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Pieces of Advice for New Actors Going Through the Casting Process (The Producer's Perspective)

Here is some advice that might help new actors from the side of people selecting the actors for the roles.

The casting process can be the most rewarding process for the creators of a project. It is when they find that actor that embodies their character and really brings the story to life. But for actors, especially new actors, it can be just as stressful as it is fulfilling. There is a lot to navigate while auditioning & submitting yourself for roles, especially if it is your first time. It can feel daunting and be hard to figure out what to do. It is not often as well that you hear from showrunners or producers on what they expect from actors throughout the whole process. In this post, while we could never tell an actor how to act, we will give you some advice and things to keep in mind as you navigate the casting process as a new actor.

Don’t Take Any of it Personally

I know at some points it is easy to take it personally and think that the reason you were passed over is because you "weren't good enough". However, it is key to know;

it is almost never about whether or not you are talented enough. It is more so about whether or not you fit the part. It’s similar to the idea of perfect casting. Every production is aiming to reach perfect casting. In many of the hundreds and thousands of submissions that casting directors get daily, there are some that stand out not because they are the better talent, but because they embody the existence of the character in ways that just fit. We believe every actor that submits is talented, and has the capacity to build a strong acting career. Which is why many times casting directors resort to being strict with their selection.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with talent, and instead has to do with simple things. Does the character need to be a fighter? Then it might go to someone who already has stunt training. Are you shorter than the love interest they’ve already cast? Then they might give it to someone taller. Sometimes the reasons are not within your control. But never let that discourage you. Every actor has a part out there that they are meant to play. You never know; the casting director may be holding onto your contact information for a future project that you might be better suited for.

Trust Yourself

That is no one out there who can believe in you and will take a bet on you more than you. It is important first and foremost throughout the whole process to trust yourself, and have the courage to believe in yourself. The casting process, while exciting can sometimes be an incredibly hard thing to go through. Often times, many actors face more rejection than they do reward. But those are the moments where perseverance is needed. If being an actor is what you want to do, then go after it with your whole heart. Because like we mentioned, every actor has a part out there that they are meant to play.

This doesn't just apply to continuing on in the profession. It also applies to auditioning. It is important to trust yourself when performing in the role, and in the choices that you make. You need to be sure of your decisions in the role. Whether direction may come after is not something to be worried about before. It is important to perform with confidence and conviction. Trust your instincts and your decision making as an actor.

Give Yourself The Best Chance

Castings aren't just opportunities to get to be in a film or television show, but opportunities for work. The same way you would for a job interview, it is important to give yourself the best chance possible going into your audition and throughout the casting process overall. Here are some basic things to keep in mind while going through the casting process.

Sometimes First Impressions Do Matter

Sometimes the way you present yourself in your audition from attendance, tardiness, behaviour, etc. will paint a picture of you in terms of how you work. It seems a bit much, however, those in charge of casting aren't just looking to work with a good talent, but also with a good person. Follow the average rule of thumb; don't be late to your audition. Also, even if you are tired, never complain about the length of time it took you to get there or how long you’ve been waiting (yes I have had this happen before). Much of the casting process is a waiting game on both sides, and this almost never paints a good impression. Also, it is good to remember that the casting team has likely been there longer than you. Treat it like you are there for a job interview; you are here to convince someone to give you the job. These are people that you may be working with for month. On both sides of auditioning, professionalism matters always.

Better Be Safe Than Sorry

It is better to be over prepared than under prepared, especially in casting. So give yourself the best chance possible before your audition begins. Every casting call comes with a breakdown with details of what the casting director and producers are looking for. Read all of the details first before you prepare for your audition. You may not think it is necessary to go over every single detail, but we would highly recommend doing so. Not only does it give you all the information you need, but it may answer the questions you have before you reach out to the casting team with questions. While we don't discourage people from reaching out to the casting team, we recommend that you be as prepared as you can before you do. Give yourself the best opportunity possible in every way you can. Which leads me to my next peace of advice, or point to keep in mind.

Do as Many Takes as You Want

This especially applies to self tape requests; never submit the first take. Being prepared is always better than winging it. When you wing it, or go into an audition without properly reading the work, it not only causes you unnecessary stress, but it makes it harder for casting directors and producers to get a good idea of who you are in the role. A bad and unprepared read can you put you at the disadvantage. If you're submitting a self tape, do it over multiple times. Allow yourself the freedom to mess up, re do it and give yourself the best chance before hitting submit. If however, your first audition is in person, practice for as long as possible. Read it over multiple times, mark it up, and make the choice you want to make for how you will play the character.

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

As much as you should do your homework ahead of time, it is never wrong to ask a question. Sometimes technical issues may arise during the casting process where maybe you can’t find the contact, or the sides. It is okay to ask for clarification if something has confused. It is okay to ask for the sides if you can’t find them. Sometimes things do go wrong when setting up the auditions and when asking for submissions. So it is never be afraid to ask questions, or raise an issue. Just make sure you check all that is available to you before you do. It may save you time and help get you more prepared than if you are sitting waiting for the casting director to answer your email.

Also, this applies not just to advice but also to different scenarios throughout the process. If during the audition process, something does come up, don't be afraid to let the casting team know. Sometimes there are things without your control, be it a family emergency or illness. If for whatever reason you can't make your audition, let the casting team know what is going on and the reasons. It is better to reach out then to just not show because again, first impressions do matter. You may get the chance to reschedule your audition.

In Conclusion.....

Casting can be a stressful process, but if you give yourself the best chance possible, it can be the most rewarding. We wish you the best of luck with your next auditions!

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