How to know: what a Casting Director is thinking

Actors rarely if ever, have access to the whole script before their audition. Even so, does it tell you exactly what the casting director is seeking? It tells you what the writer is thinking, but not the casting director.

As a casting director, I want the actor to look great in the audition. Let’s face it, the better you look, the better I look! Yes, it is very selfish of me!

So I try and help the actor through the process. But in all honesty, too many actors arrive at their audition and have done the wrong prep. They have studied the character on the page only. And have not invested time in researching the project. Researching the creative team.

Because knowing who they are – the writer, the creator, the producer – and what they have done usually provides answers to most of your questions.

There is so much information online. More importantly though, you can build an idea of the project with the people involved.

Before he created the series Sex in the City, Darren Starr created

Sarah Jessica Parker and friends

Knowing Darren Starr’s past work is a big help

Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place.

These are clues to the style of series and therefore, the performance style you need to deliver.

What was the last project of the casting director? What style of show does this network produce.

David Simon created Treme, prior to that he created The Wire. So by watching The Wire, it stands to reason, much of what you need to know to create a great character, is now answered.

Michael K Little as Omar in The Wire

If you watch The Wire, you know what they are looking for in the next series

Once you are in the room with the casting director you have lost much of your freedom Your freedom to develop your version of the character is during your prep.

And your prep is informed significantly on what you can find out from Mr Google.

Related Article: How to Think Like a Casting Director