Thursday, February 7, 2013
THE ART OF THE AUDITION
All kinds of things can go wrong... the reader could suck. The Casting Director/Director/Producer could be tired... hungry... distracted. The role could already be going to the producers girlfriend. Here's a few tips to make the best of a bad situation...
What you must keep in mind is that an audition is not a chance to get a job... it is a chance to do your craft. If you look at it this way, I'm sure you will book more, and be happier in the long run.
As an actor, you must bring that element into an audition that is uniquely you. Make the strongest choices. Be so good that everyone in the room is impressed. Even then, you may not get the job. But that's not your goal... Your goal is to book the room. Book the CD. Book the Director, Producer, etc. Because it may not be this project... it may be the one down the road that the CD thinks you may be perfect for.
Producers are looking to piece together the puzzle. Trying to find the right actors, with the right overall cast dynamic. Do not get discouraged if you are reading over and over and over and not getting cast. At least you keep getting called back.
The number one problem I see with actors is that they take too many beats. Not every scene is up for an Academy Award ®. Every moment of the scene doesn't need to be drawn out. Most dialogue can be thrown away... after all... it's not what's on the page that counts... it's the conflict between the lines.
Early in my career, I was reading once for casting director Mike Fenton (Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, ET)... after the scene he said "nice, you did what's on the page... now do what's not." It changed my take on the scene. It changed my take on acting. Thank you, Mike.
The other problem I see is that most actors move too much... and their performance loses focus. Stand still, focus on the reader... perform as if it were a closeup projected onto a 40 foot screen - because that's where it may end up. If you are moving all the time, then your movements don't mean anything. Instead, use movement to accent certain key moments.
Lastly, if the director gives direction... take it. Be adaptable. If you don't understand the direction, ask for clarification. Take time to process the change... don't just say "yeah, yeah, I got it..." then do the same exact read as the one previous.
Know your place in the scene... know your place in the story... and never forget, the audience is watching... you are there to move the story forward, and to entertain the audience.
Break a leg.