It’s that time of year again when actors dream of their big break–getting cast in a pilot! It’s like winning the Golden Ticket! Your life will never be the same!  Well, that’s the hope, anyway.

Pilot Season generally runs January to April and is a time for the studios to create samples of the new shows they have to offer. Getting cast in a pilot does not guarantee that you are now on a hit TV show: that show may not get picked up, might never air at all or may air once and then be cancelled.

What is does mean is if you are cast, then you must have done your job well enough for the people involved to believe in you both artistically and professionally.

Booking a pilot is not just a matter of luck. Actors who are cast in pilots have put in a lot of hard work to get there.

What’s the first step to booking a pilot? The audition.

How do you get in the position to audition for a pilot?

Be a great actor

This may seem obvious. But how does one become a “great actor”? You become great by putting in the time and work. Do plays, create a web series with a friend, get in a good acting class and work, work, work. DOING the work will help you be a better actor.

Research the type of shows that you want to do and practice those type of roles. Be prepared for whatever gets thrown your way. There is stiff competition out there and you need to stand out from the crowd by being the very best actor you can be and by bringing more than is expected.

Create relationships

Getting “in the room” requires you to not only do great work but also to create lasting relationships with casting directors, producers, directors and others you will meet and work with.

Get to know casting assistants, too. You never know who will be casting that next pilot you would be perfect for. You may not be a big name yet, but the people you have worked with and know you to be a professional will trust you enough to call you in to audition.

A casting director needs to trust that you will take your audition seriously, prepare and make choices that can bring value to the project and make them look good!

Careers are built on these lasting relationships. People natively want to work with people they know and can trust.

Be Proactive

Don’t wait for your Agent to get you in the room.

This is your career and you are in charge of it. Do whatever you can to get noticed. Promote on social media and start to create relationships with casting via social media. Create your own content and post it.

Reach out in any way you can to people who are in the business of creating shows. You’d be surprised how few “degrees of separation” you may be from someone in the industry who could benefit from your talents.

Build your team and keep in touch with them. Make sure you and your agent are on the same page, have all your headshots and videos up on the sites needed for your agent to submit you. If you don’t yet have an agent, start looking for one. Ask friends who have agents that they like if they could recommend you. Get a list of Talent Agent and do a mailing, telling them that you would like to meet them.

Take charge of your career and guide it in the direction that you want to go in. This is your dream. Take action to make it happen!

Although “Pilot Season” has traditionally been at a certain time of year, it actually now goes year round with new platforms like NETFLIX and AMAZON, so your chances are even greater.  You may or may not get cast in a pilot this season, but you will be building your career so that when the day comes you will be ready!