Last Friday Meg and Sunny sent us our scenes. They had told us last week that they would be short scenes and that we’d be split into small groups and each group would have a different scene. Then we’d all take part in a mock audition and act as different people in the room: producers, directors etc. The scene my group got was from the movie “Loveless in Los Angeles”, a comedy from a few years ago that was a straight to DVD release. It was a short scene, just under a page so over the weekend I made my choices and memorized the scene. I felt I was ready for class on Tuesday.
My group ended up going last, so we watched as the first two groups did their scenes and took our own notes as though we were producers and directors. At the end of each group we discussed each person individually and then voted on if we would cast someone we saw or keep looking. It was interesting to hear what some people saw and what bugged people. For me I always noticed how a person entered and exited the room. It was something that I was taught at Lesly Kahn last year and it has really stuck with me. I try to be very conscious of how I enter and leave, especially how I leave, as that’s literally the last thing they’ll have from me.
Watching other people audition is also enlightening as an actor. You can see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes actors (and I’ve been guilty of this) end the scene before it’s actually done. Stay in the moment until the casting person says thank you or breaks the silence. As Meg and Sunny said, “Let us enjoy the moment and what just happened.” It can be a hard thing to do because as an actors we can feel that the silence is a very long time, when actually it’s a very short time. We have to remember to let casting end the scene, not us.
Next week we will be preparing two auditions: one that we will self tape by Monday night and the other one for Tuesday night class. Meg and Sunny gave great tips to keep in mind when self-taping. Some of the big ones: use a real person as your reader and camera operator, make sure the lighting is flattering, and test the file by sending to yourself before sending to casting so that it still works. Self-taped auditions are becoming more and more common in our current electronic age. And if you can be a local hire in another state you may be asked to put yourself on tape for the local casting director. Bottom line, don’t fight self-taping, embrace it. And I am ready to!
After our mock auditions were done, we talked about dos and don’ts in the audition room. Not giving everything away here, but here are some of my favorites. Big thing to remember, it’s OK to ask questions! It’s not a test when casting asks if you have any, they legitimately want to help you if you need clarification. Keep your eye line to the reader. If there are other characters you talk to, make their eye line either to the same reader or to the other side of the camera, don’t put them to the side of you or behind you. It’s also okay to use a prop, like your cell phone or a water bottle if need be. Don’t be afraid to do the action listed in the script, especially if that’s a majority (or all) that is in the sides. And finally, don’t be afraid to go all out. Just bring it, it’s your one chance to make an impression, so make one. Until next week…