What Do Casting Directors Want from Actors in Casting Calls?

How does an actor increase his or her chances to be considered by Casting Directors both for a specific role and as a prospect for future casting calls?

Be In Character

First of all, they’re looking for an actor who captures the personality and essence of the character. So, memorize your lines as best you can, but don’t worry if you make a mistake. Rather, make sure you commit to the character, and proceed from there. Remaining in character includes listening and reacting to the other characters in the skit. When another character speaks or isn’t giving you much, don’t simply wait till it’s your next line. Instead, listen as your character would, and conduct yourself in character until you hear “cut.” Casting Directors may be looking for chemistry with other cast members, and if you’re not engaged at all times, the chemistry falls flat. And, be flexible enough to read in a different style if it’s asked of you. In other words, in the spirit of play, be ready to become another character if needed.

Be Professional

Every actor wants to feel valued; and they should. But, remember, in any production, an actor is simply a member of the team where everyone is important. So Casting Directors pay close attention to how well you listen, and how respectful you are to others, starting with the receptionist–who might be the Casting Director’s niece. And keep in mind, the casting process with its long lines of prospective candidates can have a hectic pace. Refrain from complaining about the air conditioning or the long wait. Everyone is experiencing these same conditions. The Camera Operator likely was never given a lunch break and will miss the light of day cramped up in a studio, so try not to take things personally if it seems like you’re being rushed or you’re not given the feedback you feel you deserve. And if you give a poor reading, don’t apologize or blame anybody; let it go, and keep moving forward with all the auditions you can get. The more chances you have to audition, the more likely you are to book!


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