Saturday, August 29, 2015

The frustration of too many directions.


It's been awhile since my last blog and it would be great to say I've been so busy acting that I haven't had time to write. But the truth is we're just getting out of the slow casting season (April - July). Finally things are picking up for major auditions. Yeah!

What I've been doing these last four months when things get slow is the same thing I advise others to do - stay busy doing creative stuff. Writing sketches, doing some improv work, reading an acting book, watching good films, updating resumes and headshots online, that kind of stuff. I've been teaching an improv class out in beautiful Malibu - and I join in on the warmups. That way I get paid to teach, and I get to keep up my improv skills.

Anyway - today's post is about the frustration off getting too many confusing and conflicting directions from a casting director (or more likely, a session director).

Okay, you have an audition - co-star role, three lines. What do you do if, when you enter the room, the CD says something like this:

"Okay, the character is angry, but not too angry, and we really want to see that he's actually vulnerable, but with an edge."

There's no way to do right by all those emotions in three lines. In fact I just recently had an audition like that. So, what did I do? I did what I thought was right for the character and picked the one direction the CD gave that jived with what I had been rehearsing. When I was done the CD said, "Okay, let's try it again and bring out the edginess a little more."

Once the CD saw my interpretation of the role, he was able to narrow down his direction a little more, which helped me on the next take.

So, in those situations, pick one or two character emotions, especially if it's a short audition, and use those. If you commit to them - and that's key - the CD will almost always do another take with you. And that's a good thing - CDs are seeing a lot of actors and they are not going to waste their time doing multiple takes with an actor they think sucks. In fact, in most cases, the more takes they do, the more interested they are in casting you. If they see something they like in your first take, they will work with you to get the role on tape that the producers want.

As always - enjoy the journey. And send your questions!