Auditions that make me cry (in a good way and a bad way)

It has been forever.  Sorry about that.  I’ve been really busy with some exciting projects.  I really love casting and working with actors, and I hope that shows in my work.  I hope that actors love acting, but that love doesn’t always show.  I want to see that you want the role, but I don’t want to see that you need the role.  Desperation is not sexy; confidence is.

At a recent audition, I saw the pure magic that can happen when you match the right two actors with the right scene.  The honesty on display brought tears to my eyes.  The seamless work between these two virtual strangers (they met in the hallway approximately 30 seconds before the audition) was a testament to the power of acting.  It’s rare that something like this happens, but when it does, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Sometimes auditions make me cry in the other way.  I’ve been bored to tears.  Remember, this is your time: make it memorable.  Whatever you do, don’t be boring! Make choices! Even if your choices don’t work, at least you made them rather than giving me nothing. Also, don’t undermine your work by apologizing.  JUST DON’T DO IT.  A lot of actors feel the need to be self-deprecating, but the audition room is not the place.  I’ve seen an actor do a strong read but then destroy that work by criticizing himself.

“I wasn’t really connected that time.”

“That wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

“I was totally off.”

JUST KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! Let me and the director decide what we think of your audition, if we think you can do better, we’ll ask you to do it again.  Maybe, I thought it was fantastic, but you’ve told me it was bad: not only have you undermined your audition, but you’ve also insulted me. If you’re second guessing yourself in the audition, it’s likely that you’ll be second guessing yourself on set.  When you criticize your own work, it’s a red flag to directors that says “difficult to work with”. I’m sure that it’s mostly just nerves, but you have to learn to control the impulse to blurt out an apology after you finish the scene (even if you thought it was crap).

One more thing: if you still have to audition (meaning you’re not offer only), then you need to bring a hard copy of your headshot and resume with you at all times.  Period. End of sentence.  Don’t think your agent sent it.  Don’t think that everyone in the room is familiar enough with your work.  I have a newsflash for you: a lot of directors don’t watch TV or go to the theatre.  They may watch films, but mostly art house films or just the biggest blockbusters.  If you weren’t the star, they won’t remember who you were. Maybe they have seen you before, but you look different now. Don’t handicap yourself by making it harder to remember you.  At the end of the day, we’ll go through the headshots (not the video, that will come later) and if yours isn’t there you are more likely to be forgotten.

I try not to be too harsh.  Sometimes I scold actors because I want you all to do your best and not make detrimental mistakes.

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