Audition Pet Peeves…I have a few of them, many of them you’ll hear over time if you continue to read my blog. I woke up today with one in particular on my mind. There’s a HUGE misconception when it comes to casting directors.
People spend a lot of money, time and energy trying to figure out how our brains work. I’m not saying it’s a useless effort, to some extent it’s not. It’s important that you understand the process as a whole and knowing what role we (casting directors) play is part of the process.
One major misconception is that it’s an “us” against you situation. It’s anything BUT that. Our job as casting directors is to find a great cast by any means necessary, through traditional method’s and non-traditional method’s. We will turn over a boulder if we think talent resides underneath. Whatever get’s the job done. Contrary to popular belief, we want you to do well. Let’s face it, if you do well, we do well. Any notes, direction, or advice we give you is for your own benefit. Leave your ego at the door. We may challenge everything you thought to be true prior to walking in that room and if we do, it’s your job to adapt and adapt well.
I once had an adult actor come in for pre-screen (1st audition). In a pre-screen situation, as a general rule you are not required to be off-book (have your script memorized). If you feel you’ve got it, then by all means go for it…put your script down. If you’re even remotely unsure, keep your script in your hand. Well this adult actor who shall remain nameless choose to put down his script. Fair enough. Let’s see what you got. We start the audition and he loses his place. I remind him that he is more than welcome to use his script. “No, No. I’ve got it”, he said. We try again. And again. And again. Are you kidding me? I literally told him 4 times to grab his script and re-enforced that it was okay to do so. Nope, not Mr. I got this. He proceeded to muddle his way through his audition, ineffectively.
I’m sure that’s not how he thought his audition would go. How else would it go when you came in with your own agenda, prepared to do everything but listen? Needless to say, that audition was an epic fail and I’m pretty sure it will be years if ever at all before I brought that actor back in. What that actor showed was his ability not to listen. To “act” is to listen and react accordingly. Imagine that actor on set? I can’t.