Diving Into Talent Pool Questions and Comments
One of the great things about being a casting director with a podcast is that I get to talk directly to you and answer questions that I receive every week. Do you
know what to do after an audition? Do you know how to list background work on your resume? Do you have an audition story that you need to make sense of? This will be answered along with your other questions and comments on this episode of Casting Actors Cast.
First Name: Camilla
Message: Love love love, listening on the podcast! Have been listening over n over again. Love to get the pdf book you recommended. Thank you!! /Camilla, Sweden
My name is Michael Kaurene and I am an actor local to NYC. I just started listening to your podcast literally 30 minutes ago and am so excited to listen to every episode you have so far as well as future episodes.
Your insight is really valuable and thank you.
You mentioned you wanted to hear audition stories and I would love to share one where I'm not sure exactly what I did right, but I have not been able to duplicate it since.
In 2018 I was getting really emotional about not booking recurring stand in roles while doing full-time stand in and background work. On set one day I just decided I had to shift my focus from the background to the foreground and on that day a non-exclusive manager of mine asked me to drive down to Baltimore and audition for a SAG feature film called Magic Hour. I said 'no' because minutes before that call, Background Inc. called me to book me in the background of a commercial for the same day (which made me very happy because they essentially pay twice the rate of a film/TV background day.)
I was ecstatic to get the commercial BG job but upset that I just declared to the universe how I want more and then turned down my opportunity to have more. Minutes later my manager called back and said the audition was moved to the next day and I took it immediately.
I was emailed a one-3.5 page scene and I immediately got to work. I read it over and over again - it was for a 15 year old 'geek' with braces trying to ask out a female student (who was wearing a neck brace) to the dance. At the time I was 31 years old. I read the character breakdown and made sure to wear EXACTLY what they described him as wearing. I also found a picture from when I was 15 and made my hair and face look as close to that picture as possible. On the morning of my audition I recorded myself reading it and listened to it for the entire 3.5/4 hour drive to Baltimore.
When I walked into the casting office I saw that no other actor was wearing what the character description said which I thought was strange. After a couple minutes I got called into the room where the casting director was and she said "before we start why don't we just go over it once?"
After the read she said "that was good, but your character is more of an asshole type than a nerd type. Are you ready?" I replied I was and we read it once more and she thanked me and I left. On the way out I had felt like I nailed it which rarely happens. 3 weeks later the casting office called me directly to book me for a completely different role and Magic Hour ended up being a working title for Wonder Woman 1984.
I am sharing this because while I felt like I had finally figured out a great process for auditioning and auditioning prep I have only booked one role since then leading me to think I have no idea what I did right in that audition.
Thank you for your advice, your podcast and the opportunity to share my story. I look so forward to continuing to listen!
Quick question. I have done background and been a stand-in on a couple of hundred television and film productions in the past several years. I know ALOT about working on set, including lingo, decorum, etc. Is there any way to communicate this on my Acting resume without looking like a backgrounder for life?
Your loyal fan,
From: Kevin Elden
Thu, Oct 14, 1:43 PM (3 days ago)
Jeffrey Hope all is well with you and that you’re office and personal life is “normalizing.” Love your podcast. I had an idea for you. I’ve been coaching young actors privately and one of the most consistent
questions I get asked is What to do once the piece ends and there’s that uncomfortable time right after. Many say they
don’t know whether to stay, to immediately leave, to wait for some kind of response, to just stand
there but all say it’s an uncomfortable and oftentimes weird feeling. I think it would be great to address this for your side of the table and also your view as an actor
and what directors and CD’s do or see or view that moment. Cheers. K
First Name: Patrick
Message: Hi Jeffrey, I’m a young actor, fresh to auditioning for the co-star/guest star level! I’ve been listening to your podcast and love all the knowledge I’m gaining! THANK YOU :)
First Name: Bevon
I just watched your latest video. Thank you for the reminder that this profession is a marathon. That was comforting to hear today, especially because, even though zoom readings and virtual productions are great, this pandemic has been the longest I've gone without being on stage and feeling the energy from the team, onstage and behind the scenes, and the audience since I was a kid. (And of course that actor-y feeling from having a break between shows creeps in and it feels like I've never been on stage before and I never will again! Did you ever get that feeling when you were acting?)
I'm so glad the podcast is getting so popular! I quote you and promote the show to my actor friends pretty regularly. I just wanted to reach out and say that I'm surprised more people don't watch the youtube channel - personally, I really like seeing the excitement in your eyes that you get from helping us actors out, and your encouraging smile. I will continue to watch and talk it up!