100 Auditions: A Call to Action

Alex Chester

OnStage New York Columnist

Actors of Color! It’s time we took matters into our own hands. I am tired of our under-representation on stage and screen. I am tired of hearing everyone complain (me included).

So let’s start a revolution, let’s start a protest. Now more than ever, due to this horrific political climate, we need to be seen and heard. America isn’t just black and white. America is a melting pot of diverse beautiful people. We are a rainbow of languages and creeds. We are more than just the color of our skin. That, my friends, is what makes the United States so fucking awesome.

My dear friend Viet, had the awesome idea to challenge actors of color to audition for 100 projects. (Of course, callbacks and self-taped auditions count. Duh).

You’re probably thinking “Fuuuuuccckkkk 100 auditions? I can’t do that, what good is that gonna do? There aren’t THAT many auditions for ethnic actors.” Exactly! We are gonna show up to everything and anything! We are even gonna go to auditions that specifically specify they are seeking “white” people, (gasp).

I know this is a scary and bold movement. What if we piss off casting? I’ve thought this through, and I don’t think we will. We are giving casting an option they probably didn’t think of. We are giving the creative team a different choice. Why would this hurt us? This is gonna empower us to rise up! To show the creatives we are just as good an option and worthwhile to take a chance on. We are talented. We can hold our own, and we have so much to offer audiences everywhere!

If you are tired of not making a difference. If you are sick of the status quo remaining the same, then join me. Join this revolution of actors of color!

Showing up to an ECC (equity chorus call) or EPA (equity principal audition) that doesn’t call for non-white folk in their breakdown is a form of protest. It shows that we aren’t going anywhere and we deserve an equal opportunity as much as anyone else. Rise up, my friends! Rise up in the name of diversity and inclusion!

100 auditions in one year really aren’t that many in the scheme of things.

Here are the basic procedures to follow:

100 auditions in a one-year time frame. That includes self-taped submissions, going to agent appointments, open calls, and callbacks. Not that crazy right? Totally achievable.

If we do this together, we will be seen and heard. But we have to show up and do the work!

Why can’t we play anything and everything? Why can’t there be an Asian Millie, or a Black Sally Bowles, or a Hispanic Laurie? Or a Middle Eastern Charlie Brown! Why should men and women of color only play the roles that are stereotypical? No, I say! No!

Together we are stronger, together we have a voice that will be heard! One hundred auditions! We can do this!

I will offer my support to any of you who wish to join me on this journey! I cannot do this alone and neither should you!

Find me on Facebook or twitter! Let’s show the world we deserve equal chances in this crazy ass business!

Rise up, my friends! The time is now to rise up!

Photo: Rich Ryan