An actor must be prepared if he or she hopes to not only
make it to a casting call, but to be invited back. When your agent gives
you that phone call you’ve been waiting for saying you are wanted
for an audition, have a checklist ready.
Keep it by the phone. Keep on in your car. Put one in your pocket.
You need to get this information all at once. You don’t want to
call you agent back several times a day with an, “oh, yeah, I
forgot to ask…” And your agent doesn’t want that either.
So your agent sounds stressed out and in a hurry. That is the life
of an agent. Don’t forget that your agent works for you. You have
hired and paid for the agent’s services with the aim of getting
work. If you fail to get the information that prepares you for the part,
you are wasting your time and money.
Checklist of information to get from your agent:
· Get a description of the role and sides
· Get the shooting dates
· Get the date, time and location of the audition
· It’s very important to get any special information you
need to know about the character
· Get all the information that your agent has about the film,
show or commercial
· Get information about the director, do your research
Do not go to a casting unprepared. You’ll be wasting your time,
the director’s time and may possibly even ruin your chances of
being called back. It is better to cancel than to show up unprepared.
This is not to say that an actor will not make a mistake or be flustered.
If you don’t have a perfect first reading, you’re not going
to get booted. This is a normal part of the audition process. And you
wouldn’t be there in the first place if the casting director didn’t
think you were right for the part.
If you seem to be the right actor for the part, a casting director
will be willing to spend the extra time polishing and getting your both
ready for the audition in front of the producer. But be prepared for
your audition. Know your material. If you take up your allotted time
and the allotted time of the next actor in line to audition, you will
make a bad impression. You do not want this.
If you have already established yourself in the field and the casting
director knows you, then a pre-reading may not be necessary. The casting
director may decide to take you directly in for an audition in front
of the client. But if you are new or unknown, it is likely that you’ll
have a pre-audition with the casting director.
As well as preparing for the role, the actor who is auditioning needs
to prepare him or herself mentally. Do not skip this part of the preparation.
One of the most important elements of success will be to realize the
power of suggestion and the power of self talk.
Reframe your mental attitude and your mental self talk into a positive
dialogue. Take the time to realize that everyone at the audition wants
you to succeed. You would not have been called in if there was not the
hope on the part of the director that you might be the one.
You are not going before a hostile audience. You were selected to audition
because you seem to fit this role perfectly. Remember this and don’t
trip yourself up with negative thinking.
Don’t creative negative self talk by over thinking the things
that are out of your control such as perhaps not having the perfect
costume or feeling as if you are not looking your best. These are things
that actors do to self sabotage.
Become aware of your self-sabotage talk and get rid of it. Empower
yourself with positive mental preparation. You owe it to yourself. No
one can do this part for you, not your agent, not the casting director.
Take charge and manage your headspace.
Take time to learn your character and invest yourself in that character.
Fall into the moment and let yourself become merged with the character.
Even if it isn’t precisely what the casting director is looking
for, do what comes natural to you. It’s important to be comfortable
in the part.
If memorizing the script is what works for you, do it. If memorizing
the script is going take away from preparing otherwise, just hold the
script. You don’t want to have to stop and start over again because
of lines. This can be unnecessarily time consuming.
After the audition is the hard part—waiting to see if you will
be called back. The call-backs are random. Realize that this is part
of the business and that if you do not get a call-back it does not mean
that you were somehow not good enough.
Realize that nearly every person called in for the audition is right
for that role. Do the math. The final decision may have nothing at all
to do with you. It may be the fact that someone had a mole in the right
place or that the actor had facial expressions that reminded the casting
director of his mother. If you don’t get called, realize that
it’s not personal. And most of all, do not let it discourage you
from going to the next audition.
The last step in the process is casting the part. The producer makes
his selection and lets the casting director know. The casting director
calls the agent, and the agent contacts the actor who is ecstatic and
relieved to finally have work. Negotiations usually take place between
the agent and the casting director. by Selia Franco Pender