How to Find Acting Jobs in Chicago

Being considered as the Old Hollywood during the early 1900s, it’s no wonder that a lot of people aspire to land a couple of acting jobs in Chicago. If you aim to be an actor and if you’re situated in Illinois, that makes it even more convenient for you. With its iconic skyline that boasts three of the five tallest buildings in America, it was the center for exhibition and production of motion pictures.

Aside from its wonderful city horizon, there are plenty of things that make Chicago and the rest of Illinois one of the premier film destinations in the world. The state has an abundance of prairies, industrial centers, natural vistas, rivers, small towns that have retained their old-world charm, and farmlands. It also has its tough back alleys, distinctive historical neighborhoods, and a 58-mile lakefront. Thanks to these perks, the city has a prospering television and film industry with a roster of greatly talented actors, production, and crew people, as well as industry vendors.

With that being said, here are some ways so you could find some acting jobs in the glorious city of Chicago.

Utilize Your Connections

Ask your friends, colleagues, and acting teachers if they are aware of any upcoming projects in Chicago. An acting coach can probably give you valuable contacts and know exactly the kind of roles or acting jobs would suit you. Your contacts can be your best first resource. Your own professional connections will be able to endorse you to local agents and casting directors.

Become a Part of Agent Workshops

With Chicago’s blooming film industry, it no longer comes as a shock that agents will be holding workshops from time to time. Agents use these workshops to find fresh talents. You need to remember that it’s not just you who will be attending it, so it’s best for you to get geared up for a tough competition.

Get Yourself a Manager or an Agent

Hiring a manager or agent will make your search for castings or auditions a lot easier. They’re the ones who will recommend you to directors and refer you to auditions that you are suited for. If you happen to hire an agent, you’ll need to pay them a percentage of your salary after you land a job.

Since Chicago has a really big name in the industry, you can expect to find a lot of talent agents or managers. However, you should take note that since they’re simply referring and recommending you to directors and auditions, it’s not a guarantee that you will land a job or get a part when you hire an agent.

Grab Every Opportunity to Act in Commercials, Films, or Plays

Hundreds of photo shoots and commercials that are made for both international and national clients are attracted to Chicago. The state is filled to the brim with opportunities for acting, so try to broaden your target market. You need to grab every chance you can get so you could get your work out there and be noticed. Whether it’s a documentary, a commercial, a play, or a student film and even if it’s low-paying or just voluntary, it doesn’t matter.

These opportunities provide you with a way to sharpen your skills, and if you’re really good, word will get out that you have special qualities that might be beneficial in the industry. You might get noticed by an agent and you might be the next person to get discovered through a small project.

Try Reaching Out to Your Local Film Office

Most films that are looking for extras will post their advertisements in the city’s film office. Try visiting the Chicago Film Office. The office will be able to help you contact casting directors and do some research. The film office might even know about some workshops that you can join for you to hone your skills, and they can also give you some information on available acting classes.

There’s also a huge chance that the film office will have a list of contacts, permits, and current projects since Chicago has been a top location for television and film productions, dating all the way back to 1980.

Involve Yourself with Casting Calls

As it is one of the biggest attractions for the entertainment industry, Chicago is a place where casting calls are not hard to find. Try checking out Web sites, TV, radios, newspapers, and anywhere else where information is available. Whenever they have casting call for shows or other projects, a lot of TV networks use their Web sites to post listings or casting calls.

Make an Account on Web Sites That Have Auditions

Although these sites can be a very good instrument for researching projects that are happening in Chicago, you should be cautious if you plan on using these sites because many of them charge a big fee but with minimal return.

To begin with, you need to visit the sites, sign up, and post your headshots. You need to ensure that your profile has multiple headshots and should be detailed and unique. One example of these sites is

In the previous years, there have already been a lot of acting jobs in Chicago, jobs that were brought by films that were shot there. A few examples are Divergent, Transformers 4, and Jupiter Ascending. With the city’s current prestige in the film industry, there’s truly a lot of market for films.

Chicago is truly a remarkable city for filmmaking, thanks to the spirited cooperation of civic leaders, businesses, and residents. Despite the rise in availability of the opportunities, you still need to be aware of scams. You wouldn’t want anyone to take advantage of your hard work.