The entertainment industry is rough, man. We actors pound the pavement day after day to book one job, but you know what? It’s totally worth it. However, after some speculation, I began to wonder what Casting Directors could do to help us actors book that job more easily? What can they do to make our audition experience less stressful? They give us do’s and don’ts of what they need from us in the room. What if we did the same for them?
Well, I asked my actors friends for their thoughts on this and here is what we came up with:
1. Don’t waste our time.
2. Be nice. We are all in this together and we want to book the job. We want to help you find the perfect person - which we think is ourselves. So please be kind. There’s no need to be rude. You’re having a shit day? Chances are we are too. But we showed up and we are giving you our best. I’m not saying you have to applaud or give a compliment, but a smile hello and goodbye might be nice...
3. Be engaged. This is a job interview for us! I know that text message is calling you, but you have a job to do and we want to book said job so please pay attention. The only difference is you have a job already. See number 1.
4. For the love of God, cut us actors some slack. Having to learn 3 songs and 30 pages of sides in two days is ridiculous. And then asking us to just sing from our book. Seriously?! Chances are we paid for a voice lesson/coaching to learn all this material and then you don’t even want to hear it? No. Please be specific and considerate. Once again please see number 1.
5. Keep an open mind. Think outside of the box. That actor of color or actor with a disability might just be what you are looking for if only you gave them a chance.
6. Provide feedback to our agents. Did we do something wrong? How can we improve ourselves for the next audition? We want to know what it is so that we can do better.
7. Provide tracks for music you want us to learn. This will ensure we come in prepared and maybe we won’t have to keep spending so much money on a pianist to plunk through the notes. Money doesn’t just grow on trees.
8. Please please don’t make us submit an audition tape just to get an appointment. That’s why we have resumes and websites where you can see our work. Time is money. See number 1.
9. Casting workshops. The saying “pay to play”, well it sucks! We go to your industry workshops to learn from you what it is you want to see from us, so we can book that job. Please be respectful of our time and talent. We are PAYING you to give us constructive feedback. We want to better ourselves. We want to work. Be kind and truthful.
10. And last but not least, please be considerate; we are all human. How the audition process was decades ago is not the same as now.