Being Selected for an Acting Role: Before and During Auditions
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Being Selected for an Acting Role: Before and During Auditions

There is no right or wrong actor but a number of actors who are there at the right time, who may ‘look’ right, or who happen to fit the part because of some inner quality that the director wants for his film. Besides it is also common for actors to drop out and for new ones to fill in and make a name for themselves.

There is no right or wrong actor but a number of actors who are there at the right time, who may ‘look’ right, or who happen to fit the part because of some inner quality that the director wants for his film. Besides it is also common for actors to drop out and for new ones to fill in and make a name for themselves.

It is common knowledge to have a headshot to make it in the industry but the director will likely want to have you on video even though you have a photo for every facial expression. Having a variety of shots may show that you are able to play various roles. Doing a brainstorming is one idea of getting as many types of expressions out by the way. This is a good tactic especially if you are going to look for character work. Don’t rely on just a standard three quarter view because one has to help the casting director decide the limit at which you are able to express yourself.

Having an experienced photographer who knows the value of portrait shots will help the novice actor. Photographers can play with the light at different angles in order to simulate the lighting of a potential set; the actor can take advantage of front, side or back lighting techniques when he has facial characteristics that are more apparent at a particular angle. This would assist the director in being able to understand the extent that a particular face can fit a villain role more easily than another because of how the lighting makes a face looks more sinister. This way photos taken at different angles and lighting will save the director time in seeing if your face can fit a certain mood in the film.

Certain agencies will ask you to attach a resume on the back others will just ask you for an electronic version of your resume as well as a photo. This is because they may be too flooded with on-line responses or value people who have a physical address that they can reach when it comes to sending a scene breakdown that won’t be sent via email. A professional resume is one that lists your credits from the most recent gig to the earliest in three columns. Padding information there is ill-advised. The first column show state the title of the performance, play or film. The second should list the type of role it was, be it actor, starring or somewhere in between and the third column should list the name of the production company behind the event.

It is true that directors will forget faces as anyone else, so today video clips are sent and kept to back up their photo stock; sending diverse shots and small monologue clips, taken at different angles, will help to convince that that you can fit a variety of roles. Giving in a clip with you interacting with others, will actually show what your real worth is as you relate to them in a particular scene. Directors want to know how you can feed off from another actor and how you can contribute to the energy on stage or in front of the camera. Standing out from other actors is a key to success and in getting discovered and in continuing on.

How you present yourself for an audition is just as important as how you present yourself for employment, if not more. If you know you look better with a certain color, go for it; avoid wearing drab colors when a brightly hued shirt will make your skin tone stand out. Similarly when you present yourself, come in with a pleasant manner and look confident, even if you're nervous to begin with. Being overly shy in any interview can be taken the wrong way and make you look like someone who needs a lot of coaching in order to deliver your lines properly.

The casting director might open up his auditons by a simple question and answer period. Here is where he will be able to make eye contact with you and see your confidence level. If you are being asked questions about other talents, then it is best that you do not overdo it and speak out of turn. Being good humored also helps just as it would help at the job place. No one wants to hire a chatter mouth that is moody. The casting director, director or producer is not there to know your life story, so keep to the point when you reply and be cheerful when you do.

When auditioning for a theatre piece chose a monologue that is up to date and something that will allow you to be yourself. In other words if you cannot see yourself playing a Native American role which may be somewhat narrative, than chose another figure at another time. Sometimes going in with two monologues will show your acting range. Practicing with another member of the family who can read the other part will help you get off text enough for you to look real. In some cases there are no monologues to do and you might be asked to do a cold read instead or you may be asked to do both.

Practicing  with an on-camera technique before auditioning for a theater part may assist the new actor in learning the use of his space relative to the other actors. Once the theatre scene is filmed he can then see the physical distances he has been relative to the other participants and this might assist him as he moves in and out of a certain scene.

If it is a musical you are going for remember to select a music piece that allows you to keep a certain key and prevent you from sounding flat. Practicing this piece without a musical accompaniment may prepare you for those auditions where a piano or other accompanying instument is not present. Sometimes a call back is given because your tonality is liked well enough for a second trial. This means that extra practice should be made to clinch the part; preparing a variety of songs will give the listener a better chance to discover your vocal range and durability. He will want to see that the voice can be projected and you can reach high and low notes without faltering or being hesitant.

When getting the part, it is a good idea to go with what you get, getting a small role does not mean you are a poor actor. There have been plenty of stage and film actors who kept their craft going and have been an essential part of the team they worked on. Wanting a big part to begin with might be pushing your luck and make you look greedy. Again the director might purposely select you for a smaller part to see if he can work with you on larger scale later on. If he grants you a large role to begin with, consider yourself lucky but be prepared that the same luck may not happen frequently.

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Comments (1)

A fascinating insight into the creative process.