Wanna Be On "Empire" Season 2? Start Small But Dream Big!

Next month, "Empire" Season 2 will be begin filming in Chicago. To the benefit of fans (and advertisers), Season 2 will be six episodes longer than the first-- adding 12 weeks [3 months] to the production schedule. 

(An average episode takes about 2 weeks to film.) 

As a result, some actors are headed to Chicago with hopes of getting cast on the show. Our city is cheaper than L.A. and New York with less competition--but less acting roles.  But actors should have representation before trying to become the next "Porsha". If you want to be on the show, you must have your agent pitch you to the casting directors Claire Simon or Leah Daniels-Butler (Lee Daniels' sister). 

Here's a few tips:

*Create Your Character

Follow the theme of the show. "Empire" doesn't need corporate types, forensic scientists, or single mothers who love Jesus. It is a show about hip-hop! You need to look "hip and trendy" and create a colorful persona that will blend well with your scene mates. 

Be the gangster rapper who Lucious grew up with.

Be the beautiful video vixen who will stop at nothing to be with Hakeem.

Be the handsome record executive that Cookie has a crush on. 

*Build Your Demo Reel

Start small and grow big. Look for breakdowns on Actors Access involving student films and web series.

When you act in a variety of projects, you learn how find your true "character" and fit for Hollywood. If you're the "girl next door", you have to perfect your comedic timing and mannerisms to become a believable character. Study your craft and perfect it. 

* Stop Trying So Hard

The best way to get a role you want is to apply for a role you don't want. Life works the opposite of our intentions. If you focus your energy towards "Chicago PD" or "Chicago Med", you will attract "Empire" (and vice versa).

Be versatile and be patient. If it's meant to be, the casting directors will be approaching your agent.   

For Chicago residents: Get your headshots and demo reels updated and find a talent agent immediately!

For outsiders: Consider moving to downtown Chicago to be close to Cinespace Studios (where most of "Empire" is filmed) and follow the other instructions you see above for Chicago residents.

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About Zack Raspberry

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