Everyone wants it, and I absolutely understand. There are a limited number of professions where you pour your heart and soul into something, most of the time you send it off, and you receive nothing in return. Crickets.
In this business, you have to be able to find a way to see the audition as the win. In a room chocked full of people, with hands raised, butts lifted off seats, you got picked! And not just by one person. We receive breakdowns, look over the roles, go through our roster of talented actors, and we pick the individuals that best fit the description. You are then submitted. Now, your miniature, 2X2, headshot is sent on to casting. They receive hundreds of these tiny thumbnails. For any given role, they can receive anywhere from 500-1000 submissions. From this huge list, they now have to also pick you before you ever receive the taped audition notice.
Now where is the feedback here? It lies in the audition appointment. If the same casting director asks to see you again, there is your feedback. Boom. They like you. If you receive multiple appointments on the same show, then they really like you. I have actors voice their frustration about auditioning for the same show many times. [Insert exasperated tone]: “I have done 19 auditions for this show!” Well, there’s your feedback. They really like you. In fact, I am willing to wager a guess that you are going up the chain pretty far. You may even have been sent to producers and have gotten into the top mix on more than one role. Ultimately, things did not go your way this time.
All that being said, as an agent, we will try to get feedback for you whenever we can. We do ask, and there are some casting directors that will take the time to review tapes and send back notes. But with the pace of things being what they are, it is difficult to make time for it as the next job or booking takes precedence.
Another option is to ask your agent for feedback. I have a coaching and directing background, so I am happy to take a look at an audition. I cannot do this with every single one, but if you have concerns, then I am happy to provide feedback.
Ultimately, this is a business about gambling. It is your job to reduce the odds. Here’s how: do absolutely everything you can to knock your audition out of the park every time. Ok, so you will not feel incredible about every audition that you do, but you need to approach it coming from a positive place. Next, arm yourself with as much training as you can. Every actor should be in an ongoing class, and they should also be enrolling in additional workshops. That is the cost of doing business.
As our market grows, more and more actors are coming from other, larger markets. In order to compete, you must have the training, so that you will be picked—over and over again!
And, what I say today, may not be true tomorrow.