Audition tips from a casting director

the coulisses

Literally every second undergraduate dreams about being an actor these days. So many talented and gifted, beautiful and charismatic, and also shallow, untalented, and dull young people want to conquer Hollywood and are ready to do literally anything to find someone who can help them and give them that one way ticket to this promised land.
Ironically, I am an average person, not really good looking or anything like that, and I am the one who gives them that ticket. All in all, I am a casting director.

People keep asking me to post some guidelines for being accepted for audition, but honestly, I can’t tell you what you should do in order to join the club. Seriously, there’s no one-fits-all formula. Each actor is individual, and there were cases when people did crazy things that no one would ever recommend you to do on the audition, but their charisma and brilliant acting talent helped them succeed. However, there are some tips for contacting the agents and casting directors that I think will do the trick in 99% of cases.
Before you start, I want you to read these tips on how to become an actor
This is a very basic article, but I really want you guys to take this job seriously. I see so many youngsters that come over just because they want to be famous. I’m not paid for listening to folks that are spiritually jerking off in my office. Understand that acting is not about fame and money. It’s more than that. If you don’t get it, just stay away.
First off, don’t be needy. Who said that being insistent will lead you to contracts sooner or later? You’re just turning into the pain in the neck for the entire office. So, when you contact us and write something like: “Plz plz I want it so much I wanna work with you guys ur awesome lol”, don’t expect we’re going to reply. Show us your serious attitude or at least mind your grammar and punctuation. Show me some respect – I don’t want to waste 15 minutes just to understand what your text means.
My next point is making acting your goal and introducing yourself as a young professional that is trying to achieve a goal. I hear a lot of phrases like: “Acting has been my dream since I was a kid.” We’re not interested in dreams. I dream of 6 pack abs but end up looking down at my belly sagging over my pants every day. And you know what? I’m never gonna get it. And probably neither will you. So, we don’t want to hear how much you want this audition. We want to understand that you have a goal, work on it, attend acting classes, learn from the community, etc.
Finally, don’t try to act like a weirdo. Seriously, guys, who told you that an actor must be a weirdo? It doesn’t work that way. I know that you want to prove your creativity, but believe me, you can come over in a plain t-shirt and old jeans and just do your monologue and get this contract. Remember Louis C.K.’s monologue about the rollerblading guy? It’s 1:05. So, you don’t have to be that Kenny G dude to impress us. Just keep it simple and do your job.
I’ve re-read the post and I thought that it turned out to be too tough. Sorry for that, but I have to deal with these things pretty much every single days and I know that they do no good for you. They just ruin the impression. I hope that this post will help some young artists understand that you should stay serious even when it comes to such an abstract thing like acting. Hope it will help.

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August 2013
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