Last year I took an on-camera commercial audition workshop. It was kind of a fluke that I got into it, but I benefited from it greatly nonetheless. I gained an awesome friend who is now helping me with the producing of ShortLived, but I also took away some great tidbits– not necessarily just for commercial auditions, but all auditions in general. One of those tidbits was: be a good little soldier.
Josh Rappaport, the workshop instructor and working casting director, gave this piece of advice to the class the very first day and it stuck. Our jobs as actors is to wait outside, be quiet, obedient and patient until the moment we are called in. Then we do the best work we possibly can, say thanks and leave. We are not to cause any drama, any problems or any trouble. It’s true… we can complain all we want about the inefficiency of an audition process, the crapiness of the sides, or whatever but is that going to change anything? No. It just shows you got a shitty attitude and who wants to work with that? We can use other arenas to vent (a blog, our best friend, our boyfriend, our actor friends), but not the casting office itself!
This really came into play today when I was waiting at CAZT for an indie-feature audition yesterday. The girl who was two spots ahead of me started talking to all of us who were waiting outside of the casting room about how she’d been waiting there for over an hour, how it’s so ridiculous and she’s so sick and tired of these non-union projects disrespecting actors, not valuing her time, abusing their privileges etc etc. My time is precious, she said. It’s not fair.
She’s right. It’s not fair. I’ve had those complaints myself. But I would never voice these rants outside of the room I’m about to step into for the audition! It’s bad vibes for the waiting room. It’s bad karma for you. And it’s just bad manners. We just need to show up, do good work and leave. Then we can let it all out!