The Coronavirus outbreak has massively disrupted entertainment production in Hollywood and around the world. From major theatrical releases to film festivals to TV conferences and live theatre performances, the industry has been under distress.
The COVID-19 pandemic has halted TV/Film shoots and Hollywood has struggled to get back to business. Film sets that have been known for being packed with production teams have faced a slew of recent challenges. Only recently, Los Angeles County lifted the production halt to keep the film rolling with very rigorous health and safety rules.
As per Hollywood Sapien, there are roughly 108,000 SAG-AFTRA actors living in Los Angeles. These are folks who have ever acted, at a level that gets them into the union. This does not include the additional thousands that come to Hollywood for their big break! On average, before COVID, only 20% of these actors would even get work.
Then what does an actor to do in this even more COVID competitive environment? We sat down with Actor – Dave Vij. David shared his take on COVID on how it has impacted him and the industry.
STAFF: How are you dealing with getting Acting work in these new challenging times?
David: 2020 was definitely a healthy challenge full of humbling experiences. I was slated for two films, two theatre plays, and testing for lead role(s) on two television shows for networks. The studios pushed to pre-production on one film to late 2021, while everything else was cancelled. I have taken this time to focus more on: class, rehearsing for an Off-Broadway play, and actively engage with Directors and Writers on virtual table reads on upcoming projects. Along with joining Casting Director sessions as they continue to be supportive for the acting community during these times.
STAFF: How has the auditioning process been for you before and during COVID? Where do you see it going?
David: Auditioning for me is truly a grateful opportunity. It is a joyful experience to audition in person at the casting offices. However, it is also interesting to see the industry move to online so quickly. Before COVID, 70% of auditions were in person and 30% self-tape submissions. During COVID it is all online. I believe post COVID, pending on the level of the role you are up for, it will be a combination of both.
STAFF: Where do you see the industry heading and how can new folks wanting to get in best prepare?
David: COVID has definitely accelerated the industry to digital platforms. With that in mind, an actor needs to be able to adapt to environments to succeed. In addition, the world is becoming smaller and curated content is being localized even more. Thus, allowing actors to audition more for roles in other countries. Big Tech may start to continue to play a larger role as the high demand for content and distribution continues. For the new folks, best preparation is to adapt and embrace technology as it can be your friend or foe in helping you land your next role. More importantly, hone your craft and take care of your health. As an actor, you continuously have to work that emotional muscle!