The 4 P's
Recently, I had the chance to sit in on auditions for a hysterical commercial casting a young couple. Because the age range was wide and ethnicity and looks were really of little importance, the director was looking almost exclusively at comedic timing. And which actor and actress had the right type of chemistry. Oh, and "looked like a couple". The client was very insistent that the spot not fall into the typical "hot gal with a doofus guy" that is so prevalent in commercials. And I was so thrilled for that!
The best part is what I was reminded during the whole experience...
1. The "best" actor that auditions doesn't always get the role. We saw many talented comedians. A few that so totally nailed what the director was looking for. The couple that actually got cast were good but not the ones we initially thought were going to be cast. So much went into the casting decision that had NOTHING to do with the actual audition given in the room that day.
2. Social media does make a difference. A producer in the room for final callbacks recalled a recent very negative Facebook posting one of the actor had recently done. The producer immediately said he wasn't "overly excited" about the prospect of that negative energy coming to set. Now, I totally understand that one negative FB status does not a negative actor make. The point is: this producer didn't want to take that chance. And that is his right as the one doing the hiring.
3. Many actors do not look like their headshots. Or forget them entirely so I have no idea if they look like their headshots or not. This is such a no-brainer I can't believe it is still an issue... bring a headshot and resume already stapled to every audition NO MATTER WHAT. Better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it. And that headshot that you remembered to bring every time should look like you. And preferably it shouldn't have a coffee stain right across your forehead. This is your calling card. What is it saying?
4. A pro actor shows up on time, prepared. We saw over 75 actors total from beginning to end. But we had 95 scheduled. You do the math. Wait- you might be as bad at math as I am... according to my handy calculator, that is about 20 actors that didn't show up. 4 contacted their agent to let us know. The rest? We call those "no shows". The producer asked me to make a list for him of all the names of those that were a no-show. He posted it above his desk under sign reading "don't accept checks from". He has a funny sense of humor. About half of all the actors were late to their scheduled time. The two that finally booked the spot were early. Coincidence? Maybe.
Sure, these may all seem like they fall under the "We know this" category....but apparently we don't all! Maybe it is good to be reminded every now and again. Clients want to work with us. Especially if we are the 4 P's: polite, professional, punctual and prepared!