To succeed as an actor focus on
GETTING MORE AUDITIONS!
There are a couple of key motivators for actors when it comes to auditions.
There are the things most actors believe when it comes to auditions. They are:
- Don’t make mistakes
- Any audition is a chance to be seen
- The sides have all the answers
- The best actor will ultimately succeed.
With most of my ideas and theories here, there is no shortage of people who disagree with me. Most directors and major Casting Directors – people who have spent a lot of time auditioning actors – agree with my approach.
Put simply, most of the acting, drama training, agent community urge you to conform. They say
‘ ……. the Casting Directors won’t like this’
‘you must do it this one way, otherwise no one will look at you’
Firstly, let me get one thing straight.
I’m here to help you audition.
Someone else will teach you to act. My skill is I know screen auditions – and that is what I want to share with you.
When I started casting, the director was always in the room. Watching the screen tests. But now, most of the auditions arrive as self tests. So where does the director watch the auditions?
I come from a unique place – I have spent 36 years locked in an audition studio auditioning actors.
I have seen some truly magnificent actors audition. And in these pages I share with you what I have learned – from the best.
- You can make mistakes in your auditions. Indeed, mistakes are memorable. They lead to magic moments. To achieve this, I don’t want you to create mistakes. Simply follow your instinct. That is what the great sportsmen do. You may watch a tennis player and say their technique is flawless. But at game time (read: audition time), they know their technique will be there. So they ignore technical correctness and aim for their unique approach. That is what will make them succeed.
- If you think an audition is an opportunity to be seen, then you must also understand the flip side of that argument. An audition is also the opportunity to fail. If you are being seen for the wrong role, or your prep is off target on what they are looking for, then there is every chance their lasting memory of you will be less than stellar. You must objectively and honestly assess where you can be cast. That includes the size of the role, the type of production, the character type etc. If you have those factors firmly in your mind’s eye, you will chase the right roles. You will deliver an audition that is remembered. And you will get more auditions. For roles that suit you.
- The sides represent the written version of what the audience sees on the screen. The sides are not the blueprint of your character. Yet actors audition for me and try and duplicate the pausing, rhythm and pacing exactly as it is on the page. Let’s think about this for a second. Does Kristin Wiig attempt to deliver the page? Will Smith? Effectively any and every successful screen actor. Or do they create THEIR VERSION of the character. The page delivers the writer’s version of the character. And if everyone is striving for accuracy, and the scripted version of the character, then everyone is attempting to deliver the same.
- If you have done more than a handful of auditions, and have not booked the role, you have experienced average actors getting the role you are confused, frustrated, angry ……… I could go on. Every major film maker will say they are looking for the right actor, not the best. So, how do we define the right actor? The one who delivers a memorable version of the character? Who gives the character the detail and dimension that excites the film maker? Remember, the film maker is on the same journey. A journey of exploration, of experimentation, in an attempt to find a winning combination on screen. And you have to share (or even lead) that exploration.
When a painter starts a canvass, they do not know exactly how it will end. Same with a composer. They are on a constant journey of creative evolution.
You must do the same.
Before you concentrate on learning the lines, have the character’s qualities firmly in your sight. The character’s qualities will be the result of finding what qualities that you possess that will make this character pop.
It all comes down to your brand. And communicating that clearly and effectively.
Do you have a natural charm, arrogance, energy, or stillness? These qualities will now form part of YOUR version of the character.
Because that version is unique to you. And only you.
And because you have delivered individuality, a good Casting Director will see you again and again. They want to access your imagination.
And over time, a Casting Director will get you in for roles that suit you implicitly.
When you get more auditions you book more work.