Another great aspect of social media is that there are so many wonderful little morsels of useful information to help our careers. One of the great resources is Twitter. Here are cool people to follow and twitter lists to check out for info on auditions, career advice, inspiration and more…
Show up! If you’re given an audition appointment- you honer it. And that doesn’t mean 25min after your scheduled callback time. Sorry, buddy, got other things to do! And, no, I wont reschedule.
Make a choice! Now I really know what acting coaches, casting directors and the like mean when they say how important it is for actors to just make a choice, any choice, when they audition. After seeing auditioner after auditioner just come in and give this lukewarm read that was more or less the general mood of the piece, the actor that came in and did the work of coming up with a choice would undoubtedly stand out. Even if that choice was weird, or didn’t follow the logic of the rest of the sides, it didn’t matter. We were just excited to see someone commit to something! To watching something actually happen on stage.
No excuses! When we give you a re-direction please don’t get defensive. Usually it’s a good thing, anyway, because it means we actually want to see more of your work. But if we say “try it like this…” and you say “well, how am I supposed to do that if I don’t know the rest of the play!” then we think “have you never auditioned before?!” Usually sides are just that, sides, not a whole script! You don’t have to tell me that you haven’t seen the other pages– I know, I’m the one who sent them to ya! I don’t care if what you do doesn’t make sense in the rest of the play. All I care about is that you show me something, anything. Like I said before, make a choice.
Hold your script! These are callbacks, so yes, it’s best if you’ve memorized your lines. But if you don’t know the lines 110% then, please, spare us. We wont hold it against you that you’ve got your script in hand. A solid performance with a script is better than a rocky performance without the script.
Bring energy! Don’t suck it out of the room. There were some people who, maybe they were good, I have no idea, because they came in with such low energy I struggled to pay attention to what was going on. Then there were people who, may not have been the greatest actor in the world, but had such great energy when they walked into the room, when they were playing the part, when they were receiving the re-direction that they instantly went to the top of my list.
One of the great actor-friendly resources out there is this daily newsletter, Alex’s Info, and on it the other day was this cool list, which proves that Casting Director workshops may be worth it.
I know it seems kinda icky to have to pay to be seen, essentially, but I like to look at it as a valuable learning experience with the added bonus of a chance to be called in to read. I don’t see it as a guarantee and I try to not even think about that part while in the class. When deciding whether or not to do a workshop, however, it couldn’t help to do a little research to see if that particular CD tends to call in from their workshops:
- Scott David with Criminal Minds
- Eric Souliere with UDK casting
- Allen Hooper with Jeff Greenberg Casting
- Danielle Aufierro with FMW
- Jessica Disla with FMW
- Stephanie Laffin with David Lippens casting
- Lisa Soutlau with Juney Lowry Johnson
- Andy Henry
- Dan Shaner with Shaner/Testa
- Kari Audino with Shiff/Audino
- Jami Rudolphsky
- Kendra Castleberry with Donna Rosenstein
- Marni Saitta with Days of our Lives
- Felicia Fasano
- Betty Mae
- Todd Sherry with Patrick Rush casting
- Kelli Lerner as an independent CD
- Lori Sugar as an Independent CD
- Mia Levinson
- Kari Kurto with Dava Waite casting
Also, a fellow Theater of NOTE member, would add to that list:
- Arlie Day (Bacharach – O’Neill)
- Paul Webber
Don’t you hate that feeling when you walk out of the casting room and you know, you just know you blew it? It sucks. But, I’ve noticed something… I feel like that only happens when I kinda know the person I am auditioning for.
Yesterday I had an audition for a SAG Ultra-Low Budget Feature and it was the director herself who called me in, thinking I fit one of the female lead roles. I was flattered and excited, but really nervous– and I’m not generally the type that gets nervous for auditions. I’d say I’m pretty good at the whole- walk in, give it your all, walk out and forget about it-thing. But this time it was different. You’d think actually knowing the person would help, right? Like, actually calm the nerves. Nope, not at all.
But there must be a way to turn this around… Use the fact that I know them to help improve my auditioning skills, not hamper them. I dunno, sometimes I feel like auditioning is like the SATs. SATs don’t show someone how smart you are– they show someone how well you take the SATs. Auditions don’t show someone how well you act, just how well you audition.