Monday, December 10, 2012

5 Things Teaching Taught Me About Casting in LA.

I taught Theatre for five years in Texas.

I say taught, but the majority of my time was spent directing and producing plays at the school. I'm thankful for the time that I spent with the kids there and the lessons that I learned by teaching and directing them.  What has floored me is how similar casting a high school play is to the casting process in LA.

Here are my realizations:

  1. Casting Directors want you to do well.
            When I was holding auditions at the high school level, I prayed that each and every student would be incredible. I wanted to see everyone do the best that they could so that I could make the best choice the I could when it came to casting.

   2.   Casting Directors want to see something unique and different.

            I witnessed an incredible phenomena when I was casting for high school. Everyone copied everyone else. It was strange. I don't think that people are trying to copy each other, maybe it's subconscious. I see the same thing when I'm auditioning in LA. Actor's are nonchalantly watching each other to steal or borrow different expressions. I've also heard an actor before me make a choice to scream and come out of the room smiling proudly. Every actor after him would scream as well. Don't be a copycat. Show casting directors your interpretation of the role.

   3Casting Directors want to see pleasant, happy, and well-adjusted actors.

          So many actors go into auditions nervous, angry, bitter, or defensive. Casting Directors want to see actors that they want to be around. Remember, Casting Directors will be putting their name on the line for you if they choose to cast you. That's a risk. Put their mind at ease and show them that you are a friendly and normal human being.

  4.   Casting Directors don't want to see actors who are desperate for a role.

          CD's are like bloodhounds that can track even the smallest amount of desperation seeping from an actor's pores. DON'T BE DESPERATE. There will be other roles. Just go into the audition, show them what you're interpretation is, have fun, then leave. Don't beg. Don't apologize. Don't cry. Don't force it.

  5.  Casting Directors don't know what they want.

         When I was teaching, I never knew how I was going to cast a play. I just hoped that the perfect person would show up and make me realize how the role should be played. This is true in LA. Get in there and show CD's how the part should be played!
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Actor Friends,

We have a lot more power than we realize.
Let's stop fearing casting director's and begin collaborating with them.

Love,

Donald

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