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The Callback

You got a call back? Now What!


I find it quite humorous when I call an actor to offer a callback after their audition. Sometimes the actor seems genuinely surprised. As if they are caught off-guard with unexpected news. I know that auditions come with their own set of doubts, nerves and issues but the callback should be a happy event and not a surprise. That said, when the callback happens it is time to take a breath and take the next step. Preparing for a callback is a crucial step in the audition process for actors. It indicates that you have made an impression, and the casting team wants to see more of how you are going to play the part. Here are 11 tips to help you prepare for a callback:

  1. Review the Material:

Go over the callback sides or scenes thoroughly. Understand the context, your character's objectives, and the relationships with other characters. Pay attention to any specific directions or notes given during the initial audition.

  1. Stay Consistent:

Maintain the choices you made during the initial audition. The casting team saw something they liked, so try to recreate that performance while also being open to adjustments and direction.

  1. Explore Depth:

Take the opportunity to explore deeper layers of your character. Consider different nuances, emotions, or interpretations that you may not have shown in the first audition. Add more depth to your performance. Try a variety of choices to add colors to the material.

  1. Research the Project:

Learn more about the project, director, and the style of the production. Understanding the overall context can help you tailor your performance to better fit the vision of the casting team.

  1. Dress Appropriately:

Wear appropriate attire that reflects the character you are auditioning for and is in line with the tone of the project. Do NOT wear a costume. Meerly suggest the character in your clothing choice. This can help the casting team visualize you in the role. Many actors choose to wear the same thing they wore in the first audition.

  1. Arrive Early and Prepared:

Be punctual for the callback and arrive well-prepared. Bring multiple copies of your headshot and resume. Familiarize yourself with the location and any specific instructions you may have been given for the callback.

  1. Be Open to Direction:

Casting directors or directors may provide specific feedback or direction during the callback. Be open to adjustments and show that you can take direction effectively. This flexibility is often appreciated and speaks well about your technique.

  1. Stay Relaxed and Focused:

Manage nerves by taking deep breaths and staying focused on the task at hand. Remember that the casting team is interested in seeing your best work and wants you to do well, so try to stay relaxed and confident. Don’t think that you are in a callback but treat it like a rehearsal (as if you already booked the part!)

  1. Build on Previous Feedback:

If you received feedback during the initial audition, use the callback as an opportunity to apply any constructive criticism or suggestions. Show that you are receptive to feedback and continuously improving.

  1. Connect with Others:

If the callback involves scenes with other actors, (chemistry read) establish a connection with them. Friendly rapport with scene partners can enhance the overall performance and make you stand out.

  1. Express Gratitude:

Thank the casting team including other attendee’s (reader, producer…) and express your gratitude for the opportunity. A positive and professional attitude can leave a lasting impression.

Remember, callbacks are a chance for you to showcase your skills and solidify your place in consideration for the role. Approach the callback with confidence, preparation, and a willingness to collaborate with the casting team. It can also represent a potential booking, advancement of your career, an opportunity to perform. What could be better! Sometimes, however, the callback can be terrifying. As you get closer to your callback, finding a professional approach by reviewing these steps is the answer. One thing that cannot be taught is, what I call, the JOY of performance. When that energy is evident, it can create a wonderful moment for the actor and the creative team who will now want to hire you!


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