Friday, April 13, 2007

Auditioning/Reading With a Dead Casting Director

My student M. was frustrated; he asked me last night in class: how can you give a good audition when the casting director who (in the reading) 'gives you nothing' ?"

(1) The quick answer: the casting director (or the the assistant) is probably reading as lousy with all the other auditioning actors as well. Thank God the playing field is level

(2) The fuller, long term answer: The auditioning actor must, in such a situation, enter the audition that EVEN MORE sensitive (emotionally prepared) to what is going on in the reading so that the whatever the casting director gives (generally not very much; certainly not as much as the actor desires) will have the desired major impact on him/her. For example: the auditioning actor wants to respond excitingly to a flattened casting director reading of "I love you"; so when the casting director says (like ordering a piece of cold pizza) 'i love you', what does the actor do? My answer (or adjustment): there have been times in my life when I have been moved to tears just by reading the words "I love you" on a piece of paper. I didn't need to see a face or hear a voice! So: The same applies in an audition with a necrophiliac-like casting director: listen to the words of the script themselves, and if the actor is very open to feeling, he/she will respond (honestly!!) to the MERE WORDS themselves (and the little the casting director is giving) with a sufficient plethora of feeling.

(3) As a corollary benefit: by honestly feeling more, and honestly expressing it to the deficient casting director ("I love you, too", the actor says with great honest feeling) the actor will find the casting director will awaken and give you more. 'As ye give so shall ye get!' Casting directors are deadly but they not dead!

(4) Another way of expressing the dilemma (and the solution): if I am prepared to have a good time tonight on a date (and I am free of restrictive expectations) I will have a good time with an uneducated girl (this is fun; I've never met anyone so unexposed to knowledge!); or a nasty girl (this is fun; she challenges me to find good in anyone); or a stutterer (this is fun; I've never gone out with a speech-challenged girl before), etc. If the actor is PREPARED to feel in a desired emotional arena (in this case: to enjoy a date), whatever the stimuli, the desired feeling can honestly and in reality be felt...if the actor is open to it!!!


Blogger J.W. said...

At first I was having some difficulty understanding what exactly you were saying... but after I began to compare and examine what you stated about honesty and the actors feelings on stage, and being mentally prepared, it became very clear.
I agree with what you said... but I disagree with what most people might think you said:)


6:57 PM  
Blogger Myles said...

'As ye give, so shall ye get'..Casting directors are humans too(right?)so the more you give them emotionally, they will be able to feel it and give some of it back?

6:56 PM  
Blogger J.W. said...

From the point of view of an actor, (but understanding both sides)... I think it does help if the Casting director creates a comfortable environment in which the actor can work.

I think both sides could benefit from this in the end...

However, I do agree that the actor needs to give as well:)


7:08 PM  
Blogger Myles said...

Yeah I would think the Casting director would want to meet you half least to bring the best out of the actor auditioning for the part that he/she is casting for. good luck and please share more of your experiences with us. thanks..

3:22 PM  

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