Hi Film Folk!
“I don’t know what young actors think of the casting process, but what I can recommend to them is be very well prepared. I’m amazed when a young actor would come in and, for example, not know the lines. Also, be open to take direction. And don’t bring in your ‘traffic drama’: don’t bring loads of coats, bags, coffees, drama about the tube journey.
Entering and leaving the room is a skill. As a Casting Director you’re meeting people all day long and it’s really exhausting, you’re trying to give each of those people your time and your attention. Enter the room and leave the room, that’s the first you should learn. Don’t wear stripes or citrus colours, as it makes the camera jump and whoever is watching your tape will be very distracted if you’re wearing something with loads of pattern. Be mindful of your appearance – you want to look at your best.
Sometimes, there’s a level of over enthusiasm or nervousness that could be quite off putting, but I would really make sure that anyone who is like that dials it right back before they meet a Director.
It’s a really good thing to be off book, because the camera will catch more of your eye line – and it won’t if you’re constantly looking down. This is really basic stuff, but you’d be amazed at how so many people are not aware of that.
This goes back to being well prepared. Be professional, be on time and be committed.”
“Probably to my detriment I see things as a two-way street. Producers assume an actor is desperate for work but the only power we have is the power to choose wisely since every choice has consequences for a career. I think not feeling desperate is an important weapon in your arsenal as an artist.
I once auditioned for a Vampire film and said ‘no’. Three days later I got the call from Steven Spielberg saying ‘will you come and do Schindler’s List’? “ Imagine! That was a life-changing experience! We must believe there is something around the corner if we are are committed to our craft, and if it feels wrong, no matter how much money they’re offering (for the Vampire one it was a lot more than Spielberg) don’t do it!!”
Final Thoughts for 2015
“No one likes this advice but the advice is: you’ve just got to make your own stuff. You’ve got to make stuff and you’ve got to keep making stuff. There is no excuse not to. You know what you think you are good at. Don’t wait for someone to guess that about you. Just make it yourself. It’s not about money, it’s never about money.
At minimum you can get a room above a pub and read something out. You can do that for free. Or on the street!
Everybody has a phone which has filmmaking functions on it, so you can make stuff and put it on the internet. That probably won’t be your big break but one day it might be. You have to keep doing that until someone notices.
The people who work are the ones too stubborn to give up.”
“Go for it. Work: work begets more work. Keep going, keep doing plays and just crack on. Then opportunities will come your way.”
Any questions/thoughts/experiences of your own??? Leave a comment below! Have a great week!