Applicants for the BFA and MFA Acting programs must submit both a self-recorded video audition (as part of the CalArts application) and participate in a live audition. Once you complete your application, you will be asked to sign up for a date and location for your live audition.

Step One: Online Application & Self‑recorded Video Audition

Artist Statement

A written artist statement is very important in the admissions process and should address the following questions:

  • 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.

Self‑recorded Video Audition

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 to the application. 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.

Self-recorded Video Audition 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.
  • 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.
  • We welcome performers and characters of all gender expressions and identities. Applicants do not need to identify or present as the gender identity of the character they are representing.

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.

Step Two - Live Auditions

After submitting your application, you will be asked to sign up for a date and location for your live audition.

Please note: We will not be holding virtual auditions. It is strongly recommended that you attend a live audition, but if you are not able, your application materials will be reviewed without the live audition component, and a decision will be made based on your application materials alone. 

Undergraduate (BFA)

Undergraduate (BFA) live auditions will be held in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Los Angeles: January 13 - 14, 2023 and February 11 - 12, 2023
Location: California Institute of the Arts

New York: January 27 - January 28
Location: Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection by Hilton

Chicago: February 6 - 8, 2023
Location: Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown

Graduate (MFA)

Graduate (MFA) live auditions will be held in New York and Los Angeles. CalArts will also participate in the University Resident Theater Association (URTA) Auditions, however we strongly encourage applicants to apply directly to CalArts as this guarantees the opportunity to meet with the program director and faculty one-on-one in our live auditions.

Los Angeles: January 13, 2023
Location: California Institute of the Arts

New York: January 24, 2023
Location: New York Hilton Midtown

URTA Participants:

Even if you are participating in the University Resident Theater Association (URTA) Auditions, you are still welcome to participate in our direct application process.

If you choose to participate only through URTA, you must still complete an application to CalArts at and fulfill all other application requirements. Your application fee will be waived if you participate in URTA.

We will have access to your URTA application materials. When you are asked to upload an audition/portfolio, you may simply upload a PDF saying "URTA Audition,” to bypass the portfolio requirements on the application.

The URTA process timeline is very condensed. Do not wait to start an application to CalArts!