Finding actors that will perfectly portray your story without breaking the bank is no easy task. Great actors don’t come cheap. There’s a certain misunderstanding that, in order to have a killer film, you need A-list Hollywood actors, which is far from the truth.

Chances are, your local community is home to countless actors and actresses looking for a role any chance they can get. These are the actors that will be dedicated to telling your story right while not breaking your budget. You just need to look in the right places.

Here are our tips for hiring actors on a budget:

Browse Online Casting Sites

Online casting sites are a great way to find a large selection of actors no matter your budget. Online casting sites are home to a large selection of actors across the U.S. with various rates. Sites like Mandy, Backstage, and Starnow are a great place to start. Even Craigslist is a great spot to search for talent.

Start browsing through these sites to get an idea of the talent you can find within your budget.

Check with Local Drama Schools & Clubs


Never overlook the power of your local community. Your local film and acting communities are your best source for finding young, passionate actors and actresses. Put up flyers at the local drama schools. Join an acting club or two. The key is to get the word out about your film, and you’ll find local talent that wants to be involved in no time.

In Chicago, some great places to search for talent are Second City, Columbia College, and more. Simply getting involved in the local film community will expose your project to a wide range of eyes.

Don’t Overlook Social Media

Social media is a great way to get the word out about your film. Look for online film communities on Facebook and other social media platforms. Post about your film so your friends see. Chances are you’ll run into a few eager newcomers that are looking for a new project.

The good thing about Facebook is that it commonly has set acting groups in cities, so all you have to do is search keywords like “Chicago actors” and you’re sure to stumble upon a community worth being a member of. Be sure to be vocal in these groups to get the word out there about your film.

Make Sure to Audition Your Actors

Oftentimes, directors will see an actor in a film or play that they fall in love with and is within their budget and book them without a proper audition. Once you find the perfect actor or actress, be sure to always audition them. You may be excited that you finally found the perfect fit for your storyline within your budget, but you still need to make sure they have chemistry with your script and storyline.

Actors and actresses read differently depending on the script so make sure to audition them before signing them onto your film.   

Follow these tips and you’re sure to find a few actors within your budget! Now that you’ve located the best actors, rent the equipment you need with Eleven04 today!