Acting

Applicants for the BFA and MFA Acting programs must submit an audition as part of the application process. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will be accepting taped audition submissions for Fall 2021. 


Audition materials must be uploaded along with all other application materials by January 4th in order to be considered for a callback and acceptance into the program.


Application and Audition Guidelines (BFA and MFA)

Artist Statement

An artist statement is very important in the admissions process and should address the following questions in some capacity:

  • What issues and concerns inform your artmaking practice? 
  • Why are you applying to the Acting program at CalArts?
  • What are your artistic goals?
  • What stories are you most interested in telling, and/or what communities do you hope to reach through your work?
  • What do you find artistically inspiring about the current moment in history?

Headshot and Resume

Applicants should upload their headshot and resume as a part of the online application. More information on restrictions and recommendations regarding file size, etc, can be found in the application itself.

Audition Process: Round One - Initial Application

Applicants must present two monologues of contrasting nature, each no longer than two minutes in length. One must be from Shakespeare and one must be from a contemporary play. 

Each monologue should be recorded separately and uploaded as an individual file. Please label each file with your name as it appears on the application and the title of the monologue you are performing. 

Applicants should slate their names and the pieces they will be performing (character, title of play, and playwright) at the beginning of each video. One video should highlight the actor in closeup or mid-closeup, one video should show the actor’s full range of body movement.

Filming Requirements and Recommendations:

  • All monologues must be filmed in a single take without edits or cuts. 
  • Please wear appropriate audition attire and refrain from using makeup which obscures your actual facial features. No nudity is allowed. 
  • Be original in your presentation, but not tasteless.
  • Carefully consider your surroundings; there should be minimal distractions.
  • Be sure you have enough space to move around and engage your text physically.
  • Ensure you have adequate lighting, especially from the front and side. 
  • Make sure to test your sound quality and try to keep the environment as free as possible from ambient sound. Do not dub your sound in after the fact. 
  • Review your video before submitting to check for playback quality of the image and sound.
  • Applicants should strive to arrange the best possible conditions for filming under their given circumstances, however video submissions DO NOT need to be professionally recorded. Use whatever equipment is available to you, content is more important than polish. 

Optional Supplements:

Applicants may also submit additional materials they feel showcase their artistry and fit for the CalArts community. (Examples might include: scripts you have written, documentation of projects you have directed, films you have acted in or collaborated on, voice over work, or other fine arts work you have completed.)

  • Please attach no more than 4 additional files
  • Supplemental video documentation should not exceed 8 minutes in length total (all videos combined). 
  • Students wishing to submit written materials should include excerpts totaling no more than 10 pages in length.

Audition Process: Round Two - Callbacks

A select number of applicants will receive a callback with faculty following the submission of their taped audition; these applicants will be contacted directly with more information as soon as it is available. Not every applicant will receive a callback.

Please note that:

  • All first round audition materials must be submitted as part of the online application, by the appropriate deadline.  Late submissions will not be considered. 
  • Incomplete or insufficient materials may affect consideration for admission.
  • All prescreen decisions are final. 

Callbacks will take place via Zoom or an alternate virtual platform, details forthcoming. 

At the live callback, applicants will be asked to perform and work with either one of the monologues they submitted with the application for the prescreen. Faculty may also request to see the applicant perform a third audition piece not yet seen. The third audition monologue may be any monologue of the applicant’s choosing, from any genre or time period. This monologue should also adhere to the two minute maximum. 

Students should come prepared to perform all three pieces at faculty’s request.