Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/test camera , prepare , tips


QUESTION: I m new face performer , actor , dancer , and do voice over too

I had applied for many casting agents , they required from me to do something called "camera test"

noticed that this camera test is not for specific role it is general , may be I ll play role as a model , actor on advertisment or movie or tv , they want from to to do camera test primary

my question

1- whats the camera test ?

2- how does I prepare myself ?

3- does I have to prepare some scenes I study to act infornt camera and dancing show I knew to perform them or what ?

4- does their any tips and trick to know before making test camera ?

5- if after doing test camera on one agent , and they didnt accept me , so what can I do after that , apply on others  and still insisitng with my talents  or that ll be a sign referral that I m not fit to be an actor or model generally and stopping my researches , what can I do if there are many agents told me we ll call you or you are not fit , so is that ll be a sign too ?

noticed that I m not USA resident , I m from egypt , so please advise me as general principals of camera test not advise me with something related to USA market

thanks and best regards

ANSWER: 1.The camera test is the recorded scene that you submit to them. They will tell you what they want from you. The best thing to do would be a monologe which is a long speech from a play that requires only the speaking actor to perform. They will also tell you how long the speech must be.

2.Just memorize the speech and record it as though the camera is the actor to whom you are speaking.

3.Yes you need to have such speeches ready to perform for the carmera.

4/Don't act. Just be the character in that situation. Keep it very simple.

5.Well, it often takes many submissions to many agents before an actor gets an agent.  Actually, an agent is not what you need first to become an actor. What you need first is a resume of your experience and training as an actor. And dance is a sperate field from acting, so you would been a separate resume for that and perhaps a seperate agent. I suggest you read my free ebook "The Tao of Acting, Mentoring for Aspring Actors". Just do a web search for it and you will find it.

I am not sure what you are saying in the sentence about your being from Egypt. If you are in the US there are some things you need to know, but if you are in  Egypt there are other things. For example, It is quite impossible to get a role in a US film from another country unless you ae a star in that country.  You are a beginner and therefore you need to start at the beginning and that is NOT getting an agent.It IS building a resume.

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QUESTION: thank you at all for your explained and detailed answer

1- what about dialogues , I m studied lot of dialogues between two characters , I can perform the both character with their voice and their own performace , is that eligible or it must be a monolgue , can I imporvise ?

2- about agents , you may misunderstood what I mean , it is not an agent , I ll hire him to market my portfolio like this kind of agent is for famous actor or stars , but I m talking about agents like casting calls or offices , small companies who require lot of talents for small roles or model or acting on advertisement or need fresh faces , so how can I build my resume without really acting even if small roles on beside I ll take workshops and courses , but I want to prove my talent firstly , then I ll determine which skills I missed to maintain and develop , please comment

3- about acting on USA , I m differ with you , no , there are lot of actors not a stars using their only talents to act on USA movie , from middle east , those actors is required for movies have to any topic related to middle east but it may small or moderate roles , I m sure that if an American casting director persuaded that I m fit for specific role , he ll train me and didn't concern about I m star or not , when I m doing researches on casting call on USA , I found lot of role for middle eastern talents whatever they are famous or new faces , I contacted many casting agent on USA specially who casting American movie required middle eastern actors , they told me it is available and acceptable to apply as Egyptian and new face but , I have to be live on USA , it is truly that no casting agent ll pay for me to travel from Egypt to USA to play a role except I m famous star on my country , that's very logic and true , please comment , I ll search and read your book

ANSWER: I am pleased to be of service to you.

1. You never perform a dialog.Must be a monologue. Improvisation is forbidden. Your monologue must be from a published play.

2. Oh, ok. You mean a casting agency. First of all most of these are scams and just take your money and do nothing for you. Usually an actor builds his resume by doing amateur theatre plays such as are produced by a college or by a community theater. At the same time, it is possible to do extra work in films if they are produced near where you live.  A resume is how you prove your talent. My belief is similar to yours: that you should have evidence that you are a competent actor before you take any sort of acting lessons to fill in the gaps. (Read my book.)

3.If you are a beginner who lives in Egypt, there is no way you are going to be hired to act in a film made in another country. IF an actor is not a citizen of the USA, he cannot work professionally as an actor in the USA unless he has a Green Card or an 01 Visa. If an American Casting Director were persuaded that you were the only actor he wanted to do a role in his film, he could get you an O1 Visa. HOWEVER he will not train you as he is much too busy. When you audition for a play or film, the casting director expects you to be able to act. One reason I recomend amateur theater to build your resume is that they do take the time to train their actors as they produce their plays, and it usually costs you nothing to participate.

You have done some good research into acting in the USA. There are always roles for every ethnicity and actors of a particular ethnicity often play roles of other ethnicities. Omar Sharif was an Egyptian who was a Big American Star. He played middle eastern roles, Russian, and American roles. He was outstanding and retired from acting to focus on playing Bridge.

It has been a pleasure to answer your questions. I wish you success, Doc

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QUESTION: thank you dear for your concern about my case

1- yes you got one important example OMAR EL SHERIF , he was Egyptian actor and be famous on USA and play many roles not only that but there are other like AMR WAKED act one movie called LUCI 2014  and KHALED ABU EL NAGGA act on movie an American movie  on 2008 but I didn't remember its name

2- you told me that casting agency is scam , but sometimes they are free service , please you made me afraid because I had registered on many of them ( without paying penny) but I fill my personal data , pictures , videos , voice over samples on those websites

so from your experience point of view , how can I assess and evaluate casting agency service whether online service or real office that's were scam or not ?

thanks and best regards

As long as you do not have to pay to register or submit an audition things are OK.  But be careful, never pay upfront. You can ask me about these companies or casting servicesl But THINK! You are not going to get cast in a film being made in another country. It is too expensive and there is too much red tape in getting you there. The best way for you to become an actor is to emigrate to somewhere like the UK and go to acting school there.  Acting is the most difficult of all careers. It does not work like McDonalds. The director casts each role and extra carefully in order to maintain the quality of the film. Beginners often get extra work, but an actor who wants to audition for speaking roles needs an agent.  Best wishes, Doc  

Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Kenneth D. Plonkey


Questions about acting and directing. Questions about getting started in a careeer. Questions about training and schooling for actors.


I am a retired film actor. I am a retired university theatre program director and professor. I am the author of "The Tao of Acting, Mentoring for the Aspiring Actor" to be published this summer.


BA, MA, PhD in Theatre Post graduate study with certificate in Media Acting

Awards and Honors
John Golden Traveling Fellowship

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