As casting directors, we’re paid by movie studios and production companies for find qualified actors for the productions they’re shooting. But as you might imagine, we get asked a LOT of questions by actors looking for career advice and kids with “stars in their eyes,” many of whom have no idea of what it takes to prepare for a career as an actor. And it’s not a very profitable use of our time to spend as much of it as would be necessary to accommodate all the questions we’re asked. So I provide answers here, to many of the questions we get most repeatedly as a courtesy to actors and to save myself time to focus on other things. As a return courtesy, I ask that you please read the entire list of questions before contacting me for help or advice and I’ll get to you when and if I can. If you’re contacting me with a question answered here in the FAQ’s, I’ll just end up referring you back to this page.
Q. “What does a casting director do anyway?“
A. Although this is a much larger topic with a far more varied answer than can be served in a couple of paragraphs, In general, we’re paid by production companies and movie studios to find the best actors to be in the productions we’re hired to cast. We keep regular databases of actors of all types, races, sizes and shapes. We’re also experts on the union codes and the proper contractual procedures for hiring actors so that our clients don’t encounter problems and fines. We also solve problems before they BECOME problems because we anticipate them as a rule. It’s quite a bit like being a real estate agent. The homes are out there and you can find them. But making sure you pay the right price, don’t make mistakes in your paperwork or your inspection that will cost you money and knowing what other homes are positively out there before making your decision, makes it worth hiring a professional. It’s the same for a good, professionally-trained casting director. They’re worth every single penny naive producers may think they’re saving by putting an ad on Craigslist for actors to submit themselves. And if you’ve ever been on a dating site, you know that people are always less than objective about themselves! A good casting director has a proven track record of having great creative instincts for putting the right actor together with the right role and the right director and cast. We’re kind of like the “human resources department” at your day job……only specializing in actors! You can find some of this answered in an article I wrote several years back for the Media Inc. trade paper, Here. In addition, I absolutely recommend the excellent HBO documentary, “Casting By” .
Q. “How do I get into the acting business? It looks like a lot of fun and you get to be on red carpets, win awards, people ask you for autographs and you make a lot of money!“
A. I’m sure to most people, that’s EXACTLY what it looks like!! So it’s no wonder lots of people have stars in their eyes and think that acting is a great way to become famous and make a lot of money – and it definitely is! – but for only an EXTREMELY small portion of the acting population-less than 1%, in fact! The vast majority of working actors audition over and over for the few roles that they get during their careers. It’s a business of volume. The more auditions you do, the better your chances of booking a job. And the rejection rate is over 90% as a rule. But if you don’t actually love acting, you won’t last long. So, I advise you first to find out if you “love” acting-as opposed to loving fame and fortune. If you love acting, get as much training as you can, do student films, shorts, community theater, audition as much as you can on your own and when you have some experience under your belt, try getting an agent to represent you for work. If you just love fame and fortune? Get into reality television as you don’t need any talent or training to do it. And the more dysfunctional you are and the more drama you create around yourself, the more likely you are to being cast! Then you can be famous for however long you can work it. Eventually, you’ll end up on a “Where Are They Now” show and you can work it for a few more minutes! The acting profession is only for people who HAVE to do it to express their art the same way fine artists have the drive to paint or sculpt or musicians play or compose and writers, write. And acting is NOT for weenies! You have to be willing to plumb the depths of the human psyche to accurately portray your characters in the full array of our emotions. And sometimes that’s a difficult place to go! So make sure it’s something you can’t NOT do before you take it on!
Q. “I think I have talent and could be really good at acting but I just need someone to give me a chance and put me in a movie. How can I get someone to give me that chance?“
A. Look at it from the producer’s standpoint. If you’ve managed to raise the significant amount of money to produce a film, you’re invested in using that money as efficiently and wisely as you can so you can avoid running over budget and maybe even come in UNDER it! Also, you want to bring the film to market and get a return on your investment. So it will cost you thousands of dollars to rent trailers, lights, camera, hire the crew, get expensive permits, create wardrobe, build sets, etc. etc….After doing all of that, would you risk hiring someone who sent your casting director a “selfie” who though it would be cool to be in a movie but hadn’t trained or prepared themselves at all? Even if they appeared to have talent on the few scenes on which they may have auditioned well without all the demands of on-set production? Or would you hire someone who had demonstrated a track record for study of the craft of acting and managed to develop a resume’ and a reputation for knowing how to create believable characters and do it on the spot, over and over again?
My job as a professional casting director is to protect the investment of my clients and make sure the best actors who are the fittest for the roles, are the ones who get hired. And I don’t take that responsibility lightly. YOUR job if you want to work with me, is to minimize the risk to the production and MY risk to my reputation with my clients, by preparing yourself and studying and developing your craft as an actor so your abilities and talents are as professional and reliable as a good, experienced director of photography or assistant director or key grip or any other technical professional on the crew. I apprenticed for five years with my mentors before hanging out a shingle as a principal casting director and only opened my own shop when THEY told me they thought I was ready. And by the time I did, I knew what I could do and I was long past the point of making any rookie mistakes on my client’s dime because my mentors had prepared me to handle anything that came up. Everyone on a production including the actors should make the same commitment to prepare so as not to make their mistakes on the job where someone else has to clean them up. And if you were a producer hiring your cast and crew, would you expect anything less to protect your investment and insure your project went smoothly? Talent alone just isn’t enough. That’s just potential and although a valuable prerequisite, it must be developed and honed so that an actor can call upon their abilities and techniques over and over and on a moment’s notice and in challenging environments and circumstances when the hours are long and the obstacles to creativity are great.
Q. “OK, I get that I have to prepare and develop an acting resume’ in order to get an acting jobs. But how to I get someone to GIVE me that job when I have no experience ….and you need experience to GET the job???“
A. That’s a really good question and it’s understandable that it would seem like a “catch 22” conundrum! But literally EVERY famous and “not so famous” actor has faced the same conundrum! And the ones who are the most serious and doing it for the right reasons, always manage to forge a career. Why? Because they HAVE to do it or better yet, “because they can’t NOT do it”! And this is something they share with all artists who also HAVE to do what they do whether they’re painters or musicians or writers or poets. And that’s the best reason to become an actor. Because those who HAVE to do it, will do it no matter what because their creative spirit REQUIRES it! And it won’t matter if there are fewer people in the audience than there are on stage with you! Or whether or not you’re being cheered by crowds or only two people, ….or asked for autographs….. or paid millions of dollars! Or whether your work is largely ignored and you have to work a day job to sometimes make ends meet, in between gigs. When someone is an artist, they are called to the work and that artistry comes out through their work. And it’s what makes other people want to work with them like directors, producers and casting directors like me! Fame is actually something that tends to get in the way for the VERY FEW famous actors who attain it, even as much as it allows them some benefits. But the vast majority of actors are people you’ll never hear about working in smaller markets like Seattle or Portland or Minneapolis. They exercise their craft on stage, doing commercials and industrial (corporate) films, shorts and other low-visability projects. And all the famous actors I’ve ever worked with, all started that way and would all still be doing that if they didn’t happen to be in a high profile project that “launched” them into the realm of “fame.” And fame doesn’t make someone a better actor. It just means more people know who they are now! Actors who suddenly become famous after working in obscurity for years, don’t have their talent suddenly increase in proportion to their new fame! There are actors putting on amazing performances in cities all around this country you’ll never hear about. And they know their abilities and artistry are tremendously worthwhile even if they don’t get recognized at the supermarket. They know it because the expression of their gifts as artists is the end fulfillment they’re seeking. Not fame or applause or scads of money being given them to do it. Those are nice but that first and all-important need to express their artistry is non-negotiable for true artists who are actors. For a more broad examination of the aspect of “Fame” in acting, read my blog post about it Here.
Q. “OK! I get it!!! I’m not going to walk off the street onto the red carpet by sending you a “selfie”! So how do I get started preparing myself and developing my talent as an actor the way you’re advising me?“
A. Study, Study, Study! And then STUDY some more. In fact, study for the rest of your life as the process of learning about acting is almost the same as learning about life. Actors are supposed to know enough about the “human condition” to be able to truthfully reflect the honest experiences of others and to responsibly walk around in their shoes. And through their work and artistry, we learn about others who have different experiences than our’s and we can better understand ourselves and each other. And that takes honest preparation to learn about the skin the characters they inhabit. It’s not easy but it’s noble work and not for “weenies” as you have to sometimes go into some scary places in the human psyche to tell it the way it is! So get out and see theater, scrutinize every performance you ever see and know why you liked or didn’t like it. Because an artist has to be able to defend and argue for their vision in a collaborative process like acting. Gifted artists don’t just “take direction!” They collaborate as artists and frequently, they argue for their creative vision with the directors who direct them. But they can’t do that if they’re just “empty cups” waiting for a director to fill them up! They have to have vision of their own for the characters they play. So you have to start stoking your creative imagination as an artists in order to have something to say instead of just taking up space on stage or on the screen. Take reputable classes by asking around among your fellow actors, who’s class they recommend. Take drama in school if it’s offered. Look on YouTube for wise advice from actors who’s work you like and who have demonstrated a track record for artistry and success. Watch everything you can and formulate thoughtful opinions based on scrutiny of what you think works and why? And what you thing DOESN’T work and why! That’s the difference between an artists and a “trained seal.” On my “Blog” page, there are articles and links to places where you can find reliable advice from industry professionals. You can also see listings of roles being cast in local, fringe theater at TPS. Here’s a really great bit of advice from Bryan Cranston who I’ve cast in several projects and Here’s another one from him that’s spot on as well.
Q. “Where can I get training?“
A. You can find a list or reputable teachers on the Resources and Workshop pages. Also, ask fellow actors who they’ve studied with and whether they recommend that teacher or class. Most teachers will provide some references if you ask for them. Get feedback from those references. Call talent agents or casting directors directly for their recommendations. Having a good amount of training is a great way to build your resume. Also, you can get together with other actors and “run scenes” to try out dialogue work and bounce ideas off each other! Also, you need to be aware that technique for theater work is different than training for the on-camera work that I do. Obviously, this is an area of VAST opportunities for study. For me in it’s most “general” state, the difference in approaching a theater performance as opposed to an on-camera is this: Theater is about “doing“, on-camera work is about “being“. You can read more about that Here. When you’re on stage, you need to be responsible to reach everyone between your fellow actors onstage, to the people in the back of the house. And you’ll need to project your performance beyond what may feel “organic” in resembling real life. On camera, you’re charged with developing a completely “organic” (real) experience and trusting that the camera will pick it up if it feels completely authentic inside you. Given that my work is exclusively in the field of on-camera work, I am always looking for the actor’s vision and imagination both in terms of the construction of character and also of the imagined feelings of the character realized in the actors emotions and their physical body sensations. When an actor experiences one of those truly “real” moments, it’s quite something to see whether on-camera or in the finished performance on film. Developing that imagination is something an actor truly needs to develop and keep honed and a reputable class is a great means to that end.
Q. “What about a class run by a casting director? Isn’t it smart to have them see my work in a class?“
A. You should ALWAYS ask yourself, “Would I take their class if they weren’t a casting director”? Make sure that the class has something valuable you really want to learn. If you want a casting director to find out about your work, ask them for a general audition appointment, which is free of charge to the actor. It’s a casting director’s job to know who you are-they’re already paid by the client to do that. They should never charge you too! Also, offer a casting director complimentary tickets to some of your performances. Most theaters offer “industry comps” to the cast for this purpose. Never take a class run by a casting director who restricts your access to having to pay to meet them in some “workshop” or class. The next question and answer covers more of that subject.
Q. “I’ve heard that there are some casting director workshops that are scams. Is this true and if so, how do I avoid them?“
A. Absolutely and unfortunately! While it’s true that there are some casting director-led workshops that are indeed legitimate, far too man scams are now sadly the norm in the Los Angeles market where I’m from as very few casting people are doing free “generals” with actors anymore, citing their “lack of time.” Strangely, many seem to have found the time to make themselves available for a fee changed to actors in a “workshop” that actually has very little teaching component! Casting people, many of whom are merely associates or assistants, some of them using the CSA initials after their names to attempt to legitimize their presence at the workshops, talk for about 20 minutes about things like “how many staples to use on a headshot” (they have little experience to speak with any authority about anything more!) Then, they’ll watch a few reads from actors with minimal feedback and no re-direction to advance the feedback they just gave. At the end of the evening, they pocket between $35 and $100 each from the actors through the people “hosting” the workshop who also charge a cut. (Kind of like a “pimp!”) Then a couple of days later, someone from the workshop gets cast in a “walk on” or an “under 5” (both are minimal or no lines situations) on the series on which that casting person works. Then the word goes out on the actor grapevine that if you want to get a role on the show? You’ve got to pay for the workshop! It’s bribery, it’s illegal and dishonest and I can’t encourage actors enough to starve these unethical situations out of existence by not patronizing them. Here is an episode of the ABC television show 20/20 on which my friend, colleague and compatriot, Billy DaMota is featured explaining the severity of the problem on which he’s been a tireless advocate for actors. NOTE!: There are still legitimate workshops in which casting directors actually teach! They should present a syllabus that explains the format of the workshop and really roll up their sleeves and teach! And in Los Angeles, they have to post a bond with the city. Here is a link to the workshop guidelines from the Casting Society of American which you should read before signing up for ANY workshop, especially one that features a casting person as the teacher! If you want more information about the scams and how to avoid them, I’ve written a blog about it you can read Here.
Q. “OK, so I’m not supposed to send you “selfies”! But let’s say I manage to work hard and get lots of training that proves my dedication to the craft of acting and shows that I’m now ready to try to market my abilities to decision-makers like yourself. How am I supposed to approach industry professionals so I don’t make a bad impression and make them want to work with me??“
A. Social media has had a profound effect on how people communicate with each other and some of it is beneficial. But a lot of the grace of how things USED to be done has been lost in our now “compartmentalized” shorthand. And the more respect, workability and sensitivity you can show for a casting director or agent’s time, the more likely they’ll consider you seriously. A casting director’s time is really the main commodity we’re selling as a service to our clients. And we get literally THOUSANDS of emails, phone calls, texts, “tweets”, snail mails, morse codes, smoke signals etc, etc, so we try to be as careful of our time as we can. The more time we spend looking at your marketing materials, the less we’re spending elsewhere so we’re most interested in how to use our time in the most profitable ways. So sending us an email or text like the kind you send to your buddies with greetings like “Sup! I know I got it goin’ ON!! So hit me back and put me in your next movie! All right…Peace Out!” will actually make a worse impression than none at all which is really preferable since you only get a chance to make ONE first impression! The less professionally prepared you look, the bigger the waste of our time in dealing with you. Given the literally thousands of emails with “selfies” I get with messages just like these, it’s clear that someone’s no longer teaching students to write a proper business letter anymore like they did when I was in school. So here’s an example of how it’s best done. First off, attach a professional color headshot (NOT A SELFIE!) and a PDF resume if you’re sending it digitally. If possible, include a link to a video of your work posted on a SAFE site that will be easily known to the casting director or agent like YouTube or Vimeo. Dropbox or other cloud storage sites can download spam or malware from someone we don’t know just as easily as they can download legitimate pictures so they’re not considered safe. Then, write a professional, respectful business letter that says what’s necessary in the shortest possible amount of space to minimize the time we spend considering you and still tells us what we need to know. Make sure you use proper spelling and punctuation and doesn’t look like you put almost no thought into it or it’s only natural that I’ll assume you also put no thought into your acting work as well. Definitely not the impression you want to leave with a professional you want to entice into calling you for work! It should go something like this:
“Dear Mr. Salamunovich, Attached, Please find my headshot and professional resume attesting to the level of my body of work. It is my hope that my materials constitute a good resource to assist you in casting any roles for which you think I might be right. I am represented by the “Such and Such” talent agency by “So and So” (OR) I am currently unrepresented and am available at the number or email below. Please let me know if I can answer any questions you may have about my work and I look forward to hearing from you about possibly auditioning for you at some point in the near future. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, So and So.” If you’re approaching a talent agency about representation, then change it along the lines of this: “I am writing you today because I am seeking representation. I hope my materials attract your attention toward a discussion about the possibility of signing with your agency.”
Showing respect in approaching an industry professional also has the added benefit of showing that you’re much more “industry savvy” and you are less likely to require “special handling” as professionals don’t want to work with high maintenance people because it wastes our time. And WHENEVER an industry professional actually RESPONDS (which is rare) and writes you back, ALWAYS send a thank you note or email to follow up! ALWAYS! If for no other reason than it makes YOU look good and makes good impression on us. Also, if you’re sending out multiple emails at once, “BLIND COPY US!” Email addresses are pirated onto spam lists like crazy and so you don’t want everyone else seeing the others to whom your sending as well. Otherwise, the better impression is made with individually-sent and addressed emails for obvious reasons.
Q. “How important is my “look”?“
A. That depends entirely on the role at hand. In general, the concept of a “look” alone is a myth held in the minds of the public as being the ticket to stardom. The thinking is that if you have “THE LOOK!” (whatever that means!) then you can bypass all the other preparation and work that is required of all the poor actors who don’t have “THE LOOK!” But the proper “look” really depends on the part being cast and not a realistic determinant of the possibility of an entire career just on the face of it. For instance, if Tom Hanks sent me his picture and he DIDN’T have any of the training, proven ability, background and most importantly, the talent and the artistry he possesses, his look wouldn’t get my attention at all just by itself! Likewise, there are many people who are significantly attractive and have absolutely no acting talent at all so their look isn’t marketable for acting work though they might be able to find work as a model provided their sizes were compatible with that industry’s standard. My mother was like that and when she was a student at Hollywood High, she was regularly asked to do screen tests by studio talent scouts because of her beauty. She always declined having realized in a drama class that she had absolutely no acting talent at all which would ultimately end up being realized by the studios once they screen tested her as well! On the other hand, there are faces that are singularly unremarkable that belong to enormously talented actors and they can look forward to having very bankable careers….but not necessarily in roles written for more “attractive” actors. Because of their looks, Paul Giamatti isn’t likely to be cast as “James Bond” but Pierce Brosnan isn’t likely to be cast as “John Adams” either! So each has a potential benefit to their look and a potential liability. So one way or another, your “look” will be a help in getting some roles and a hindrance in other roles. But having the right “look” is based on a role to role basis and ALWAYS requires the talent, experience and ability to deliver a great performance.
Q. “Q. “Is “fame” the benchmark for success as an actor?“
A. Those actors who are “famous” and walk the red carpets on ward shows, make up about a half of a percent of all working actors. Success and fame are two entirely different things. In my opinion, success in any artistic endeavor means that you have attained two things. #1: A vision for what you want to create….and #2: The means and ability to create the realization of that vision. Fame is attributable to only one thing. And here is that one thing……READY?….wait for it……. More people have seen you than when you weren’t “famous.” …..That’s it! It doesn’t make you a better artist/actor when you become famous. In fact, many newly famous actors find that more people expect greater things from them than when they weren’t famous. And the stakes become higher for the people investing money in paying you, in direct proportion to the amount you’re being paid! So the pressure almost ALWAYS increases with the fame. Especially from the public that now focuses on your every move when you’re out in the public eye. I’ve cast many now-famous actors on jobs when they were completely unknown but were incredibly talented, dedicated to their craft and gifted. When they became famous, they didn’t become better as an actor just because of the fame. Actors are “works in progress” just like any artist. So with more experience, an actor will typically become a better actor. But that’s true whether that experience results in fame or not. My point is that fame as an objective, is a fruitless pursuit for an actor. Seeking to do better and improve their work and creativity, is something that EVERY actor should pursue. If fame should happen during that pursuit? Then great! But fame won’t change the requirement that an actor continue to prove they deserve the parts they’re given by continuing to grow and improve. So fame is a potential “by-product” of that pursuit. Not the end goal. If you are attracted to acting because you are really attracted to the fame it MIGHT bring? Then you may actually become famous. But since the internal motivation to express yourself as an artist isn’t the thing motivating you, chances are you won’t continue to grow as an artist and focus on the thing that initially attracted the fame to you in the first place. And you’ll probably end up on a “where are they now?” show 20 years later because you stopped growing as an artist and attracting the work that would have kept you in the public eye. Most famous actors will tell you that fame is a “double-edged sword” that brings as many problems as it does, advantages. If you want fame? Here’s my advice: Get into “reality” television. It doesn’t require you to have talent or experience as an actor. Just the knack for crating drama and dysfunction around you.
Q. “Why do people so frequently call you Casting “Agents” instead of Casting Directors ?“
A. I REALLY DON’T KNOW! This one has always baffled me and is a bane of contention to most professional casting directors! It’s actually a contradiction in terms as no such thing actually exists. Casting directors have to be committed to the best interests of the productions they’re casting and can’t be financially invested ANY actor’s commission who may book the job. We’re paid for our professional objectivity by the movie studios and production companies for which we work. And since talent agents have a vested, financial interest in which talent books because they’re paid a commission on booking their talent for the job, they couldn’t be expected to be objective about the best choice for the roles in a production. So both have entirely different priorities! Additionally, casting directors are trained in the art of directing talent. So the correct terms are casting DIRECTOR and talent AGENT. There is no such thing as a “casting agent.”
Q. “What is the CSA?“
A. The Casting Society of America® is an association of professional casting directors who come together to establish guidelines and bylaws, to address mutual concerns, share ideas and to award the best efforts of it’s members annually. To be granted membership, a casting director has to have three current members who can attest to that fellow casting director’s significant body of professional work and ethics and then be voted in by the membership. It is requested by the CSA that members use the CSA suffix after their professional credits and titles.
Q. “How do I get an agent?“
A. Do some research and find out if the agency accepts hard-copy headshot/resumes of emailed digital ones and approach them accordingly. If it’s a hard-copy, send that along with a DVD reel with a proper business cover letter expressing your interest to be considered for representation. If it’s a digital emailed one, send the same thing digitally with a link to your reel instead of a DVD. If they don’t respond, try a follow-up phone call before temporarily giving up and trying the waters at another time. Agencies go through periods where they consider their rosters, “full” and other times when they’re looking. Check on-line to find compendiums that list rosters of talent agencies and how to approach them. The Samuel French bookstores in Los Angeles sell several different editions.
Q. “I’ve heard the “BEST” agents are “so and so” and “so and so”. Isn’t it best for me to be with them?“
A. This is one I’ve heard over and over!! Actors always think the best agency is “so-and-so!” It’s like hearing about a country club that’s REALLY exclusive! So if they’re willing to let you in, then YOU must be really special!!! Or, like dating the guy or girl most “in demand” as if that will make the best relationship partner for you! I don’t really see it that way. Here’s my take on it: The best agent is the one who wants you the most and will do the most to get you seen and look after you once you book the job. The reason there are so many agents at a place like CAA is because one agent can’t represent both Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson for the same project because Jennifer and Kate could each reasonably take issue with where their agent’s loyalty lies and could negotiate FOR one of them AGAINST the other one. So there are MANY agents at CAA to personalize the service they generate for each client. The moment that actor starts to feel like their agent isn’t looking after their best interests, they start to look for a new one. In any “secondary” market like Seattle, the situation is quite different since all actors realize they’re going to be up for the same part with other actors from their own agency along with those from other agencies. And they’re all going to be working at union scale or the non-union equivalent. However, if your agent is able to cover themselves for booking one of their actors on one of my casting sessions because I gave them a number of audition times, they’re pretty happy because they’re maximizing their opportunities at having at least ONE of their people book the job, which is how the agent makes their money. But if you need special handling because maybe you have a dentist appointment at the time I gave you and you need to be switched around, that can sometimes be a big juggling problem with larger agencies with so many other actors to maintain for them as well. Once you’ve fallen through the cracks, the chances of which are exponentially increased by how many other people they have to manage, you’ll realize that your misplaced prioritization of the “country club” appearance of you being with them, may have compromised your being able to audition for that job. And potentially, this can happen in direct proportion to the volume of actors like you they have to deal with!
Furthermore, the agency you’re with isn’t important to any professional casting director worth their salt who should be placing more value on your talent than on who your agent is! I don’t care where actors come from. I care how good they are and there are many good actors who reside at agencies with far less cache’ than others out there. And I’ve also found lots of “so-so” actors at agencies that are supposedly “exclusive”. It’s like asking who should I marry? If your value system is that you want a lot of other people in line behind you to want to marry that same person, then go with the “exclusive” agencies that seem to have generated a reputation among actors as being “The Best.” But if you want to be happy? Choose the one who really believes in you and wants you to be happy-which may or may NOT he the ones that most actors think is “the best!” I’m sure that if I said which agents I thought were actually “the best” from the my side of the fence, most actors in town would be surprised by my answer. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with a reputation for “exclusivity!” It has to do with an agent’s savvy, taste, service and knowledge of the industry, all of which make my job easier! And these qualities inspire my trust when agents try to “sell me” on the idea of seeing you if I’ve not yet met you or seen your work. If I don’t trust them, it’s not likely I’ll risk looking bad with my clients by having you in only to eventually find out they didn’t know what they were talking about and that you’re not a good fit for my project, after all.
Q. “OK, so the best agent is the one who really fights for me??
A. Having said that, I should also add the caveat that an agent who appears to fight for you can also be a liability when they take that fight too far. There’s one agent in the Seattle/Tacoma agency market who fights so hard that clients of mine actually ask me to avoid considering talent from the agency where she works. She has stated to me that she feels her job is go get the most money she can out of the client which is not the same thing as making the best deal she can. So many clients no longer trust her to be fair and reasonable. When that happens, your agent becomes a liability. When I take on a casting job, I fight for actor rates that are as high as the market will allow. And if they’re below market rate, I turn those jobs away lest I help to legitimize a new and way-too-low rate. And most agents trust me due to my track record of doing just that. Suspicion becomes an impediment to your career when your agent harbors too much of it. You need your agent to create and nurture relationships of trust within the hiring community in which you want to work. So make sure they have a good rapport with everyone else in the sandbox. It can be a small one in a secondary market like Seattle.
Q. “OK so a few different agents want me! How do I make the right decision?“
A. When choosing an agent, I advise signing with one who really believes in your talent and marketability. It’s kind of like asking, “Who should I marry?” Someone else may think THEIR agent is the BEST!!! But if that agent is lukewarm on you, they’re not going to promote you to people like me which is really their job. So they’re the wrong choice. Next, they should be reputable within the industry and not charge money ‘up-front’, unless you need pictures. If they think you need them and they arrange it, you should only be charged what you would be charged if you went outside the agency to a professional photographer-around $300-$400 or so. Duplicate, hard-copy pictures are a separate charge and depend on the number of copies, the quality of paper, the finish, color and graphics. You can access a list of local agencies with whom I work by clicking Here. The point is that an agent should want to make money WITH you and not FROM you. After sending your headshot and resume’ out to ALL the agencies, meet with whoever expresses interest and then apply the criteria I list in this answer. That’s the best way to avoid a scam and sign with an agent who believes in you most.
Q. “What does an agent do actually do, anyway?“
A. An agent is supposed to field audition opportunities, negotiate your fees and rates and promote your talents to casting directors, production companies, studios and anyone else hiring talent. They also look after and protect your interests once you are hired. For these services, they make a commission on any work you book through them. The industry-standard commission is 10% on union work and 20% for non-union work which requires a bit more agency oversight and followup than a union job. A reputable agent relies on their commissions for their income. So if YOU don’t make money? THEY don’t make money! This is a built-in incentive for them to hustle to get you audition opportunities that you’ll hopefully turn into bookings. And that’s what keeps the relationship mutually beneficial. If one of you isn’t handling your responsibilities to the other, the relationship is worth re-considering for a possible change.
Q. “What if an agent wants to sign me but thinks I need to take their classes first?“
A. You should beware the agent that wants to make money by teaching you or selling you pictures instead of promoting you. If they think you’re marketable, they should sign you. There’s no guarantee you’ll be more marketable after taking their class-so watch out for agencies that “dangle a carrot” of representation after first taking lots of their classes. Granted, there is nothing wrong with agency classes that are proven valuable. Just be sure that classes aren’t the main reason they want to sign you with their agency. If they’re already making money off you because they’re insisting you take classes and buy picture packages, then you may have to ask them why they think you’re worth signing if you need to take their classes? If your skills are not up to the level worthy of signing you outright, wouldn’t it make more sense for you to take a reputable class ANYWHERE, improve your skills to what they’d consider marketable without taking their class, and then submit to them again? When an agency supplies classes or picture packages, that’s not that unusual. But the point is that you should be marketable for an agency to sign you. So whether the classes and pictures that improve your abilities to a marketable level to attract attention to you, are attained at that “agency” or somewhere else, it shouldn’t matter. If it does matter, chances are, they’re more focused in making money FROM you rather than WITH you and I’d recommend looking for an agency that has a better separation of “church and state!”
Q. “I’ve heard that I should be listed on the Casting Network because you use it. Is this a good idea?“
A. I do use it exclusively but so do a large amount of other casting directors. I tried to get the Casting Networks to set up in Seattle for a long time because clients were seeing it in Los Angeles casting sessions and requesting it in Seattle. It’s free to represented talent and $10 to freelancers. There are several other casting systems that professionals like myself are now using. My best advice it to scout out the market in which you’re primarily auditioning and find out which system is most in use by those who are casting there.
Q. “What kind of headshots do you prefer from actors?“
A. I like color shots taken in natural light and they should be primarily of the head and shoulders type. Frequently, headshots are shown as thumbnails on websites and they’re pretty small at first sight. So you want your face to be easily seen and pop as much as possible off the page to attract a casting director to “click” on it to assess you for the job at hand. Personally, I don’t need to see headshots divided into a “commercial” and “theatrical” look as has frequently been done in the industry. I just need to see what you look like and the rest of the process of “trying the role on you,” I do in my imagination to see if it feels like it’s enough of a fit to have you in to try it on in-person! That’s just my opinion and other casting directors may have different processes and have different opinions. Try to consult your agent as to the type of shots they feel are most marketable for your region. If you don’t have one, look at some of the agency webpages in the area and see how their shots look. And don’t do a lot of “touching up” on your shots. If you hide imperfections that are obvious when you come in the door, you’re misrepresenting yourself to people like me and most of us tend to have a problem with the lack of “truth in advertising” your shot will create. So save the extensive “Photoshopping” for your wedding and graduation shots. Your headshots should look like you and be interesting enough to make me want to work with you.
Q. “What is a reasonable price for a photographer to charge for headshots?”
A. For most good, proven photographers, around $300-$400 is a reasonable price for a shoot. Since most all of them shoot digitally now, you’ll usually get a large number of shots from which to choose with usually more than one setup. Sometimes, there will be additional charges for “touching up” a shot or providing hard copy proofs. Sometimes agencies will require that you use a particular photographer, even if you already have reasonably marketable shots to provide. Sometimes the rates are then twice what an independent photographer charges. If this is the case, you’d be wise to scrutinize whether that agent wants to make money WITH you or FROM you! Because a much higher photographer rate usually involves some kind of split fee between the agent and the photographer. A smart way to check on this is to contact the photographer the agent recommends as if you’re just calling them without an agency to represent you and see what they charge without the agent involved. If it’s half the price, then I’d re-think signing with that agent! Here’s a list of reputable and good headshot photographers.
Q. “Is there a good way to sit for a headshot?”
A. Actually, I believe there is! Whatever is going on “inside” you will show up on the “outside.” And what someone like me is wanting to see in a headshot beyond just what it is you look like, it’s what kind of artist you might be so that I’ll be interested in working with you. So if you want to looking “interestING” then be “interestED”! What that means is try to convey something with just your eyes to the camera that is interesting to you and something about which you care. Most people sit for shots like they’re just displaying different angles and expressions. That’s why the majority of your shots will look just like that’s indeed what you were doing! But when you’re trying to wordlessly convey something interesting, then that’s far more likely to be what comes through in your shots. I like to work with actors who think and if you’re actually “thinking” during your shots, then that’s what’s likely to come through in them.
Q. “How should I prepare for an audition with you and what should I bring?“
A. If the client (director/producers, etc) is going to be present like they always are on a callback for instance, ALWAYS bring your headshot and resume. If I’m there by myself, you generally don’t need to bring one. (Note: Other casting directors may want you to bring one no matter what so pay attention to the fact that we’re all different and have different requirements sometimes. Also, keep a few headshots in your trunk, just in case you get an audition after you leave the house.) Your agent will have ALL the information necessary before hand but MAKE SURE YOU PAY ATTENTION TO ALL OF IT! Also, If a script is necessary for the audition, you will have been sent one by your agent and you are responsible to bring it. We do not reprint scripts for actors as it takes too much time from the casting day and they’re frequently taken or marked up by the actors before you. Take advantage of the fact that we have the internet and that you can get a script much earlier than just after you sign in and just before you audition like it was in the “old days!”
Q. “Should I memorize my script?“
A. I am not a believer in being “off-book” (memorized) for your auditions. If you make memorization a priority, you’re going to be more concerned with what words come next and less concerned with what you actually want to DO with those words. That’s human nature and I’ve seen it over and over again on somewhere over a third of a million auditions at this point in my career. I recommend reading straight off the cue card or from your hand-held script while cheating back to the camera or your scene partner from time to time. That said, if memorization makes you feel more comfortable and the direction you take with the lines isn’t compromised, then memorize your lines. This is especially important if you have a personal challenge like dyslexia, for instance. Also, if you need to wear reading classes or contacts, THEN WEAR THEM! I can’t count the times I’ve heard excuses from actors who couldn’t see their own scripts or my cue cards that they’d left their lenses at home! You can find out more about the pros and cons of memorization on my blog posting about it Here.
Q. “I’m unable to make the time my agent gave me to audition at your office. Should I just call my agent and tell them I can’t do it?“
A. You should call your agent and tell them you can’t make that time and then tell them what times that day you CAN make it…it’s possible that we can make a time work when you are free. But we don’t know if we can re-schedule you unless your agent gives us a range of possible times you can make it. Also, let your agent know WHY you can’t make the audition and ask what other days we may be casting the part. We may be able to get you into another time but I’m less likely to do it if you can’t be responsible about the time we already gave you. And if you have to cancel, be sure to tell us about your continued availability for any other casting callback or shoot dates scheduled. Sometimes, we get to the end of a callback session and the client is still interested in seeing other options. And if we know your status, we can easily schedule you quickly as an option. If you can’t make an audition, be courteous and do your part to “cancel” and make sure someone else can be easily scheduled and the time slot doesn’t go empty. I don’t take kindly to no-shows and my clients hold me responsible for “dead air” when they’re expecting to see a good actor as a possible solution for the role! They pay me to fill the slots with bankable options and I like them to get their money’s worth! If you make a casting director look bad with your lack of professionalism, they won’t trust you with audition slots when you’re submitted for their projects.
Q. “Why do you need to know WHY I can’t make the audition? Are you nosy? Have no life of your own? Doing surveillance for Homeland Security?“
A. Because it helps us determine if you’re unavailable for the job or just the time slot. If it’s something that’s just a short-term conflict with that time, we can still consider you beyond that day. If we’re informed that you’re unavailable for the whole time frame of the casting and job, it keeps us from wasting everyone’s time to still consider you for a job you could never accept! Also, always check in with your agent when you know you’re going to be unavailable for a day or more. If you’re out of town, in tech, working etc., then your agent won’t submit you when you can’t audition. You won’t be given a time…you won’t have to call your agent back to tell them…they won’t have to call us and we won’t end up with a no-show. All those calls become necessary ONLY when you don’t “book out” with your agent so they don’t submit you for work you can’t ultimately do! When an actor doesn’t show, it’s a huge problem for the casting director, their client, your agent and your reputation with all the preceding. Also, the time given to you will be wasted when another, available actor could have taken it. Besides, it’s just the golden rule. Some other time, you’ll be the one sitting at home, missing the opportunity someone else wasted…or the one given the slot when the actor ahead of you responsibly called in their conflicts!
Q. “What should my resume’ look like in general?”
A. You should list your contact information (your agency name and number or a good personal contact number if you’re a freelancer but no home address as you don’t know where your picture might end up!) List your height and weight so we know your body type. Some roles require different height and weight proportions than others and we can’t figure that out if you don’t list it. List your credits from different venues like Theater, Film and Television, Industrial-Corporate, Voice-Over, Print. And list your training and classes. This is ESPECIALLY true for beginners! You’re not necessarily responsible for how often you’ve been hired. But you ARE responsible for preparing and training and it shows a genuine intention for professional preparations that inspires our trust as casting directors regarding your intentions and work ethic.
Q. “What about listing my commercials on my resume’?
A. DON’T LIST YOUR INDIVIDUAL COMMERCIAL CREDITS! Most professional resume’s use the following. “Commercial credits available upon request” and the reason for this is simple. The directors of commercials are responsible for dealing with the actors creatively and getting a good performance out of them. Their intention is not to sell more of the product being advertised. They want to make a good piece of filmmaking art that goes on their reel to get them more work that looks good and reflects their artistic tastes. So they’ll be more focused on how you auditioned as to whether to have you back for a callback. And they may ask you about your commercials if you do indeed come back to read for them. But the advertising agency’s agenda is COMPLETELY different! They want the public to think you don’t act for a living and don’t “whore out for anyone who asks you!” Why? Because it makes you look like you’ll say ANYTHING to ANYONE on-camera for a job! It flies directly in face of what they want the public to believe which is that YOU’RE believable pitching their product. In advertising, everyone wants to take a virgin to the altar…so to speak.” So your “checkered past” acting for other products doesn’t make you look more experienced, it makes you look less sincere to them. “Overexposed” is the word they all use in banishing an actor from contention for the gig. Also, since an actor can’t have two projects for conflicting advertisers running on the air at the same time, they’re going to be very concerned if they’re considering you for a Ford automobile commercial and you listed a Chevy spot on your resume’. The fact that the Chevy spot may have been 15 years ago and all they showed in the spot was the side of your face for about a half a second, won’t accompany your credit to inform them of your exposure level! So if you’re resume’ just lists the Chevy spot and they see it? They might just knock you out of contention without your potentially accompanying explanation of why they shouldn’t have been concerned about it. And I’ve seen it happen having been present in the room with the agency and production company literally thousands of times when they make their casting decisions over the past 31 years! If they ask you about your commercial work at the audition, you can tailor your answer to serve your best interests for being cast without being dishonest, by leaving out conflicting product spots that are no longer on the air. Because if you don’t have a conflicting product on the air, you are free and clear to work for them and you’re under no obligation to compromise your being cast by giving them information that’s otherwise, none of their business!! If you DO have a conflicting spot running? You shouldn’t even be on the audition because you can get sued for the cost of BOTH productions if you’re caught on camera for two conflicting advertisers! And so can the casting director and your agent!! So pay attention to your currently-running conflicts and current holding fees!
Q. “Q. I’m a beginner and don’t have very much to put on my resume’. Should I list extras credits on my resume’?
A. DON’T list your extras work with me!! There are some casting directors who for reasons known only to them, think that this information imparts something of value to them beyond that you have demonstrated that you can go where your told…. and eat when your told to eat!! For me, it tells me you’re just interested in MORE extras work! Since I cast principal players only, I’m not likely to have you in for one of those. Also, if you list a role like “Partygoer” in a film, I’m likely to think you’re trying to dress up an extra role as if it’s a principal part. And I’m pretty good at smelling that out. One time, I had a stage mother give me a picture and resume’ of her daughter not realizing that the padding on her resume’ included a role named “Karen” on a film I had actually cast and knew there was no such character in the film!! Not something you want to have happen! So tell the truth. Being a beginner with a short resume is no crime and everyone in the business started somewhere. So list the principal roles you’ve got and don’t try to BS your way into the audition as I just end up not trusting you and that’s not the impression you want to make either!
Q. “Should I list my age on my resume’?”
A. Unless you’re under 18, do NOT list your age. It may make it more difficult for you to be cast in a different age range than your own. In addition, it is against the law for anyone to ask your age as a condition of employment (unless you are a minor) so if you’re asked your age at a casting, try to find a graceful way of deflecting the question with answers like, “Well, that depends…How old is the character?” or one of mymy favorites that I’ve heard, “I’m (fill in with an age that’s obviously WAY older than your own) years old!” And then ask, “Don’t I look great?!”
Q. “How do I get a general interview with you?“
A. I do generals only in the morning and set them up a day or two in advance due to the fact that my schedule changes so quickly on the whim of my clients so I have to position the generals accordingly. Feel free to call to try to set something up. However, we receive many information requests from actors which would require huge amounts of time if we were to return them all. If you get our voicemail, please don’t leave a message but continue calling periodically until you reach me at my desk and I can tell you about my availability for the next day or two or answer any other questions you may have. But try to read all of these first as the question you want to ask may have already been covered here and I’ll just refer you back to these FAQ’s.
Q. “Do you cast extras?“
A. No. Principal players only.
Q. “A producer wants to hire me but refuses to deal with anyone who has agency representation. Should I accept the offer and just not tell my agent?“
A. Anytime anyone offers you a role but refuses to deal with your agent, you should immediately be suspect of their intentions. If they don’t want to pay the agent’s commission, then tell them that you’ll pay your agent out of what they pay you and it shouldn’t matter to the client whether you’re represented or not. If they STILL don’t want to deal with your agent, AVOID the job as they’re most likely wanting to fly under the radar without oversight and you should be concerned. Agents are allowed to “invade” union scale to obtain their commissions under the union codes. Baring this concern, the only reason a producer would want to avoid dealing with your agent is because they intend to have as few witnesses looking over their shoulder while they take advantage of you. Your agent’s job is to look after your professional interests. Let them do it by discussing all bona fide offers with them.
Q. “What is The Screen Actors Guild or SAG-AFTRA?“
A. Screen Actors Guild and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have merged into SAG-AFTRA and they are the union that handles jurisdiction on anything shot for screen, web or television and recorded for radio. The Union regularly negotiates fair working minimum wages (known as SCALE) on behalf of their members with producers of the media on which actors work. They are also responsible for seeing that members are paid in a timely fashion and are hired under fair and reasonable conditions as outlined in the contracts covering employment of union actors. Signatories to these contracts (those who hire the actors) are bound to follow these standards, which are also enforced by the union under a system of fines for any breach of the contract. The union is made up of members who are major stars and those who are unknowns who work in professional, on-camera acting situations. Having the clout of ALL the members holding out for working conditions and proper wages, creates the leverage that they need to be able to insure a proper work environment and pay for EVERYONE whether your Tom Hanks or “Alphonso Schmotz!”
Q. “How do I join them?“
A. If you’ve been hired just once as a principal performer on a SAG-AFTRA job, you can elect to join the union. However, you can only do union work from then on. If you’ve been hired three times as an extra, you can also join the union. You can work on several union jobs but there are restrictions on just how many you can do in a given time period before you have to join in order to work that next job. So once you’re somewhere near your third principal union job, make sure you consult the SAG-AFTRA membership department to find out where your individual situation is regarding your eventual “must join” status. You don’t want to be surprised by this as it’s extremely problematic if you put yourself up for a casting without knowing what your situation is as you may be required to join on that job and need to factor that information in BEFORE you audition. People like me take a very dim view of actors who accept invitations to audition for jobs they’re not willing to join to do!
Q. “What does it cost to join SAG-AFTRA?“
A. If you join in Seattle, it’s $1150. If you join in Los Angeles, it’s $3000. If you join in Seattle and then move to Los Angeles to work, you’d have to make up the difference between the $1150 and the $3000. There are also dues that you pay to the union twice a year, or semi-annually or every six months depending on your preference. Besides negotiating far contract wages and conditions and protecting your interests, the union also provides healthcare and pension funds though the amount of benefits you enjoy is directly tied to how much work you’ve done through the union of offset the cost of that care.
Q. “I have a chance to join the union. Should I join or remain non-union?“
A. That’s a question that’s a very personal one but there are also some logistical issues to examine. You should assess the market in which you’re working to see how much of it is union and how much isn’t. But you should also figure out how serious an actor you want to be. Professional actors who care about the wages and working conditions they encounter throughout their career, should join a union that ensures those wages and conditions. The union uses the leverage of your greater abilities as an actor to negotiate for better contracts as the old ones expire. Furthermore, they also use the leverage of people like your fellow union members who are household names as clout to negotiate on your behalf. If you choose to remain non-union, make sure you know what the applicable union scale would have been on the job you’re accepting and accept only a rate that is commensurate with unions scale for the same type of work if it was a union job.
Q. “What is Financial Core or Fi-Core?“
A. Financial Core is a stipulation made available by the Supreme Court whereby A SAG-AFTRA Member can resign their membership and become a “Fee Paying Non-Member. Since you are no longer a member, you can’t vote or hold office and your dues go only toward paying of the maintenance and upkeep of the union and it’s structure like salaries, the light bill etc. Since you aren’t actually a member of the union, you can choose to do non-union work which seems on the face of it, attractive to some people. But just like everything, there’s a price to pay for your decision for remaining union or leaving the union and becoming Fi-Core. For instance, if you did a “Bill’s Burger’s of Burien” spot 5 years ago for $350 (a paltry sum to be sure!) and they’re still running it, you have a conflict when Burger King comes to town with a national commercial that could potentially pay you upwards of between $15k and $40K after residuals! All for the same day of work you did for Bill. That’s because you can’t have appeared in commercials for two conflicting products running at the same time. Also, if you’re stranded on a location in Squim, there is no penalty in place to leverage upon the client for having done so. Or, they can avoid paying you and there’s no one to go after them to make sure they do unless you try to sue them. But the greater damage from where I sit after being in a staunch union market and then a predominantly non-union market, is the erosion of wages and protections when there’s no incentive for people to join the ranks of the signatories to the union codes who then pay actors to appear in their productions. The main leverage to get productions to be union signatories is access to the better actors they’ll be able to hire if they do. If those actors are willing to work non-union, there’s no incentive for the productions to become signatory to the SAG-AFTRA codes.
Q. “How did the union form in the first place?“
A. Actors were facing a similar business climate they find themselves facing today in which their work is being devalued along with far too many other artists in all art forms. One of the most hollow benefits being offered to artists these days is “exposure”! This is an unfortunate symptom or our celebrity-worship-oriented society which places fame over actual achievement as the main meritocracy and value to be attained and celebrated. But that’s another story!! Anyway, the actors who were mostly all contract players of the studios, (regular employees) felt that they were being treated unfairly by the studios that employed them and they didn’t have any leverage to improve conditions and gain regular, cost-of-living increases to their wages. So they banded together and went on strike to attain both those gains and to also create the Screen Actors Guild and eventually The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists which has now merged into SAG-AGTRA. The union is only as strong as the unity of its members. That’s why even though they have long since stopped working at the union minimum (also known as scale) fellow members like Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie and George Clooney all strike with rank and file members in a show of solidarity and strike until ALL the members get contracts that are fair and reasonable. There’s no option for that if you’re non-union and if you’re Fi-Core, you’re diminishing the leverage the union wields by working non-union and worse, crossing picket lines when strikes happen.
Q. “I live in Egypt or New York and I’m going to send you my headshot and a link to my reel so that I can be cast through your office. Where do I send that?“
A. Actually, I get MANY emails from actors far outside the market where I’m based in the Pacific Northwest. But the sad reality is this, it costs money to fly-in and house actors who don’t live here in the region where the films I cast are going to be shot. SAG-AFTRA requires that actors be paid at a premium for their travel on top of having to have production pay for the flight and hotel. All this adds to the cost of production when they can usually find what they’re looking for in the local market without the added expenses. And if you’re out of the country and not a US citizen, it’s even MORE costly as work visa and immigration issues raise still more cost and time added to the process which is also an expense. I do occasionally offer work to people outside the market but it’s usually a “name” actor who’s participation in the project brings added marquee value to offset the cost to production that they’ll expect to make back at the box office based on that actor’s participation in the film. If I need to occasionally look outside the market for something that isn’t here, I use the various breakdown services to field submissions from professional agencies and I only do this if production sanctions it as an acceptable expense given the lack of local options. So please don’t send me an email with your information if you live outside of the Pacific Northwest as it’s a waste of your time and added junk in my already crowded “In” box. If you live outside the US and are truly serious about a career in the US film market, I advise you to go through the appropriate visa process for your particular situation and relocate to Los Angeles where most of the film and television situations are being cast.
Q. “I tend to get really nervous auditioning for a casting director and find that process so difficult, almost as if it’s an “obstacle” to getting work rather than a help. I get so distracted by my fears and worries while I’m auditioning and none of those things happen when I’m actually “WORKING” after the times I’ve actually gotten the job. How can I better navigate the rather “barbaric” casting process?“
A. Ever since my very first day in casting (I was directing the auditions for a Volkswagen for Mexico spot), I’ve had a truly soft spot in my heart for actors and the vulnerable place they actually go both in doing the work but especially, the audition where the rejection rate is somewhere around 95% for most working actors! My feelings haven’t changed after 31 years and close to a third of a million auditions. Although this area is capable taking up it’s own website let alone one question here, I’d like to express a few points. Everything we do is generated by either fear or love or…..we’re either moving TOWARD something or AWAY from something. Too many people spend their time at auditions trying to “not mess up” which is doomed to actually help you fail as a Study done at Harvard Medical School proved. So you want to focus on what you want more than what you DON’T want! If you are filling your consciousness with what you want to do with the character and actually looking forward to the chance to act and do something fun and not look at the audition process not as a means to an end, you’re already half way to a fulfilling experience. Notice, I’m not saying half way to “getting the job”. There’s a reason for that. If you look at the audition as a means to getting a job, you’ll be dooming yourself to wasting the time you spend auditioning. Why? Because people like me and my clients are looking for someone who’s coming in the door with artistry and interest in the construction of character, vision and the means to believably pull all that off. Too many actors come into an audition thinking, “I’m here to audition and if I’m lucky, I’ll get to ACT!” The truth is that acting is TOTALLY available to you in the audition and is a complete win in itself because no one gets into acting because they HATE it! They get into it because it’s fun and fulfilling for them to express their art as an actor. So auditioning has the same potential for fun and fulfillment! That’s an important distinction to make about the process that begins to remove the “barbaric” impression the process might have, otherwise! So look at the audition as an end in itself! Period! Do It! Go Out The Door! And Forget It!! And be grateful that in the middle of the day job you probably have if you’re like most actors, you got a chance to go and play and express your art! In the best of all worlds, it can lead to yet ANOTHER opportunity for fulfillment in doing MORE acting on the set and you’ll actually get paid for it! A true win/win. But the audition should be fun when you look at it that way. George Clooney calls auditioning, “Playing with house money!” which you’ll hear him better explain in this really great interview on the subject, Here.