What Casting Directors Aren't Telling You
Ok, so I dedicated this summer to attending alot of Casting Director workshops. It was important to me to build great relationships with key industry players this year so that by the time Pilot Season rolls around, I am an actor they are familiar with.
I've learned a lot things that have blown my mind about what goes on in the casting room and what goes on inside the head of a casting director.
I'm excited to be sharing these simply because I am relatively new to the TV/Film world (went to school in NY, have done theatre since high school) and I figured that if I didn't know about alot of these *secrets*, than many people perhaps didn't.
Ok, here goes!
- Don't ever give casting directors a reason to say no to you. If you give them any doubt or show them you're needy, they will not call you back. This includes:
a) Talking too much. The quicker you can start working, the better.
b) Asking too many questions. If you have a question about a relationship between 2 characters, go ahead and ask. But you should have all the information you need in those sides. And you know those areas that are crossed off? Read those too!
c) Taking too long to "center" yourself. To the actor who asks, "Can I just take a moment to center myself?" - you're already in hot water! Again, the quicker you can start working, the better.
- Common sense: Don't touch anyone. Don't shake their hand unless they extend it to you. It's an issue of germs really. And please don't touch them in the scene. Again, common sense.
- Anything that can help you get the job, do it! Reading the entire script is crucial, as it tells you what the tone of the show is. Call the casting office and ask if you can come down and read it. If they have access to the script, most times they'll let you come in and read it.
- Every choice is valid. It might not be the right choice, but it is a valid one. A bold choice is much more appreciated than no choice at all.
- No need to memorize your sides, that's what they're there for. However, if there is a part of the script that you are consistently tripping up on, memorize those lines!
- However, if you've been asked to come in fully memorized, try memorizing without the sides in your hand. Since you will not have them inside the audition, it's important to keep your hands free while you memorize.
- For a pre-read, you will get a choice of scenes to read. Choose the scene that shows what you do best and gives you range.
- Common sense: Couches zap your energy. Waiting around for a long time sucks, but don't stay seated the whole time. You will regret it come audition time.
- If your audition is being taped and you flub a line early on, it's okay to ask if you can do it again. Now, if you are almost done with the sides and you flub a line, you should not ask to do it again. But a few lines in? Go ahead.
- Putting a directors name on a resume helps to establish trust.
- Lastly, paper this town. Have your face be seen. Don't be afraid to send your headshot and resume in, and to follow up, and to send postcards. Eventually, they will start to recognize your face.
Hope this helps, it sure was enlightening to me!
Photo by Christopher Ford