Do you “just want to work as an actor” but simply don’t understand why you’re not being cast? Don’t worry, if you do, you’re not alone! Whether you’re a newbie or veteran actor, the auditioning process can sometimes leave you in the dark.
It typically goes like this: You walk into an audition — you’ve prepared, practiced, and worked your heart out. You do a great job and leave the casting director smiling. You’re certain you’ve gotten the role! And you don’t even get a call-back. Familiar?
Or on the other side, you know you blew it big-time when the network execs just sat there silently after you took a “big chance” in your read – and then your agent calls and says “you blew them away!”
Not knowing why can drive you crazy! The unknown and unexplained with anything can create fear, but with those rare, important auditions it can be debilitating (okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but we’re talking acting here).
Anyway…yes, you know rejection is part of the business, but wouldn’t it be nice to know what’s going on in that little head of the casting director who seems to either love you or hate you for some inexplicable reason?
Understanding the mind of a casting director will empower you in your next audition.
Following are just some of the things that they won’t tell you about your casting call and audition:
1. They don’t know what they’re looking for.
Countless times over the course of your career, you are not going to be cast in a role because they didn’t know exactly what they were looking for. If you look at who ends up being cast, it is often someone who is a completely opposite type from you.
In cases like that, it’s not about you and your abilities to perform, but the simple truth is that the casting director didn’t even know who they wanted to portray their character. When someone came along and struck them, they said, “Yeah, that’s what I want.” All you can do each time is to go in, be authentic, and give it your best shot.
2. When you are given an “adjustment” or direction in an audition, that’s a good sign.
Every so often the casting director will give you an adjustment in your performance. Don’t let this frighten you – it’s a good sign. It might seem like they just threw you a curve ball, but whatever you do just relax and roll with the punches. The only reason they’re giving you another chance is that they saw something in you they liked or they wouldn’t waste another minute of their time.
Getting an adjustment is a great opportunity to show another side of your talent and the capability you possess to take this character in a different direction.
Every so often the casting director will give you an adjustment in your performance. Don’t let this frighten you – it’s a good sign.
3. Your audition stinks.
This is pretty straightforward. If your audition stinks, there’s a good chance they’re not going to tell you. But many times, they won’t tell you even when it’s great (see #5 below).
The only thing you can do when you leave is ask yourself these questions: Did you prepare properly for this part? Did you rehearse and practice with a friend or hire an acting coach?
An audition is just like any other job interview. If you want the part, you have to be willing to give it your all and commit the necessary work and time to make them notice you. Otherwise, what’s the point of even going?
If you prepared properly and delivered what you intended, then feel good about it and move on.
Remember this is just like any other job interview; there is no difference. Be professional, concise, and willing to give your FULL commitment.
4. They know you’re not right for the role the minute you walk in the door.
Another thing that they won’t tell you in Hollywood is that they know you aren’t right as soon as you walk in the door – or in the first two seconds of seeing you on video.
If you’re in person, you may feel confused by this concept because after all, they saw your headshot and should have known what to expect when they called you in. However, it’s not all about appearance. Sometimes an actor walks in and their vibe is completely different from what came across in their headshot.
However, remember too, that all is not lost. They may have something else you are really right for in the future.
5. They love everything about you and what you have to offer.
Once again, this is pretty straight-forward. On occasion, you may blow the casting director away, and they know they want to cast you for the part–love you, can’t do it without you–but they won’t say anything to that effect while you’re there. You’ll think they hated you, but then you get that call for the call-back or to be hired.
These are the bare facts of the entertainment business. The next time you go on an audition and think you know how it went, just remember that you probably don’t know what they’re really thinking. It could turn out to be the exact opposite!
This business can be tough, but just keep getting better and better at your craft, and keep getting yourself out to the market. If you would like assistance with getting a talent agent or personal manager, and getting more auditions, please give us a call.