When preparing your audition have you ever wondered, “Should I sit or stand?”
We run our acting workshops like a casting session, with actors coming in one at a time. This question comes up a lot.
It’s the inspiration for today’s video.
Should I sit or stand is a good question. But it doesn’t go far enough.
The audition chair is your friend. In fact, if you know how to work that chair to your advantage, it can become a thing of magic.
See what we mean in today’s video.
The Magic Chair
An audition is an unnatural circumstance. You don’t have the benefit of a real location, wardrobe, or other actors. Your job is to use all resources available to you to create the illusion of a fully lived out reality.
The chair is your friend in this endeavor. It can be a desk, a bar stool, a car, your couch…
Using the chair to create an imaginary location will add another layer of depth and reality to your audition.
It really is a tool of magic!
Leave a comment. Did this help you think about the audition room in a different way?
I should be further along my career (for my type, my age, my talent…)
I should build up my tv credits (because my agent told me to)
I should go for a commercial agent (because it’s easier than getting a legit one)
I should cut my hair (because it’s a more marketable look)
And on and on and on.
Should is a dangerous word. When you set goals and make decisions from a place of “should” you disconnect from what’s in your heart.
Have you ever taken on a goal because someone else said you “should”? If you have, you know what happens next.
You might go for that goal diligently at first, but eventually you run out of steam. When your heart’s not in it, you can’t stay motivated.
We human beings have a habit of looking outside ourselves for reassurance. But the truth is, no one knows what’s best for you. That is your department.
When it comes to the entertainment industry, there is no “right way” to create success. No one can predict what is going to happen.
A while back Christina Hendricks gave an interview (she played Joan Harris on Mad Men). Her agents at the time dropped her when she signed on to play the role. Why? Because they told her “It’s a period piece. It’s not going to make any money.”
She decided to go with her intuition, and love for the script. And they decided to drop her.
Hmmmm. Seven seasons later, six personal Emmy Nominations, and countless awards later…who do you think made the better choice?
Which just goes to show…agents know exactly nothing about the future. Just like you and I.
Getting perspective and suggestions from people you trust can be helpful in the decision-making and goal-setting process. But at the end of the day it’s YOUR LIFE. You have to live with your choices and you need to do the work. No one knows what is truly in your heart but you.
Listen to that voice. It will never steer you in the wrong direction.
People give advice (solicited or not) based on their own world view. That includes their personal experience, failures, limiting beliefs, heartbreak, and fear. One of my mentors told me, “People can’t support you beyond their own fear.” That includes people who may seemingly “know better” than you do.
The truth is, no one knows anything with complete certainty.
When you follow what’s in your heart, there’s space for magic, serendipity and unforeseen gifts.
When you think about your current acting goals, which of these phrases resonates?
I’m excited to…My ideal is…I get to…I can’t wait to…I’m proud to share…I’m inspired to…
I have to…I should….I know I’m supposed to…They said I must…
Think about what YOU want to focus on going forward. Give yourself permission to cross off the stuff that feels like a should, and go for the stuff that feels like a gift. Above all other voices, listen to the one inside your heart.
Leave a comment. Is there something on your “should” list that you can let go of?
Have you ever picked up an audition script and thought, “Yes! This is exactly the way I would think and act,”?
Most likely, you and your character share the same personality type.
On the other hand, have you looked at a scene and wondered, “Why would my character do that? It makes no sense!”
If your character’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you, odds are you have a different personality type.
In our class series, Audition Game Pro, one of our most important steps is to identify the Personality Type of your character.
In an ideal world, you would have plenty of time to explore the psyche, motivation, and worldview of your character. But let’s be real. The turn around time on an audition can be less than 24 hours (in some cases much less!).
If you’re going in for a character who’s personality type is far removed from who you are, it can feel impossible to create a compelling audition in a short amount of time.
Enter the Personality Type Funsheet.
Check out today’s video to find out the 4 Main Personality Types you’ll encounter in every script that comes your way…
Now download the Personality Type Funsheet. Use it to identify your character’s main personality type, and traits. This will help you quickly create audition choices in alignment with your character’s personality traits (especially when it’s different from your natural way of being).
This funsheet is directly from the Audition Game Pro program (and we usually save it for students of the class) so get it while you can!
Leave a comment. What personality type are you? How can this funsheet help you in your audition process?
Whether you’re looking for representation period, or looking to find a better fit, now is the perfect time to set up your meetings and get the ball rolling.
Pilot Season has come and gone. That means offices have more time to take meetings and fill the missing gaps in their roster.
Like you, agents and managers want to make a good living. As smart businesses, now is the time when they see who they want to keep on their roster, and who they choose to let go.
If you’ve been let go from your representation – don’t lose heart! It isn’t personal, and it happens to everyone. Literallyeveryone. There’s no shame in this game! Don’t let that stop you from looking for a better fit.
When you take steps to land meetings with potential representation, here are some important things to give you confidence and find your “yes”:
What kind of acting work is in “your lane?” Do you belong on a prestige cable drama? Are you sitcom material? Do you belong in the world of procedural dramas? Think about the kind of stories you most want to tell, and the type of work you are most likely to get cast for.
Then do some research on IMDB Pro to see which agencies have clients who do the kind of work that is in alignment with your career goals.
Just because you have an agent, doesn’t mean they can get you in the room. Be strategic about which agencies are most likely to have relationships with the people you want to get seen by.
KNOW YOUR VALUE
What value do you bring to the relationship? What unique gifts, experience, relationships, or skills do you bring to the table? Be prepared to communicate “what’s in it for them” to your potential representation. Be sure that your marketing package reflects the value you offer.
The BEST way to land a meeting is by referral. If someone the rep likes and trusts, refers someone they like and trust, the meeting is nearly guaranteed to happen. Now, that doesn’t mean you’ll be signed automatically, but getting the meeting is the biggest hurdle to clear.
Who do you have a strong relationship with, who knows your work, and trusts you, can refer you to an agent or manager in alignment with your goals? Think about fellow actor friends, directors you’ve worked with, casting directors who like you, producers you know, or who knows – your childhood best friend’s mother’s cousin might run an agency. It happens! If you are asking a fellow actor for a referral to their agency, be sure they are a completely different type than you.
The most important step to getting a referral is to ask for one. Don’t be afraid of hearing “no.” It just takes one yes to get the ball rolling. Remember that relationships are built on trust, so any ask should be with respect, and that includes respecting their right to decline. Getting told “no” is part of the process, so don’t let that stop you.
HAVE YOUR MATERIAL READY TO GO
There’s nothing worse than landing a meeting without your material ready. You’re left stressed out and scrambling, trying to get new headshots right away, staying up late re-editing your reel. Before you start reaching out to set meetings, have your material ready to go.
Since you’ve done the work around clarity and what kind of work you want to be doing, your material should reflect the possibility of where you are heading. If your goal is to land action films, but your reel is strictly stand up comedy routines, your material isn’t supporting your goals. Put together a marketing package that reflects where you want to be.
KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO
When you land a meeting, do some research on the company and the person you are meeting. Don’t wing it. Where do your values/goals align with the company and the individual? The more you know, the more you’ll know if it’s the right match.
YOU’RE INTERVIEWING THEM TOO
In agent meetings it can be tempting sign with WHOEVER WANTS YOU. Don’t fall into this trap! Think of it like dating. If you take anyone who comes along that shows an interest, you’re going to date a lot of duds.
Be clear about the kind of working relationship you desire with your representation. How do you communicate? How do you treat each other? Find out if the person you’re meeting with is on the same page about where you see your career heading. Ask intelligent questions and listen carefully to the answers.
Remember that it’s your career. Empower yourself with clarity, career goals, and specific boundaries and expectations for your agent/manager relationship. When you put in this work before taking meetings, you’ll know it when you find it.
Leave a comment. Are you planning to find representation? Was this helpful for you to take the first step?
You prepare for the audition, nail your callback, and finally get the winning phone call: You booked the role!
The hard work is done and it’s time to sit back and relax, right?
Many actors fall into the trap of assuming that since they booked the part it is theirs to keep. In reality there is one major step between booking and that coveted #SetLife:
The Table Read
The table read is where all the casting pieces (actors) come together and the creators of the project finally get a cohesive picture of how the script will play.
For the producers, writers, and directors this isn’t a simple meet and greet. It is the LAST CHANCE to make tweaks to the project before shooting starts. Those tweaks can be to the script…or the cast.
There are so many heartbreaking stories about actors who finally booked to the job only to be replaced after the table read. This happens all the time in comedies (if you can’t make the joke work they will find someone who will), and even in dramas.
So what can you do to make sure you keep that role you worked so hard to book?
Treat the table read like another step of the audition process!
Know the script
Come in with a full understanding of the material
Make strong choices
This is no casual rehearsal for discovery.
Look the part
Are you playing a surgeon? Don’t show up in jeans and a v-neck.
Did you do full hair and make up for your audition? Bring that look back to the table read!
Your work will pay off
When you put in the work, you get to keep the part. And in some cases, find that your role has been expanded!
We’ve heard from 2 different students in the past month who got more scenes after the table read because the show-runners liked what they were doing at the read.
Do you think that happened because they decided to “wing it” at the table read? Hell no! They treated it like their job depended on the quality of their work.
Once you book the job, don’t let your hard-won opportunity slip away by slacking off. Be prepared and bring your best work to the Table(read)!
Leave a comment. How do you prepare for the table read?