You Should Audition Anyway

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Many of you reading this blog have been living in the SE and working in this market for a while, and for many of you, the casting directors working in this region know you. They have seen you audition for multiple roles. They have stuck with you through new headshots, new hair styles, lost weight and gained weight. They know you. Perhaps not well enough to recognize you in the aisle of the grocery store or remember your name, but they are familiar with you.

When submitting on a project, we cast a wide net. We are greedy, and we want as many of our talent to receive an audition appointment as possible. Casting will request those talent who fit the specs of the character and ask them to audition. Casting does not make their selections haphazardly. They do it thoughtfully. They want to pick the best talent, so they can get their job done.

When you receive an audition appointment from your agent, there has been a process to get you there. A minimum of a couple, if not a handful of people were involved in that decision. So trust us.

Keep in mind that the specs for a character can change. Or casting may be thinking out of the box, and they want to push the parameters of the immediate description. You may not have all of the information. Even if the character is a stretch in your mind. Trust us. Even if you feel it is not a character you can play. Trust us. Even if the age or description is not a perfect fit. Trust us.

Audition anyway.

When you are given an opportunity to audition, take it. Use it as an opportunity to be seen. Use it as a chance to stretch what casting may think of you, or even what you think of your own acting abilities.

Times are tough. Competition is fierce.

Audition anyway.

And, what I say today, may not be true tomorrow. 

Images: RawPixel.com/Unsplash 

Feedback

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.

Taped Auditions

The audition is the win. In this world of self-taped auditions, I realize it is very frustrating not to go in a room and show what you can do.  We can spend days writing about how much this takes away from the actor and the process.  I understand, but that is not now, and it is not our market.  You will be doing self-tapes.

So, you need to find a way to love them as much as going in the room. You are an actor, and you love to act.  I assume as the adage goes that there is nothing else that you can possibly do that lights a fire in you and makes you feel completely fulfilled. Acting is it for you.

With every taped audition request you receive, you are being asked to act. Isn’t that what you wanted? Embrace it.  You can do whatever you want with this audition.  In fact, you can now mount your own full-scale production. You control the lights, sound, and wardrobe. Best of all, you are the director. You make all the choices. The only thing that would be more amazing is if you actually got paid to do it.  But with the audition, the possibility of booking is being presented as well. The audition is the win.

While you wait for the next audition, feed the artist in you. If you do not have a group of actors that you can exercise your acting chops with, then start looking for them. Write your own work, tape, critique and share. Repeat. Your success depends partially on your ability to be in the right positive space as an artist when the auditions do land. There should never be a sense of needing to get ready to audition. You are always ready and waiting for the next opportunity.

And, what I say today, may not be true tomorrow.