Agency/Manager Theatrical Success: 1.14% **
— Self Submissions —Direct Requests: 2
TOTAL Theatrical auditions via self-submission/pitching: 46
Callbacks: 4Avails: 2Bookings: 10
** Self-Submission Theatrical Success: 21.7% **
Auditions through AKA Talent Agency: 31 (turned down 3)
Callbacks: 6Straight To Callbacks: 2Avails: 1Bookings: 1
** Commercial Success: 3.22% **
2019 Takeaways & Highlights/Lowlights
- I left my talent agency Sovereign Talent Group after my 6+ years with them as the last two years yielded barely any auditions (4 this year, 8 in 2018). Via my manager at Authentic who I now have been with for over a year, I switched out to be signed with Anthony Boyer at DDO who turned out to be a wonderful match since he is passionate about theatre in addition to the standard TV + film fare.
- That being said, despite these new changes, this year was not exactly a SPECTACULAR year in terms of numbers for theatrical auditions (23, 27 if I count the 4 auditions Sovereign got me before I dropped them in August) but certainly MUCH better than last year where I barely cracked double digits from both my previous manager and agent combined. I’m truthfully not terribly bothered as detailed in my next point below:
- Most of my bookings this year came from self submissions which tells me I will never, ever give up submitting on ActorsAccess and other realms (Facebook actually has been a good source for a few of them). Many of these projects, especially the SAG-AFTRA Radio Plays and the Allegiance North Korean short film, were some of the most fun and challenging I ever had in my career.
- I was fortunate to audition for more theatre companies than I ever had in my previous years combined, which included the Fountain Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Stage, Antaeus Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, East West Players, Sacred Fools Theater Company, Boston Court Pasadena, and finally Echo Theater Company (for the new year). I got quite close to a few of them but in the end, it was a privilege auditioning for these companies.
- This was the first year I ever had to turn down a good-paying acting gig and that was doing the play Vietgone for the second time at the American Stage Repertory. It would have been a fantastic opportunity to revisit the play I did in Arkansas last year for a different character, but with the play being in Florida and rehearsals & performances smack in the middle of episodic season, I made the hard choice of declining the offer. However, I don’t regret it to this day as during this time, I was able to book an HBO co-star and thus ending my 2-year drought of booking TV shows.
- The co-star role did not have a breakdown released so it was through my relations with that casting office over the years that I got the audition. It was a tiny role but it felt good to be working on a TV show again.
- This was a year of delving hardcore into musical theatre and Shakespeare, both of which yielded results in the form of being hired for a South Coast Repertory musical workshop and being on avail for an Antaeus Shakespeare production. Although I was not fully hired for either of the productions (recast for the full-on SCR musical and released from the Antaeus production), it was nevertheless an honor ESPECIALLY since this is the first time I ever been hired to sing and get close to spewing Shakespearean dialogue.
- It really is fantastic being hired by your friends and this year had four, with the EDGE OF INTERNMENT short film, the Waves and UCLA Law School industrial & an IAMA THEATRE COMPANY staged reading, all made possible by producer Ally Iseman, producer Leslie Wong, director Faye Viviana, and director Alana Dietze respectively.
- I’ve been with Atlas Talent for over a year now and VO auditions were bountiful. While I certainly received a ton of them this year (175 to be exact) from my agent, I booked only one job.
- But considering that job was to dub a few characters for my childhood anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, I really can’t complain. I’ll definitely say that VO auditions are hard and for a newbie like me, I still have a lot to learn but the opportunities were extraordinarily fun.
- Through my own self submissions, I booked 3 other VO jobs, one for a Netflix documentary, one for a local radio spot, and the other for an incredibly silly USC short film.
- In the commercial realm, I had the lucky privilege of having my leftover 2018 UPS Store commercial have another full-on run this year and pretty much paid for a hefty chunk of my life in that time period. If I didn’t book another commercial, I would have been fine as I qualified for my actor health insurance for 2020.
- Buuuuuuut right before this year ended, I was fortunate to book a rather awesome one to cap off 2019 that will start off 2020 with a glorious job as it shoots in the new year.
And there you have it. 2019 in a nutshell. Here’s hoping that 2020 is just as kickass!—For more info on Edward, check out his blog and website.PS. Looking to generate more TV/film auditions for yourself? Then make sure to join us at Jona’s free workshop: Book TV/Film On Your OWN.