Getting The Job
Improving Your Craft
Enjoying Your Art
Casting calls and auditions are always uncomfortable and awkward. Why? You are standing around making small talk with people who want exactly what you want, the role in the next show. It’s hard to be friendly and polite when deep down inside you’re secretly hoping for the person next to you to fail miserably in their audition but you have to play a little politics in show business if you expect to get anywhere. No one is saying you have to be best friends with other actors and singers but turning a cold shoulder to your competition can backfire and label you an arrogant know it all. Also, since you are all in this together it helps to play nice since other actors and singers may know about
and casting calls that you haven’t heard of.
First off always be polite no matter who you are dealing with. If you are at an audition or casting call be mindful that the walls have ears and the things you say and do will be remembered. If you act rude and treat others with an attitude you’ll only make enemies in a business that lives and breathes on successful networking. Everyone has heard of difficult actors and singers that have made life hell for casts and crews but often these are exceptions to the rule.
It’s also usually at the end of an actor’s run that they become difficult, such as Marlon Brando in the twilight of his career. It’s doubtful the method acting genius would have gotten as far had he been difficult when auditioning for “A Streetcar Named Desire” instead of “Apocalypse Now”. Younger performers who are courteous and open minded usually end up succeeding. Also, you never know if the director or casting agent is lurking around the room and if you assume the person asking you a question is a nobody who is not worth your time you may have just pulled the plug on your career.
At an audition you don’t have to be the center of attention or the life of the party but try your best to get along with the other actors since all of you are under the same pressure and cutting the tension with a little conversation can put everyone at ease. You may also ask others if they wouldn’t mind reading along with you or playing opposite you for practice. Of course if you do ask a favor be ready to return it. Teamwork is a valuable skill and when you rehearse with others you get a better idea of what you may need to work on before it’s your turn to audition.
Lastly, networking with other performers can help in many ways including getting part-time work in between acting jobs and meeting influential people in the industry. No one knows everyone but the more people you meet and make friends with the better your chances for having your name dropped at parties and receptions. But don’ think this is a one-way street, if people are willing to help you make sure you return the favor in kind. Being sly may get you one role but it can cost you many roles in the future when word gets out about how you play the game.
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