Meet Gaby Santinelli and hear about LA’s (in)famous Pilot Season

Pilot Season: what’s it all about?

Pilot season is just kicking off here in America, which means an influx of UK actors hoping for the big Tinseltown break. I’m often asked what it all means, how to prepare, what to expect…

Here’s an overview:

Traditionally, Pilot Season runs from around mid-January to mid-May. It’s when the four big television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) make the first episode of a new TV show.

But these days, because of cable television and online content platforms, new pilots are actually being made all year round. Someone, somewhere is always testing out a brand new show. And…they need to cast a whole new world of characters for those shows!

And because of technology, you could get pretty far into the casting process via self-tapes, right from where you’re sitting. You don’t have to be here in LA to get seen. It’s exciting times, because there is more opportunity than ever, and also…more competition than ever!

So get yourself a strong agent: from what I’ve seen, your hit-rate during Hollywood Pilot Season, and throughout the year, has everything to do with who represents you, and all the better if you’ve got some buzz or heat under you. Actors with reps who frequently get them in the room may even find themselves in a dizzying round of auditions, to the point where they often feel that they cannot do their best for any of them. It can become a bit of a feast of famine situation.

Either way, you need to be on top of your game. Because the thing about Hollywood is that, you just never know what’s right around the corner. So, if you are going for it, you’ve got to hone your acting and your accents, and then work to keep those crucial skills razor sharp, so that you’re ready to go-go-go when your big moment comes along!

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