What is pilot season, you ask? Well, in the television industry, pilot season is regarded as a period of time when there are a lot of auditions for upcoming projects. During this season, the future television shows are cast for the traditional line up of new fall television shows. This time span usually occurs between early January and late March. Many actors flock to Los Angeles in an effort to audition for these new television shows and a chance to break into something that could be the next big thing!
Maybe you aren’t sure what a pilot is. A pilot is a single episode, similar to a test run, of an idea for a new television show. Actors are hired and one episode is filmed to see if the idea comes alive on-screen! Once the pilot is filmed it is then able to be shown to network executives to see if they are interested in the show idea for their network. Most pilots do not become purchased or “picked up” as they say in the industry. If a pilot is “picked up” it will usually be given an initial order of episodes, then the network can gauge its popularity and decide whether to continue the show or to cancel it.
Even though pilot season is “seasonal,” it takes months or longer for the producers to prepare to put life to their episode idea. It also takes time for the actors to train and prepare, AND if an actor is cast in a pilot that becomes part of a regular season, then that actor is able to jumpstart his career! If you are an actor who is planning on traveling to Los Angeles for pilot season, you might want to take note of these things:
-Know how to confidently audition and take direction.
-Update your resume and headshot.
-Update your reel (the video equivalent of your resume).
-GET AN AGENT IF YOU DON’T ALREADY HAVE ONE. Your agent will be your best representation. They have the capability to find you the most opportunities during pilot season.
Written by Caroline Meisner for The Talent Notes