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How to Build Your Empire: Pilot Season Guide and Checklist


Candy WashingtonWith pilot season just around the corner, I wanted to share with you all my Pilot Season Survival Guide and Checklist. I booked a pilot for MTV last season but it didn’t get picked up and I’m more determined now than ever to book another one that sticks. I hope my guide and checklist below is helpful to you as well on your journey to taking pilot season by storm!

Pilot Season Guide and Checklist

Get your mind right:

Make sure that your head is in the game and that you’re focused. I recommend meditating, doing yoga, pilates, and working out. Keeping a journal also helps and having people around you that you trust that you can confide in and go to for guidance. There can a lot of pressure for actors to get in the room and book during pilot season and it can be easy to get discouraged or negative if you things aren’t moving as quickly as you would like.

Being in a good place mentally and having a positive energy/vibe will also help you to book work and ideally a pilot. Remember that your energy walks in the room even before you do, or before you open your mouth. What you are projecting – confidence, positivity or desperation, negativity – can make or break your audition whether or not you are the best actor in the world.

Get your representation right:

I’m a firm believer that no representation is better than the wrong representation. However, I also advocate if it’s possible, to get the best team on your side prior to pilot season, whether it’s an agent, manager, or both, that really believes in you, has the right connections to get you in the room, and is willing to push for you.

If you can’t get the right team on your side, don’t fret. This just means that you have to be the perfect agent or manager for yourself! Even if you have an awesome team, you still should be doing this while keeping the lines of communication open with your representation. This means getting the breakdowns and pitching yourself for auditions in respectful ways to casting directors, producers, and writers. The one caveat here is make sure that you are mindful to be respectful in your pitching. Treat them as human beings and know what value you add to the situation. Don’t overstep boundaries, be proactive but not pushy.

Find audition sides, tape them, and submit them to casting, but I would only do this if you are really perfect for the role, the quality of your audition tape is high, and you can get it to casting in a respectful way.

Get your marketing materials right:

Make sure that your marketing materials are on point and are true and accurate representations of what you currently look like and what your brand stands for, as these will be crucial tools for you to use during pilot season. This meanings everything from your hard copies to your social media sites.

Marketing Tools Checklist:

  • Head shots (digital and hard copies)
  • Website
  • IMDbPro profile
  • Postcards
  • Thank You cards
  • Business Cards
  • Twitter profile
  • Facebook profile
  • LinkedIn profile

Get your strategy right:

Get informed on the pilots that are casting, who’s casting them, what networks they are attached to, who the key showrunners are, and who is already signed on to star on them. Then make a list of the pilots that you want to audition for and make a plan with your representation to get into the room and be sure to see if you have any connections that can assist you on landing an audition as well. Do casting workshops with the casting directors and be sure to follow-up with them according.

Get your craft right:

Stay in class or get in a class. Best case scenario is that you will be running from auditions to callbacks and won’t even have time to memorize lines because you’re so busy being seen. This is where honing your craft comes into play so that you are just ready to tackle those auditions with ease and just enjoy yourself in the room. I would definitely recommend taking an audition technique class and an improv class.

Happy pilot season! If you found this article helpful, please comment below, share with your friends and tweet @CandyWashington.


About Candy Washington

Actor, producer, entertainment, and fashion expert and This is Candy Washington founder, Candy Washington is a highly sought-after resource for her witty, trendy, and always entertaining style, pop culture, and acting expertise. Candy has interviewed top industry influencers including NBC’s Today Show’s style expert Bobbie Thomas, NBC’s Fashion Star winner Kara Laricks, Teen Vogue’s Eva Chen, NBC's Dancing with the Star’s Dean Banowetz, ABC’s fashion expert Lilliana Vazquez, and Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York’s Jill Zarin, and has appeared on ABC 7 as a film and entertainment expert. She was profiled Cision, the industry’s go-to standard for media professionals and is also a brand ambassador for Style in View. Additionally, she has acted in numerous films and television shows, such as Ice Cube produced, Are We There Yet? and Eggs Over Easy that premiered at The New Orleans Films Festival. Candy is a graduate of Georgetown University.