Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wearing two hats this week

I'm late posting because this week has seen me on both sides of the camera. I'm still casting for my talk show, so I'm wearing a casting director hat, and I had an audition for a popular TV show with one of my favorite casting directors.

Whenever I have to cast something I'm creating, I get a whole new appreciation to the CD's job. Besides talking to some great actors, I also get the flakes (they either never show up for the audition, or call at the last minute to cancel or reschedule). And many of these attach the most enthusiastic notes to their submissions: "This is perfect me!" "I really would like to do this show!!!", etc.

I know this is just a little internet show, with no pay for now, but you knew that when you submitted. And I've talked to major CDs and they get the same stuff - actors showing up late, or not showing up at all, or showing up unprepared.

Or, what really drives most CDs crazy - when the actor shows up to audition, and they look really different from their headshot. Like they call in a woman with long, blonde hair and she shows up with short, brown hair, and says "I decided to change my look, but I haven't had time to get new headshots." Or the guy with a beard shows up and he's shaved it "Oh, I can grow it back in a few weeks." Yeah, well the show shoots in four days. Or, he thinks that he's such a great actor that they will hire him and have the hair and makeup department put a beard on him. Unless you're a star, the answer is "No," they won't do that because it costs more money, it's a time-consuming hassle, and they can't be sure of how it will look until it's done and you're on the set. And there are usually a bunch of other actors - with beards - who can do the role as well.

I know I sound all grumpy on this post, and like I said, some of the actors I've heard from are great, but I lose patience quickly when it comes to actors who think this business is all a game and that you don't have to act like a professional. Yes, acting should be fun and creative, but it's also a business - people are spending time and money to put you on camera, even if it is only for a little internet talk show.

And me? Well, I'll confess - I have shown up for auditions late a few times, but that's usually only if there's a window of time. And once or twice I've not been as prepared as I would have liked. But I try to remember times like this when I'm wearing the CD's hat, and do my best to be professional when a CD has been good enough to call me in and take their time to audition me.



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