Why Knowing Your Brand Is So Important

On Monday, we auditioned 75 actors of the hundreds who submitted to be a part of our 2016 Cricket Feet Showcase. On Tuesday, we welcomed our CAST (check ’em out here).

We cast exactly backwards in that there is not material to which we’re hoping to fit actors; we cast actors and then choose from the stack of submitted comedic material the scenes that best showcase exactly what the actors have shown us they’re all about.

One of the things I pride myself on in casting is *always* contacting everyone who makes it to final sessions (callbacks in the case of theatrical casting, our one and only sessions in the case of the showcase). I never want someone to find out they were NOT cast by hearing about all the folks who WERE.

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So I reach out. I say thank you — because even the actors we are ultimately NOT selecting have helped us with the casting process. And in the case of the showcase auditioners, I offer feedback. I share with them what it is that the director, the coordinators, the prescreeners, and I saw or didn’t see in their audition that could’ve made a difference.

Sure, that’s a bit results-oriented for something created by someone (me) who constantly reminds actors NOT to be results-oriented but instead to make EVERYTHING count toward a blissful pursuit in the long haul.

But it’s important — especially in a showcase situation — to understand the distinction between working to show buyers you are the right fit for the role and showing buyers exactly who you are.

Now, those who’ve worked with me already know I don’t encourage actors to “work to show buyers you’re the right fit for the role” in the first place, but since the majority of actors on the planet seem to think this is important — more important than just teaching buyers, “Here’s me. This is what I do. Lemmeknow if this aligns with something you’re working on someday” (which OMG is so much more effective and results in so much higher-tier living — and that’s why so few actors actually MAKE IT to those upper tiers, but hey, people like to do what “everybody does” so I’ll keep serving a very small sliver of the actor population with what actually works and eventually others will come around) — I’ll label the “show buyers you’re the right fit” method as every casting other than showcase casting.

Showcase casting is *actually* the exact same type of casting that I believe ALL casting is meant to be, but we’ll label it something different for the sake of not arguing over the way 99% of all actors approach ALL their auditions.

Here’s how it’s different: When auditioning for a spot in a showcase, your only goal should be to show us exactly who you are. Period. Yes, be awesomely talented (duh, that’s a given). Yes, be brilliant in your choices (of course). Yes, show us levels in the material (take us on a ride). But dress as your most castable you. Create moments in the material that are all about your bullseye. Showcase yourself in the audition exactly as you want us to understand you — because how we see you at the audition is how we will present you to the industry at the showcase.

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And if how you present yourself is, “Ooh, how do I fit into this material?” or, “Augh, I’m not sure what they’re looking for,” or, “I’d better play this safe” (when YOU are anything but), you don’t end up getting cast.

As I’m giving feedback to the amazingly talented actors who landed coveted spots at the audition Monday, I’m noticing the big trend is, “We didn’t leave the encounter knowing who you really ARE.” Yes, I have other feedback for some folks (tics, bad audition habits, poor timing, lack of levels, bland choices, etc.), but the most common bit of advice comes back to this:

Be you. Do you. Celebrate your YOUness.

Truly, *all* auditions are this at their core. Be amazing. Be confidently who you are. Serve the material with strong choices. Give us the gift of your interpretation without trying to prove anything to anyone. Show us YOU.

Let us celebrate that with you!

Congrats to the cast of the 2016 Cricket Feet Showcase! So excited to jam with you all!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

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2 Comments

  1. David n schwartz February 18, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Yes and!

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