<span class="vcard">Claire</span>
Claire

is it possible to get in the room with nothing on your resume

As I’ve mentioned, it’s a common fear among developing actors, that existing credits are what stands between them and a job. It’s not fair that in order to get a job, you need to have already done the job. And no one will give you a chance.  How the fuck are you supposed to get anything on your resume, if you can’t even get in the room?

Here’s a hard truth – a lot of people want to be actors.

Ground-breaking, I know.

But what I’m trying to convey is – I’ve literally gotten twenty thousand submissions for a one-line role.

Sometimes, you have the time and resources to audition five thousand people for a role. And sometimes – you only have the time and resources to audition ten people.

Now – in order for me to do my job well, I better damn well make sure that if I only have time to audition ten people, all ten of those people better be realistic possibilities who can kill this role. And whether I only got a hundred submissions, because it’s a tiny project that not many people want to do, or I got twelve thousand, because everyone wants to do it – I’m still going to make sure that each of those ten auditions count.

You may be thinking to yourself – okay, then, obviously you go with the ten biggest names. Or the ten actors that you know best. Or the ten names that are frankly – the best actors, whether or not this particular character is right for them.

Yes and no. In order to do my job well, I need a mix of all of those. I need some people in there that I can count on, I need some flashy names in case my producers can pay good $$ for this particular role, and I need to take a risk with some good actors who haven’t done this character before.

But also to do my job well, I have to include names that I don’t know. I have to explore and discover, because my mental database of actors needs to be ever-expanding. Finding a new face isn’t just good for you, it’s good for me and my team as well.

So I go to those submissions, and  make an educated guess as to who might be able to do this. Sometimes it’s a gut instinct on a headshot, sometimes it’s a demo reel that shows your potential, and sometimes it’s your resume. If I don’t know you at all – a long list of credits assures me that you get out there, and that you work hard, and gosh darnit, people like you.

That long list of credits shows me that I can trust in you. I can trust that you’ll come in and do well, and that I can feel good about taking a risk with you. There are also things that I can glean from your resume that you might not realize. The level of work that you’ve done, where you were trained, the theater experience you have, the way you label the credits you do have – all of those things, whether you have them or not, give me a better idea of you as an actor. And just like finding someone for a part – just because something is higher level, or more prestigious, doesn’t mean that you’re right for the part. If someone was trained in London, and has a lot of BBC credits, that doesn’t mean that they’re right to play a cowboy from Kentucky. I’m not saying they can’t, they might be a wonderful chameleon. But just because someone has a “higher-level” resume, doesn’t mean they’re right for the part.

It’s a hard fact that in hiring someone, there’s a tendency to want to go with a known quantity. Someone you can trust. But that’s true in any hiring situation.

As an actor, all you can do is make sure your material accurately represents you, and represents you well.  If you don’t have any material – focus on expanding what you have. There’s theater, there are student films, there are opportunities all over the place. Create your own, if you can’t find anything you want to do! But make sure it’s good acting, and represents you well. And then put it on your resume, so that when I’m going through those submissions – your headshot, your demo reel, your resume catches my eye, and I’m inspired to take a risk. On you.

 

Photo by A P O L L O on Unsplash

is it possible to get a job with nothing on your resume

It’s a common fear among developing actors, that a fleshed-out resume is what stands between them and a job. And it’s definitely a catch-22 – to get a job, it seems you need experience, but no one will give you that experience unless you can already show it on your resume.

This is true not only for actors, but anyone struggling to obtain an entry level. I faced the same issue, when I first came out to Hollywood to find a job. It sucks. It’s total bullshit, and it’s not fair.

It also seems like the most ridiculous way to assess someone for a part – you’re there to play a character, it’s not like other jobs where you need five years previous experience or something. What matters, is that you understand this particular character well, and you can rock it. Why should your resume even factor into this decision?

And I mean – we all get it, when they say they want to go with a ‘name.’ They want someone they know will guarantee them money, and you’re not a guarantee. But when it happens on the smaller level, where you know they’re not going to pick a ‘name,’ but they go with someone with just a little better credits than you – it frankly, feels like discrimination. Or nepotism. Or something, I’m not sure what word – it’s just unfair towards newer faces, who need a chance.

Having been on the other side of it, I can’t deny that I look at someone’s resume, and it is a factor in my decision-making process. But it doesn’t carry as much weight as you think.

If someone is far and away the best person for the role, I couldn’t give a shit what’s on their resume. I don’t care if it’s a lead in a movie, someone to carry an entire television series, or if it’s only two friggin words. If someone is a clear choice for the role, they’re gonna get hired.

However – that doesn’t happen as often as you think. You actors – you’re great at what you do. There’s a lot of talent in this town, and there are a lot of people who work very hard at their craft.

So I have this role to cast, and I may have a bunch of choices I like. How do I narrow things down?

Let’s say within these choices, I have two that are somewhat similar. They may not look similar, or they may not seem the same on the surface, but perhaps they have similar takes on the character. Or maybe I’m down to just the last two choices for the role. Now – I like both of them, but only one person is going to get the job.

I can’t decide. I like them both – I like the actors as people, I want them both to get the job, and they both bring something fresh to the character. I can’t just flip a coin – I need to make an informed decision. So I go to the resume.

When I’m looking at the resume, here’s what I’m seeing – you studied in Chicago, and just moved here three months ago. I’m not going to hold it against you that you haven’t booked anything yet. Or maybe you have a bunch of credits, and they’re all the same casting director. I’m glad you have a solid relationship. Or perhaps all your credits are on TV shows that have similar acting styles – that shows me you do well with a particular demographic.

What a lot of credits really tells me – it tells me you’re a dependable employee. And that’s important to me. Keep in mind – I like you, but I also like my team. My director, my producer, the crew that’s going to spend twelve hours a day with you on set. If you have a lot of credits, I can trust that you are professional, hard-working and respectful, and that’s just as important to me as your acting ability. Or, it tells me you are very marketable with a certain audience. That’s important to my producers as well – at the end of the day, we want our project to be seen. And if you have an audience that responds well to you – that’s a plus.

But having a lot of credits doesn’t get you a job. It just gives you an edge, in those tight situations where it’s a hard decision. And for those of you without credits – don’t fear! If you’re auditioning for a gritty, naturalistic drama and all your credits are Nickelodeon and Disney, I might go with no credits over a lot of credits. Or – sometimes having no credits gets me excited because I get to discover someone, to introduce a new face. You’re an unknown commodity, and I want to be a part of your journey to success! I get excited by those opportunities just as much as you do, and so does my team. When it’s right.

I won’t lie that a full resume is a good thing to have. But don’t let it discourage you, if you don’t have anything, or if all your credits on your resume don’t reflect the work you really want to do. At the end of the day – if you’re the best person for the role, nothing your resume says is going to matter. Anything on there (or not on there!) can be argued as a pro or a con. So keep honing your craft.  Prove to everyone that you’re an outstanding and complex actor, who is also a good person and good employee, and the jobs will come.

 

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

social media for an actor

I’ve been asked this question a lot in recent months, so let’s discuss – what importance does a social media presence have in becoming an actor?

No one’s going to give you a straight answer.

Mainly because – and this is the same for everything in this industry – having or not having one doesn’t promise anything. It doesn’t guarantee that something amazing will or won’t happen.

Put yourself in a producer’s shoes, for a moment. Getting financing is extremely difficult. People invest in movies because they want to make money. Yes, it’s an enjoyable industry, or this particular subject hits home for them, but most of the time – they want to make money. They’re essentially gambling on a storyteller reaching a lot of people.

Now – if you have someone who wants to be in the movie, that has a large following on social media, that means there are a lot of people who will potentially spend money to see this movie. If you’re proud of a project you have, the greatest desire is to have it be seen. It doesn’t matter how amazing your movie is, if no one sees it. And knowing this person’s social platform reaches a lot of people, means more people will see it. So now you have a bigger audience, and it also gives investors an incentive to spend more money to make this product, which means you have a bigger budget to make the project you want. Or perhaps hiring this person reaches an audience that you wouldn’t otherwise reach. That’s an untapped market, which gets investors excited.

Can you see how someone might get hired, then, because of a social following? If I hire this person, they may not be the best person for the role, but they’ll do fine, and it means I’ll have more money to spread elsewhere in the project, and a bigger audience to see it. As the filmmaker, as well, you know what you’re getting yourself into, and you’ll do your damndest to make this person look good.

That being said.

I’m not the same as every other casting director, so what I’m about to say isn’t true across the board.

I want to do work that I’m proud of. Of course I want butts in seats on opening weekend, but more than that – I want people to walk out of the theater going “damn. That was a good movie” or “holy shit that made me think!” I find that a good movie has a longer impact than a high-grossing movie, and for my career overall – I hope to look back on all my projects with pride.

Therefore – I could give a shit how many people follow you on Twitter. If you’re right for the role, I’m going to champion you whether you have twenty followers or twenty million. I care about the work you do as an actor, not the quality of the photos you post on Instagram. I want the product – the film, the series, whatever it is – to be the best it can be.

Realistically speaking, though – at the end of the day, social media is a platform. If you have a large following, if you’re popular, it does mean I may see you and become aware of you.  I may not have learned of your existence through other avenues, but when a friend of mine likes a funny video on Facebook, and I discover someone I’ve never seen before, I may wonder about their potential as an actor.

If I discover someone I never knew before, and they just so happen to be perfect for a role I’m working on – that’s the best-case scenario, right? A great product, that gets a boost by your social media following.

As a platform, it grants opportunities in a new way, purely because access is more universal.  If you’re not a writer, though, it’s hard to put forth a product that goes viral.

To that I have to say – don’t focus on developing a huge following more than honing your skills as an actor. If you have a huge following, purely from a business sense, that opens doors. It creates opportunities. But if you don’t have the skills or capability to take advantage of those opportunities, then what’s the point?

Yes – at the end of the day, my ideal situation is to use a social media following to the advantage of the project. But frankly, if you suck as an actor – that does more damage to a project than whatever advantages your social following brings. So focus on the acting first. Work on the quality of work you’re providing. Pay attention to the feedback and response you’re getting. If you have time on the side – sure. Up your social media presence. But just keep in mind at the end of the day that having a social media following is not a skill of an actor. It is a platform that provides advantages and opportunities, in a business sense. Same as having an agent, or a great headshot. It’s not something that will stop you from getting a job. It’s something that can help you further your career, if the product you’re providing is high quality.

The necessity of social media is a gray area. And unfortunately, every person you talk to, will give you a different answer on whether or not it’s important. They can’t give you a straight answer, because it has a different level of importance in every situation.  All I can say, is while the need for a social presence changes from project to project, your skills as an actor are vital to every project. So work on those first.

lightning prep guide

It’s difficult, to be an auditioning actor these days, with the pace of casting and also the level of confidentiality that seems to surround every single project.  If you aren’t someone who can very quickly get off book, you find yourself stumbling in cold reads and not getting callbacks, just because a few words won’t stick in your brain.  It’s frustrating, I know.

It speaks to a larger shift in the audition process, in which actors have to audition more, casting needs to see more, etc. etc.  There’s been a distinct push for a higher quantity of actors considered. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but how do you stand out from a crowd? When you have three or four auditions in one day, and one is sixteen pages of material that you just got last night, and one expects you to memorize two full pages of technical jargon about thirty minutes before you walk in – how are you possibly able to provide something of a higher caliber in each audition?

I don’t have all the answers – but a quick-prep guide might help.

Before we get into it – if you have multiple auditions in a day, don’t be afraid to ask if any are having more sessions another day.  If they aren’t, then figure out how to structure your day, but if they are – you just gave yourself a little more breathing room. I know auditions come in like feast or famine, and it feels like if you ask for a reschedule, you might lose the audition entirely – you won’t.  When you say you have four auditions in a day and you’d like more time to prepare if possible – we in casting understand. We’ll be honest with your reps on how much it’ll hurt your chances, if at all, and then you can decide if you want to try to keep your time.  Only you know what you can handle in a day – if you can handle all of them, great, but if you know you can’t – choose which ones to focus on. I’m not saying skip an audition – it’s always good to get in a room, and sometimes, flying by the seat of your pants works for a particular character. But focus on the ones important to you, so that you can make the day a success.

Alright now that you’ve gotten your schedule set – let’s say you have a ton of material, and the audition’s tomorrow. Or you just got to the casting office, and got the hard copy there.  The process is much the same.  Before you get started – consider two things. What’s the outlet for this? Is it Disney channel? Because that’s sure as hell going to be a different reading than if it’s for HBO. And secondly – who wrote it? Do they have a specific voice? If you’ve seen their work and you know the language is particular – you now know you need to prep to be as word-perfect as possible. Or perhaps the pace of their other projects is always lightning fast – that pace is something to keep in mind as you’re preparing.

If you don’t know either of these – don’t panic. They’re only guidelines – if you don’t know the outlet or the writer, then you have the freedom to make your own decisions on all the below.

1)    Read through the entire scene, and get a sense of your character.  Not only the core qualities from the breakdown, but where are the quirks? Where are the idiosyncrasies that make them human, and interesting? What are they pushing deep down inside? And if you don’t understand a line or a word – now is the time to ask. Ask your friend, ask your reps, ask casting. “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt,” right? Mark Twain’s version of that quote makes us not want to ask questions, for fear that we should already know whatever it is we’re asking. But guess what? You’re going to be saying the words in your audition. Better ask now, instead of trying to fake it while the cameras are recording…

2)    What’s the tone? Is it grounded and naturalistic, is it high stakes and exaggerated? Get a sense of it BEFORE you start learning the words, so that the tone is integrated with the choices you make.

3)    How does your character fit into the story? I don’t care if it’s two lines, or it’s the main character – every role is just one piece of a greater puzzle.

4)    Where are the relationships in the scene?  This is what will make you stand out from anyone else doing a cold read – show me the relationships.  Where are the opportunities to connect with whatever or whoever is in front of you? If it’s a monologue – it’s still a relationship between you and your audience. Knowing when to make sure you are looking at the person in front of you and knowing when you can disconnect and look down at the page – if you can identify this first, then you can integrate your choices as you’re learning the words. You’ll know which phrases to memorize first, because you can’t look down right after you say “I love you…” but you CAN look away after “I love you, but…”

5)    What is your character’s goal in this scene, and where do they learn they will either achieve their goal or not?  I’m not asking for the climax of the scene, I’m asking for the moment in which your character realizes what comes next. What this scene leads to.

6)    Now – go through the scene, line by line. Say each separate line out loud, and think about what the character is really saying. What’s the subtext?

7)    Go through the scene again, line by line – and say every line differently than you did before.  I’m sure you heard it a specific way in your head, but try something different now.  Whether you like the new version or not, whether you keep it or not – try a different choice.

8)    This time, going through the scene – speed through the whole thing without any pauses. Take out any spaces – whether within the lines, or between the lines – ignore any stage direction, any ellipses, any “(beat)” language, just blaze through it, one word after the next. Do it without the page if you can – do this a couple times, so that with each line, you’re aware of the next line and have it ready and on the tip of your tongue.

9)    Run through it again with no pauses – but focus on the relationships. What are you trying to say overall?  Every scene has a relationship. Whether it’s with an audience, or a specific person – what are you trying to convey, big picture? Without the pauses, it should give you a sense of what are the most important points you want to make through the scene.

10) Now put back the spaces, the pauses, the reactions, the connections, and think about the specific character choices you want to make. As you’re going through it – any place that you find yourself consistently stumbling on the lines, or almost stumbling on the lines, identify the nearest choice or connection.  Give yourself something to fall back on – if you want to be word perfect, then find the moment before or after that you can look down at the page. If you’re comfortable not being word-perfect, then think about what your character’s really trying to say here, and be ready to say it in your own words.  In other words – identify the beats where you lose the thread of the scene, and figure out how to give yourself the support to make sure you don’t break character.

Overall – when you get a scene with no time to prepare – we in casting are aware.  And when you’re auditioning like that, we’re not there to see if you know how to read and recite. We’re there to see what kind of instinctual choices you make as this character, and whether your abilities as an actor can convey those choices.

 

It’s a lot of steps, I’m aware, when you have so little time.  However – I’m not asking you to write an essay answer for each question. The idea is that you have a grasp on each of these, before moving onto the next – the entire process can take less than half an hour.  Curious how? Go with your first choice, the answer the comes to mind immediately, follow your instincts and spend less than a minute on each question. You can also take your sweet time with each step, really thinking things through, if you have more time to prepare.

I’d love if you could be as close to the script as you can.

BUT.

I’d throw all the words away in order to see you stay in character, and see the choices you make.  And you’ll be surprised – if you focus on the choices and beats, rather than the words, you may find that the words stick a little easier, because you’re more aware what your character wants, and what they’re really trying to say.

 

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

lightning prep guide – example

Before we start – there is no outlet for this monologue, as it was written for this blog post, and I know the writer well – he DOES have a specific voice, but for the purposes of this exercise, he’ll kindly allow me to say whatever I want. He’s cool like that.

So! I’ve got complete freedom here! THE WORLD IS MIIIINNNNNE (imagine a gif of Louise from Bob’s Burgers laughing maniacally).

1)    Read through the entire scene, and get a sense of your character.

Alright Taylor. Since I’m a woman, this will be a female Taylor. She sounds young, tipsy, or outgoing to the degree that she says whatever is on her mind.  She sounds very present, and lets her emotions take her on a roller coaster – but something has her either pissed off or sad here. I’m going to go with pissed off and only slightly tipsy, just comfortable enough to think out loud like this.  Those are choices that work well for me – they’re a little out of my comfort zone but I know them well. Continuing on – she’s a person who stops and smells the flowers, she appreciates the little, fun, beautiful things in life and she wants the happiness she sees others experience. She thinks she has that happiness, but she’s not sure. She’s struggling between living the way other people expect her to, and how she wants to live. Singing brings her joy (that’ll be uncomfortable for me, but I might be able to work that in here.)  I’m gonna take this a step further and say she probably grew up quiet, caring a lot what other people thought, and then recently discovered her happiness depends on herself, not others. But that need, to care what other people think – it’s ingrained in her and very hard to let go. She struggles with it daily.

*Also – this is embarrassing, but it took me a second to realize what the dancing balloon guy was. I can’t remember the last time I saw one outside a place of business, but I’ve seen a lot of videos on Facebook. Got it.

2)    What’s the tone?

A little heightened, but ultimately grounded. It sounds more as though someone is thinking out loud, rather than putting on a show – but thinking out loud in a way that is completely comfortable and free, and not self-conscious in the least. It’s a little dark – the world is a cruel and beautiful place, and the only happiness we can find is the happiness we choose to find.

3)    How does your character fit into the story?

Trying to figure out the scene before – she was obviously in a room that made her feel ashamed for expressing her happiness. To me – the timeline is her literally leaving that room, and getting in the car afterwards. That’s where this rush of energy and emotion is coming from – fresh out of this other place. I’m going to make a choice here – I think, she was out with friends for drinks, and she joined this group as a friend of a friend. So she didn’t know everyone, but she knew some of the people – and she got a little tipsy and started singing along with the song at the bar, and everyone looked at her weird and stopped including her in the conversations. She’d hoped to go out, get out of her shell and make new friends – and that just failed. Miserably.

From a bigger picture – I choose to think she’s not the main character of this story. I think whoever is driving the car, or listening to this rant – they’re the main character. Taylor’s freedom in expressing her emotions is what will drive the main character to examine what truly makes them happy in this world, and how they should go about finding that happiness. Taylor says she gets why “you’re not happy,” which alludes to a bigger problem that the main character has. And her genuine appreciation for the world around her – I think it’s supposed to be an example to live by, that our main character will learn.

 

4)    Where are the relationships in the scene?

I think here – we’ve got the relationship between Taylor and whoever’s driving the car – obviously this relationship has so much history that Taylor feels completely comfortable going stream of consciousness here. There’s also the relationship between Taylor and herself. Who she is, and who she wants to be. I think my biggest points that I can’t look at the page – “I get why you’re not happy. But I’m happy. I’m so happy. SO HAPPY! So happy I would..” and also “I could go hang out with the sign guy and—hey! The dancing balloon guy!” Those two spots are the most important to me, because the first spot, shows that she cares about the person driving her in the car, but makes a choice to choose her own happiness. I want to show that choice, and I can’t be looking at the page during that choice, it’ll interrupt the decision I’m making. The second spot – it truly shows the essence of her freedom right here, how easily she lets herself find joy in the world. I can’t be looking at the page, because it won’t show that I’m paying attention to the world around me.  Alright – and places I can look down. I’ll choose a few. Right after “Singing is a sign of happiness.” After “Look outside.” Between “So happy I would sing,” and “but you’ll probably…” After “…kick me out.” Between “Except for the balloon man,” and “because he’s a balloon.”  Please note – I gave myself several, and I also put some in the middle of sentences, so that I’m anticipating the next sentence, instead of looking down after I finish the sentence I know.

 

5)    What is your character’s goal in this scene, and where do they learn they will either achieve their goal or not?

Her goal is to stop caring what other people think.  I think while she’s saying “So happy I would sing,” she realizes that she’s not going to achieve her goal tonight. But dammit, she’ll enjoy the rest of her night and feel bad about it tomorrow.  Piss off, to anyone who would bring her down.

 

6)    Go through the scene, line by line.

“All I was doing was singing!” It’s not a big deal!

“Why am I being punished for that?” Why were they picking on me?

“Everyone sings.” This whole thing was blown completely out of proportion.

“Singing is a sign of happiness.” In the right context, it’s a great thing!

“Don’t you want to be happy?” Shouldn’t we all?

“Or are you like everyone else in that stupid room, all sarcastic and frowny about somebody else being happy.” I hate that they made me question myself.

“Look outside.” The world is more important than us.

“That guy is spinning a sign on a street corner and he looks happier than you and me combined.” We each define our own happiness.

“I mean, I get why you’re not happy.” I know I’m being ridiculous. You have actual problems.

“But I’m happy.” Dammit – I get to focus on me for once.

“I’m so happy.” Those pretentious asses can’t define my happiness.

“SO HAPPY!” If I say it loud enough, it’ll drown everyone else out!

“So happy I would sing, but you’ll probably stop the car and kick me out.” I’d follow my heart, but I recognize social structures frown upon that. I wish they didn’t.

“But then again, if you did that, I could go hang out with the sign guy and–hey! The dancing balloon guy!” Fuck social structures! Bring it on, world, I’ll still make any situation great – hey! Something fun is happening and needs to be appreciated!

“Those two are the happiest people I’ve ever seen.” I wish I could be as happy as them, and not care what other people think.

“Bet they sing all the time!” I’d fit in with them!

“Except for the balloon man, because he’s a balloon.” Okay obviously I’m not crazy.

“But I bet he’s not judgy about people who do sing.” But I’d choose being labeled crazy over being sad.

 

7)    Go through the scene again, line by line – and say every line differently than you did before.

“All I was doing was singing!” Why does the world frown on anything out of the ordinary?

“Why am I being punished for that?” And why do they attack anything or anyone different?

“Everyone sings.” We shouldn’t reject purity just because it’s not complex.

“Singing is a sign of happiness.” I wasn’t even acting ‘different’ – if people just paid attention to what is real, instead of what they think is real.

“Don’t you want to be happy?” Don’t you want to reject their stupid ideas too?

“Or are you like everyone else in that stupid room, all sarcastic and frowny about somebody else being happy.” Do you hate me too?

“Look outside.” Please – you have to see that there are things more important than us, than this night.

“That guy is spinning a sign on a street corner and he looks happier than you and me combined.” See? Your carefully structured idea of success can be torn down easily.

“I mean, I get why you’re not happy.” I’m sorry for what I said.

“But I’m happy.” But it doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

“I’m so happy.” In fact – you’re just one more person trying to bring me down.

“SO HAPPY!” I can do this myself!

“So happy I would sing, but you’ll probably stop the car and kick me out.” I really want to do this myself, but I don’t want to lose you.

“But then again, if you did that, I could go hang out with the sign guy and–hey! The dancing balloon guy!” You know what? If you threw me out, I’d be just fine. I don’t care.

“Those two are the happiest people I’ve ever seen.” See? Without you, and your rules – I’d be better off, in fact.

“Bet they sing all the time!” They get what life is really all about!

“Except for the balloon man, because he’s a balloon.” Get the joke? He’s not a real person, yet he’s happier than us right now.

“But I bet he’s not judgy about people who do sing.” And isn’t it sad, that an inanimate object is doing better than us right now.

Alright – the first time through felt more free, which feels in line with the character – but the second time through felt angrier, and more connected with the driver. I’ll end up using a blend of these two.

 

8)    Speed through the whole thing without any pauses.

Alright doing that, I realize my landing points are “Look outside.” And “Those two are the happiest people I’ve ever seen.” Those are the points I want to make – the world is bigger than us. We can achieve happiness.

 

9)    Run through it again with no pauses – but focus on the relationships.

Alright two new landing points – “I get why you’re not happy.” I need to show that connection. And “…stop the car and kick me out.” I want that sadness to come through. And last but not least – the last line. I want it to feel petty, I want it to feel lost, I want it to yearn, I want it to be pissed, I want it to be independent, I want it to be broken. I want it to quietly lash out at the driver. I want a lot from that last line, and it also needs to be a complete throwaway. I’ll have to work on that.

 

10) Now put back the spaces, the pauses, the reactions, the connections, and think about the specific character choices you want to make.

Putting it back together – I want to keep the flow, I like it when the sentences run together. My pauses are now in between major thought shifts, like watching the sign guy, and then focusing on my relationship with the other person in the car. Or enjoying the balloon man, and then remembering that the world sucks. I can pause in those spaces, and reflect – but when I do speak, I want to keep a faster pace, because it feels like the words are falling out of my mouth as I think them, instead of purposely telling someone what I think.

My stumble points – after “Singing is a sign of happiness.” After “…all sarcastic and frowny…” After “…stop the car and kick me out.”  “After “Bet they sing all the time.” I also keep stumbling on the last line.  The rest of them – I can take my pauses, and be thinking, but that last line – as you already know, I’ve decided that’s important for me. I’m going to run just that line through five times right now.

Done. And now five more times, including the line before it so I can get into it.

Dammit – stumbled on the first time through. Adding the line before makes me lose my train of thought. I’m going to run both lines through until I know it.

Took me about twenty seconds, but now I know it, the two lines are connected in my brain. Going to go through the whole monologue again.

I still keep stumbling after “…all sarcastic and frowny.” I can’t get the words right after that, so I’m going to give myself a trigger – I’m going to make “Don’t you want to be happy?” internal, and a little petty, so that I can look down at the page.

That wasn’t enough lead time, I still stumbled because I couldn’t find my place on the page. I’ll have to change the trigger, and instead look down at “Singing is a sign of happiness.” I’m going to make that with the subtext “if people would listen to me, they’d see I’m right. But no one listens.”

Okay – that works for me. I’ve got the lines – or at least, the idea of the lines, and even where I’m not word perfect, the words I’m saying are in line with what the character is thinking. For example “—hey! The dancing balloon guy!” has become “Oh my god, the dancing balloon guy!” Nothing too different, but enough that it feels natural.

Something else I’ve noticed – I’ve given myself two eyelines, one for the person I’m talking to, and one for whatever’s outside the car window. I like these two eyelines, they give me focus – but this last run-through, I let my eyes wander a little between focusing on my two points, and that helped me make this a little more stream of consciousness.  It also helped me stay angry, because I was thinking about things in between the lines. Instead of focusing on just my two eyelines, I instead was thinking about how unfair the world is, how complicated, and how I wish everything could just be simple. It keeps me from breaking character, and it also makes me feel okay about looking down at the page if I need it – because my eyes are wandering overall, if they just so happen to wander in the general direction of the page, I’ll be okay.

To round up – my two focuses, in performing this for someone, will be:

1)    Showing Taylor’s hurt and struggle to determine what makes her happy – feeling accepted vs. choosing her own joy.

2)    The relationship between her and the driver has so much history and depth, that it gives her the comfort and freedom to focus on herself for once.  It’s not even something I need to show – it’s just something I need to know, for the foundation of my character.

 

——

Full disclosure – I started this process at 1:07pm, it’s now 2:06pm.  That’s an hour. It’s an hour for half a page of dialogue, but I was also writing down every step of my process and explaining it, instead of just thinking it through.  How long did it take you to read this?

All these decisions are snap, gut decisions, to keep this process quick and to keep your read authentic. But if you know you literally only have five minutes – focus on steps 1, 4, 6, 9 and 10, because the relationships and continuity of character matter more than the words. Ideally you’re able to get through all of them before walking in the door of your audition – and if not – just breathe deep, and fly by the seat of your pants. Sometimes that works!

And ultimately – these are my choices for this particular scene. Yours should be yours.  If you don’t agree with the choices I made – GREAT! Make your own! You’ll probably do the scene better than I did!

 

* It was also just pointed out to me that I said I’d work in some singing – and I didn’t. Dammit. I was thinking I’d sing the line “SO PROUD!” but I didn’t. Someone else might think to do that, and that little hilarity might get them the job. Double damn. Oh well – I liked the way I did it, and if I get another chance, maybe I’ll work it in!

 

Scene courtesy of Tim Ogletree

getting off-book

Being off-book is ideal. Being off-book is what I want to see, when an actor walks into an audition. When an actor knows all the words, and can just flow through the scene – that’s absolutely the goal.  No papers in front of your face, no looking down at the page, no struggling with a word you can’t remember.

However – I’d trade a look down at a page, any day, for the smoothness of staying in character, rather than see that moment when your eyes go far away…and then fearful…and then frantic – darting – squeezing shut – before “…um…what’s the next line?”

I was with you! I was right there with you in faraway land, caught up in memories of your tragic childhood story that defines who you are as a person…until BAM. Vanished. All the good feelings swept away when you forgot what came next.  I’m sorry to be harsh – but you’d created a little bubble, and I was right there with you in that bubble. In breaking character, you popped the bubble. And now I’m sad, and I’m judging you a little bit. Of course I’ll let you go again, but this time when we get to that same spot – I’ll sitting here waiting to see if you get the line this time around, instead of paying attention to your choices.

I don’t want to see you looking down at the pages of the sides, I don’t want to see you struggling to remember the next word, I’d love if the papers weren’t in front of your face.  But – staying in character is more important.

I’m not saying I want your eyes glued to the page for the sake of continuity. Stuttering on a word is not the same as forgetting a line.  I want your eyes off the page and up as much as possible without throwing off your train of thought.  I can see when you lose your place in the scene, and stop thinking as the character and start thinking as yourself. That’s what I want to avoid. But flubbing on a word and then saying it again? That’s not the same thing. You can do that and not lose me or your focus.

In my opinion – you should always bring the sides in with you, but keep them tucked in your back pocket unless you need them.  If you know there’s a spot where you get stuck, every time you practice the scene – you better have that page handy to get you through it without breaking.

And if you feel so confident that you don’t need the pages with you – kudos to you. But when you forget what comes next, stay focused in the scene. Give me a signal that you need the next line, and I’ll give it – but keep focused and STAY IN CHARACTER.

I can’t stress this enough.

Yes – being off-book is the goal. But I’d rather see your character, than how well you recite words. Find the balance between keeping your eyes off the page, and showing me your choices without breaking character – and I’ll be happy.

 

Photo by Mikołaj Palazzo on Unsplash

hey sexy… ;)

It drives me insane when a creative team says they want someone who looks ‘sexy.’

‘Sexy’ covers such a gamut of ages, looks, personalities, everything. As I hope you, reading this, can attest – when you find someone sexy, there’s rarely a common denominator in outer appearance. I don’t mean ‘pretty.’ I don’t mean ‘hot.’ I don’t even mean ‘attractive.’ I mean when you find someone sexy. Like – cuddle-up-against-them, listen-to-their-stories and possibly-rip-off-their-clothes, sexy.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find someone who actually is sexy, rather than someone who just ‘looks’ sexy according to current social norms. However – it’s also a hell of a lot of fun when you find someone who radiates sexiness, and then get to share it with the rest of the world. Sexiness is not something easy to force or manufacture, and when you find it – it’s a raw, awesome power that jumps off the screen.

There are gorgeous, beautiful people out there, onscreen and off, and often – I see people around them react in a purely image-based way, and it’s frustrating to watch. I can almost see the wheels turning in their head – ‘Ah, okay. If I dressed like that, if I worked out to get my muscles like that, if I did my hair/makeup that way – then, then, people will look at me the way they look at that person. And I’ll feel as happy/confident/capable as they seem to feel.’ But that’s the wrong interpretation. It’s not the way they dress, or the cut of their hair – it’s what they exude, that we want for ourselves. There are also pretty people who inspire no such feelings in the people around them – because they don’t exude shit.

Sexiness is a very fine line between knowledge of self, and cognizance of one’s place in the surrounding world.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

Knowing what you’re capable of, knowing what you have to offer, and valuing that – that’s sexy. But not if you’re wrapped up in your own world, and can’t see whether or not that’s important to the world around you. We’re all insignificant specks, in the grand scheme of things. Take an arrogant CEO character, for example. He or she knows they are capable, and they know what they have to offer; but when that CEO make assumptions about the people around them being lesser men/women, or assumptions about how they could do anything better than someone they just met – that’s not sexy. That’s arrogant. Conversely – knowing your place in the world, but not recognizing your own value – it comes across as though you’re constantly trying, and trying, to unnecessarily prove you should keep what you already have. We all have a unique, special value and worth. Take a self-defeating friend character, who’s pining after the main character but doesn’t feel like they deserve that kind of person on their own – perhaps they are the funny punching bag, in order to make that person feel better, or maybe they buy everything. They’re trying to prove their worth, as opposed to knowing their worth – that’s not sexy. That’s a little pathetic.

Change your perspective on these characters, and balance them out – that way you’ll create something undeniably sexy. Take that arrogant CEO again. Perhaps they are always flippant and mocking to those around them, but when you take them out of their element, you find out – their priorities are making the world a better place, and they have respect for others who do the same. This version of the CEO doesn’t look down on those around them – at a dinner party of genius billionaire philanthropists, they’d make a lot of friends. It’s just they are not letting idiots waste their time because they know their time is valuable, and they use those valuable skills for something more important and beautiful than themselves. Suddenly – you’re doing that same scene, but flippant becomes witty, mocking becomes discerning. Arrogance, if backed up with facts – becomes charming strength.

I know I’d find that sexy.

Or that self-defeating friend character – what if in a different situation, one that they don’t feel they have to fight for, we see them at their most comfortable. Perhaps they visit their grandpa every day in a nursing home, and not needing to impress the other patients – they’re able to be funny without putting themselves down, they’re able to give and accept compliments and admiration freely, not feeling they have to pay for it. Their confidence shines through, because they know that their time, and their qualities, are valued. No substitute could come close. So go back to the scene with them pining and working hard to win their love, and the story shifts – self-defeating jokes becomes self-deprecating, trying becomes sweet. Their loving support is a quiet power, and their patience is inspiring.

I’d want to hug that person close.

Here’s the crux – the original CEO character knew their value, but not their place in the world. You as an actor need to show us he or she knows their place in the world – that’s when they become sexy. The pining friend knew their place in the world, but didn’t recognize their value – again you need to show us he or she knows their value, and they become sexy. Of course – this is breaking things down to very simple terms – there are so many variations on either side of this balance. But ultimately, my point is that there are a lot of different types of sexy – none of them have to do with the way someone looks.

Where the additional struggle comes, as an actor – you’re already trying to be someone you’re not. If you’re not comfortable in your character, it’s very difficult to be sexy. The ease you have, when you’re in your favorite jeans – that’s the ease you need to have with your character, in order to even try to be sexy. Which is why that quality is so elusive in a casting room. Just getting comfortable enough to be a character is difficult, and on top of that I’m asking you to figure out the core of who they are and how the world sees them. You haven’t lived as this character, you don’t really know. Essentially, I’m asking you to make up an entire life of memories, an entire world of interactions, for this character – based on a two-page scene of banter. No pressure. What are their valued qualities? Do they know who they are in grand scheme of things? Which of those qualities makes them be sexy? This is why it boggles my mind to see an actor spend more time in a gym or a salon than they do in acting class.

I take the responsibility very seriously, as a content creator, to redefine what it means to be sexy on screen. We all, as facets of the media, can change what it means on a case by case basis. I can’t control the audience who takes away the image of sexy, rather than the feeling of sexy – but I can try to show them that it comes in all different shapes, colors and sizes, and point them in the right direction. I always want to go back to my team, and say, ‘I didn’t find you someone who looks sexy – I found you someone who is sexy.’ Because that’s always better.

So you, as the actor, need to put in the work – sexiness is a rare thing, but don’t be put off when you see it in a character description. I don’t care what you look like – anyone can be sexy. You need to have that confidence and awareness, and it needs to be so intrinsic, that someone watching you is drawn to you like a moth to a flame. It can’t be forced, it can’t be something you try to convey. You can’t fake sexy. You have to know you’re sexy – same as the real world.

Please take the time to learn and know your value, your worth – and how you fit into the world around you. And bring that to your characters. Because trust me – you’re sexy. And you know it.

knowing your look

I’m a very judge-y person.

I don’t deny it – it’s partly my job; to size up a person I’ve just met, to estimate their potential and guess their past. It’s also just always been something I do.

We all do it – we all judge one another, as we meet people. I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong – in a sense, it’s how we interpret the world. When we see an indicator of a pattern we recognize – we say to ourselves, ‘okay – that fits this pattern I know. Let’s see if there are a couple other indicators – yep, I am indeed talking to a former jock.’ It is wrong, however, to not allow deeper insight change your perspective on a person. Also, on a personal level – it’s much worse, and sad, if you take those initial indicators and twist them into a strong negative opinion such as fear, or hate, based on nothing more than outer appearances.

We also have to be careful not to use someone else’s patterns to form an opinion of a person. I think most of us know ‘Athletes don’t test as well’ doesn’t exactly apply – consider Ryan Fitzpatrick, Craig Breslow, Dikembe Mutombo, or Marion Bartoli, to name a few. ‘You know what they say about preacher’s daughters…’ Well, yeah, I do, but I also know one happily married without a scandalous past, practicing music therapy in Fresno. And fuck any statistics that apply to race, gender, age or any other classification determined by the government – I don’t care what you’ve read in some article. Any pattern you use to judge someone, should not be based on physical appearance.

Wait – I’m a hypocrite. Saying I definitely judge people when I first meet them, but getting all indignant when bringing up the idea of judging someone based on the way they look?

Because someone’s ‘look’ really has nothing to do with the way they actually appear. Skin color and body shape really don’t matter. What I’m judging, when I first meet you – is how you carry yourself. How you express yourself. How you’ve decided to present yourself to the world. That, all that, is what I get, when I meet you.

It’s important to know how you come across, to be able to use that representation as a tool to expand upon or contradict.

Your posture, and the way you move – that tells me your confidence and self esteem. How you view yourself, and how you think the world views you. The way you talk – the pace, the accent, the tendency to back track or explain yourself – that further tells me how you communicate, what kind of people you know and what experiences you’ve had – and also, what you think of me, the person listening to you. Your words give me a sense of your intelligences – social, verbal, logical, and more. Can you hear the cadence in your own voice? It tells me whether you’ve traveled the world, it tells me if you’re a musician or a poet, if you crunch numbers all day, or if you enjoy being a salesperson. And the way you present yourself – your clothing, your hair (your grooming) tells me how you value yourself. And it tells me how you want the world to see you.

Now – I hope for all that, and so much more, just from exchanging an introductory ‘Hello, how are you?’ I don’t pretend to assume everyone else does the same. And I’m not always right about my conclusions – it’s just an initial impression, ready to be changed as I get to know you better.

But a lot of patterns already exist, whether they’re accurate or not. Gamers wear Converse. Cowboys and cowgirls wear boots. Used car salesmen use too much hair gel, and you better have a scarf if you want anyone to believe you like wine. Anyone who has vacationed in the Hamptons has a little pony on their shirt, people who live in Denver wear The North Face, and Manhattanites wear all black, all the time. Canadians nicely say ‘a-boot,’ Australians like to drink, and the Chinese like to stand close to have a conversation. Brazilians know how to party, Argentinians know how to dance, and let’s be honest – the French know they’re better than everyone.

All of these patterns, these social clichés and constructs that permeate our interactions – they really don’t tell you much about a person. But we’re all aware of them, and immediately use them as an easy go-to when meeting a new person.

On some level – I’m sure you know how you come across because of the clothes you put on before you walk out the door. (At least, I hope you wear clothes. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you live in a nudist colony. What’s that like? It must be freeing.) And when you’re showing up for an audition, you can use easy things like clothes to present that image. Glasses and a button-down shirt for a scientist. A suit for a lawyer or police officer. A simple black top and black pants for an assassin. Little things like slicking your hair back or pinning it up in curls for a period piece go a long way to getting into character. I once had a girl show up with a FABULOUS hat and faux fur, for a 1940’s socialite. She’d borrowed it from her grandmother’s closet – it was fantastic.

But recognizing the rest of your look – it’s important to know, so that you have the tools to either use it or contradict it in the audition room. Ask your friends, ask your acting teacher – ask the person who took your headshots. Watch a video of yourself from a while ago, so that the memory isn’t fresh and you can be objective. Take away the fashion, and analyze the impression you make. How old do you seem? Do you have an open face, are you always outgoing and engaging, or perhaps nurturing and comforting? Do you tend not to make eye contact or make very fast facial expressions which make you seem nervous and guarded? Do you tend to smile or wink in a way that can come across a little snivelly? Be honest, my dears – do you have resting bitch face?

Do your shoulders hunch forward in a self-deprecating manner, or are they wide open with an air of confidence? Do you walk quickly with your weight forward, with someplace to be, or are you someone who strolls and enjoys life as it goes by? Do you fold your arms in front of you a lot in a protective manner, do you tend to stand shoulder to shoulder with people instead of face-on?

So many of these quirks and habits add up to why you’re always getting called in as the nice, sweet best friend and you never get called for that meaty, psychopathic villain. Or why you’re always called in for the idiotic aggressive sidekick instead of the quiet hero.

It’s also why, when you’re called in for the quirky co-worker, the parent of two, or the sleazy reporter, and the role seems like a breeze… but you don’t get the job. Someone else does, and it doesn’t make sense – it should have been so easy to get.

But here’s the crux of it – if I don’t believe you in a role that matches your look, why should I ever give you the chance to play something different?

You have to be aware of your look, because you can use your natural qualities and instincts to fit easily into a character, and bring something more to it. Say I’ve brought you in for a role that doesn’t cover the full scope of who you are. Show me why I should investigate past my first impression, and find something more interesting. In a sense, you have an advantage – anyone else who is trying to be this character, has to try to prove they can present this specific image. But you – you’ve got the image down, now give me something more. Make this a real person. Heath Ledger played a gorgeous bad boy in 10 Things I Hate About You and I’ll be damned if he didn’t become my favorite bad boy for years to come. He was far more interesting than was fair. And yes, some of that is the writing – but a lot of it also came from Heath. He made it grounded, and gave that image depth. He leaned in to the image, and made the character so much more.

Whatever ‘look’ you have – being aware of it is key. Then, if you want to fit into a different character – be aware what needs to change. If you are able to get in my audition room for a role different than what might be expected of you, present your version of the character, and show me that inside – you are that quiet hero, or that psychopathic villain. Heath was fucking terrifying in The Dark Knight. No trace of that pretty boy anywhere – it’s my favorite character of his. He made me believe a comic book character with paint on his face was a savagely real possibility in the world we live in today. Everything about him was different than that adorable Shakespearian teenager he played before, from the way he moved, the way he spoke – down to the way he literally stared at the other characters. Those eyes, while he’s clapping in jail…yeesh. I still get shivers. Here’s my point, though – I’m not going to give you this chance, to be something different, unless you’ve shown me you know your strengths, and can bring depth to a role you fit purely on a surface level.

Most often, I see actors who either aren’t aware of the connotations of their look, or they don’t like it. In both situations, they haven’t taken the time to really learn how other people see them. Either because they just haven’t thought about it, or maybe they don’t like it, and they blame the person standing in front of them for making assumptions instead of analyzing why.

I’m sorry they make assumptions. It’s rather shitty. But you decided to be an actor, and part of that is using your body, your face, and your voice as a tool for artistic expression. So man-up and woman-up. Listen to what others are saying and how they react to you. If they make incorrect assumptions about you – learn why.* If the overwhelming majority think you feel ten years older than you are – go with it. There are an increasing number of roles for a wider range of ages – audiences tend to like fascinating characters regardless of age, so stop letting that hold you back, by telling yourself you should be playing a different age group. And explore different looks. I don’t just mean fashion, I mean all of it – body language, speech patterns, all of it – and see if there aren’t a couple other personalities or qualities that fit you. And a negative image is not necessarily a bad thing! I always felt Alan Rickman was a little evil on screen, but I’ll never change channels from one of his films.

You can’t blame a pillow for appearing to be soft. It can be an absolute comfort, but keep in mind – a pillow can smother a person. A burning fire is malevolent – it can consume a community, but it can also cauterize a wound, and keep someone alive.

Figure out how you’re perceived, and use it to your advantage. Learn the image you present, and show us a deeper version than the superficial cliché – it’s one of the best ways for me and an audience to realize you have more to offer. Then decide – is this your wheelhouse? Or can you manipulate the image to show us something different? Both make for fascinating choices – choices I’ll be excited to see.

*I do want to say this – if they (‘they’ being whoever stands in front of you) make an incorrect assumption about you based on anything superficial – the color of your skin, your gender, your age, your physical ability, anything at all – please remember they are an uneducated, unempathetic turd. I hope you have a big enough heart to treat them with kindness, in an effort to break their incorrectly ingratiated stereotypes into tiny little pieces.

 

Photo by Andre Mouton on Unsplash

so you didn’t get the role – 4 of 4

So you didn’t get the role – and it just plain sucks.

 

Yeah, it does. It sucks. I can understand the knee-jerk reaction is to wonder what you did wrong, or what you missed – it’s not that.  Keep in mind – if I have two people I absolutely love for a role, and it’s literally the hardest decision ever to choose between them – that still means that one of those two people is getting the role, and one – one isn’t. And it sucks. Even if you came so close to getting it, and it could have been great with you in the role – you’re the one that isn’t getting it.  Please know it breaks my heart too, and just makes me more determined to find something for you.

 

Don’t dwell.  It’s not your fault, as I spent three other posts explaining. Look forward, to the next role, to the next opportunity to build and create.  This wasn’t a “no,” it was a “not this one.” And look at what you did gain. Maybe this character had you exercising a new muscle. Maybe it helped you discover a different facet of yourself. Maybe it just helped you keep fresh. And maybe it was an opportunity to show that casting director what you can do. Maybe your audition expanded the creative team’s mind for that character, and added an element that will make the story better. You don’t know how far your reach goes. So stay positive, and look forward. Be grateful you had the opportunity – you don’t know what will circle back around because of it.

 

Chin up. Not getting the role sucks, it’s one of the shitty facts of being an actor.  But it’s all those times that it doesn’t happen – that’s what makes it so fucking fantastic when it does. Because you know how hard it is to get a role. You know how hard you work, and how close you’ve come – and when you get that role, you’ll be aware of all those others who worked their asses off too, but you were just a bit better, a bit more right.  You know those other actors are amazing, but you’ll also know that particular character – that one’s special. And no one can portray it like you can. And the casting director, the writers, the director, the producers – they’ll see how special it is too, and how much it fits you like a glove. And then you’ll get the chance to show an audience just what you can do, and from there – who knows!

 

I’m amazed by your courage. Knowing this is part of what it means to be an actor – it astounds me that you choose to try again and again.  I appreciate, and fervently admire that you do. I value your strength and your positivity (yes, even you dark and twisted souls, your positivity).  Even if that perfect role never comes – you tried, again and again. Even trying just once is more than most people do in a lifetime.  Every time you try, it’s a leap of passion and faith, and every time that you try – you inspire others to do the same.  To not live in fear, to dare to be great, to attempt the impossible.

 

So thank you.

so you didn’t get the role – 3 of 4

So you didn’t get the role – why couldn’t I just tell you that?

 

First things first – I consider it my job to make sure you feel good, like you did your best, before walking out of the room. If I think there’s something more you can bring to the scene, I’m going to ask you to do it again.  Conversely, I’m not going to let you beat a dead horse, if you ask to do it four more times after I said I have what I need.  But I will make sure, that you walk out of my audition room feeling positive, and feeling that I have what I need. Now – it may not be what I need for THIS ROLE. It may be just what I need in order to get to know you better, so that I can keep you in mind for roles that DO fit you.  It’s my job, and my passion, to see potential in you, that even you don’t see.  You know what? Right here, right now – I’m asking for your trust.  In fact, I need your trust, that even though you didn’t get this role, and you didn’t hear back – that I still see your potential, and believe there’s a role down the road that will make you shine.  I’m hopeful and fighting for every person who reads for me.  No audition is a chore for me. It is an opportunity. An exploration.  Every audition I ask for, I’m hoping that you seize this chance and show me a facet of yourself that rings true and brings this character to life.

 

Here’s a dirty little secret of mine – I may not have told you because I’m stalling.  Maybe what you brought to the table isn’t what I originally thought of the character. But it was good! And it was fresh. But it’s not what was asked for, and I know my team will shut it down. However – I’d like it in my back pocket in case my team goes – ‘enh, this is so [A], I thought that’s what I wanted but now I’m not sure…’ and I can whip your audition out of my back pocket and go ‘Well what about [B]?  I’ve got an audition here that might be exactly what we need!’

 

I’ve had a choice totally shut down, and the idea of hiring that particular actor beaten into oblivion, that it was absolutely, positively, never-in-a-million-years going to happen. I still talked to the agents that day with hope. And three, four? months later, when that actor finally signed on – other than the sweet, sweet taste of success, it was a wonderful feeling, knowing we’d finally made it happen, together.

 

And here’s the shittiest reason I didn’t give you feedback – I sadly didn’t have time. I spend my time fighting for and searching for and trying to discover that person (maybe it’s you!) who is the right fit.  And for the most part – feedback doesn’t help you.  I could spend 5-10 minutes giving your feedback, but chances are, it’s specific to the audition you had with me, and any notes won’t help you for your next audition.  If I did that for every actor who came in – I wouldn’t have time to actually hold auditions.

 

No news is not bad news. It’s just that I have nothing to help you move forward – if and when I do have something to help you move forward, I’ll share it with you. I promise.