I’m just wrapping up casting in Nashville and Atlanta for a new TV show and, in working on a high-profile, well-advertised project, I’m encountering extremely talented AND extremely eager performers. One experience on the road gave me insight into a subject that may not be that commonplace in Hollywood, but that surely deserves mention, in case the opportunity to do this should come your way.
Seriously. Crashing an audition is such bad form. And let me explain why, from the point-of-view of the casting director, even the most talented person choosing to crash an audition could be seriously damaging his professional reputation.
Let’s say you’ve been submitted for a role (either by your agent, manager, or yourself) and the casting director has determined for whatever reason that you will not be getting an audition. What does it say to the casting director when you show up for an audition anyway?
It says to the CD, “I know better than you.” Perhaps you think you weren’t called in because your headshot was never even looked at, but more likely, it was looked at and passed upon, when determining which actors would get audition appointments.
And what if you’ve already been brought in to see the casting director for this particular project and have been dismissed as not right for the role for whatever reason and choose to show up for another round of auditions you hear about, through friends, colleagues, the trades, etc.? What does that say to the casting director who already assessed you as not right for this role?
It says to the CD, “You don’t know talent when you see it.” Sure, you may think you’re saying, “I can do better. Give me a second chance,” but that just isn’t how it comes across to us, when we’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds, of folks for the role you’re after.
Now, if you really just needed a quick “do-over” in your initial audition, you should’ve asked for that during the original encounter. That sort of thing happens all the time. Actors say, “Hey, wait! That was bad. Can I start again?” Most casting directors are ready to accommodate that sort of thing. It’s the showing up again after having already been told no on a particular project that is the surest way to tell a casting director you think she was wrong the first time.
I know that’s not how it looks from your side of the encounter, but anything other than an immediate, “Can I start again?” question is potentially a bad move. You have to trust that the casting director would have kept you in the room if your look was right and you just went “in the wrong direction” with your initial read. Redirects and restarts happen all the time, and that’s not what I’m addressing here. It’s the insistence that there is something the CD missed that comes off as arrogant and unprofessional.
Even if your manager or agent is an expert at getting you back in the room after having failed at your audition the first time, consider very carefully whether you’re ready to take adjustments or step up to the task of “fixing” that read so that it’s not at all like the first one. There is nothing so frustrating as seeing someone again after having already decided against that person and watching the actor do almost identical work. And if you were dismissed due to being the wrong type for this role, what does it matter how much you adjust the work? You’re wrong for it! Move on.
Being sure you’re right for a role is a lovely thing. But the CD certainly has much more information about what the director or producers are looking for than you do. Do the best possible job the first time around and then let it go. Get ready for that next audition. It’s truly the best use of your energy. If you look at the vast number of auditions you will surely have over the course of your career, you can’t possibly get so attached to any one opportunity that you choose to crash an audition. Instead, you will see every opportunity as just that: a chance to be ready, should you be asked to do your thing. If your “thing” isn’t a fit for this one, there are hundreds more auditions ahead of you.
Build your reputation as a pro who knows this is just one of many times you’ll be asked to do your thing. And eventually, your “thing” will be exactly what they’re looking for.
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000121.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.