Twice in the last 12 months did I have the chance to see the casting process from the ‘other’ side: Once for a short film ‘Vincent’, which we cast in LA and San Diego; and just recently for our 48HR FP team preparing for the madness next weekend.
To say it was an eye-opening experience would be an understatement! I was surprised by some of the mistakes that were made by people who should know better (according to their resumes anyway). Not just in San Diego, but in L.A. as well. It also confirmed my belief that there is a lot of great non-union talent out there. Just because somebody has ‘SAG’ on their resume…well, you get the picture! (ahem, maybe I’m a little biased, being non-union myself ;)
Anyway, as an actress, it was a great learning lesson and I’d like to share some observations I made:
– Ladies! Please make sure your hair is out of your face! It is so distracting when you’re constantly wiping or flicking away strands of hair; or even worse – you don’t get it out of your face at all. We’re desperately trying to see what’s going on in your eyes, but we can’t see. Also, make sure you know where the camera is.
– Don’t linger in the waiting room after the audition. I’ve heard several casting directors say how some actors do that and that they’re not helping their chances. Makes sense to me and I didn’t think this would happen much, but it did. One girl just muttered to herself, sat down and started eating after she was done and we had said our ‘byes’. Another girl stood around in the waiting room after the audition, so I asked her if she needed anything. She said no and just ‘looked for something’ in her purse. I called the next actor in and after HE was done and I peeked out again to get the next one after him, SHE was still there! Just hanging out, looking at stuff on the wall, etc. WTF? Honestly, it was creeping me out.
– Bring your headshot and resume. Really.
These were the biggest issues I noticed, but all in all it was a really pleasant experience. Being polite and professional goes a long way and most people were just that. It also put me at ease to see that it’s ok to be a bit nervous. It didn’t bother us – we were a little nervous too! There’s a lot of amazing talent out there and you can tell when people love what they’re doing. Be yourself and don’t force anything. Be in the moment. Give yourself a moment to relax after you slate, before you begin your scene or monologue.
Believe me, I took notes. I plan on practicing what I just preached at my own next audition!
If you ever have the chance to be involved in casting – DO it. It really helps you understand the process and will put to rest some of the nagging doubts or questions that are always in the back of your head.
Ok, that’s my two cents about the subject. Feel free to add your own audition do’s or don’ts in the comment section below.
Have a great weekend and break a leg at the next audition!