NY actors are
buzzing about the unprofesssionalism of a casting person who tweeted during an
recent casting session. Real time tweets about actors being auditioned were
sent out for the twit world to see.
First, let's all try
to get over the shock of finding out that casting people are human, and at
times unprofessional. That someone would take the time to secretly tweet
about what was happening in front of them as artists were trying their best to perform the text/song at hand is surely disrespectful. But
really…is this a shock? Casting directors and assistants get just as jaded as
actors and they too disrespect the process at times. Actors..have you ever
stepped in an audition and took your discomfort for the process out on the people
watching you? I have.
So, let's be sure we don't lose
the great lesson in this "scandal." there is much to learn from the
content of the tweets. The few I read were about things that actors can
control. It wasn't like it was an all out assault on tall girls or guys who
wear blue, it was things about the artists in the room that can, and should, be avoided.
In my book I talk
about the things in an audition that you can control. One tweet was- “If we
want to see it another way, we’ll ask you, now get out” or something to that
effect. Hear the lesson, not the insult. It's good advice. Do your work and
leave. The people in the audition are looking for a solution to a problem. If
they see an inkling of opportunity in you toward that solution, they will
investigate. They know you’re an actor and capable of doing more than one thing
with a piece of text. Can you see how pointing out the obvious might feel like
an insult to them?
ask yourself why you would do that? What makes you offer more than your
reading, at the end of your reading? Could it be you think you left something
out? Or are you just being a full service actor complete with the helpful
information that they should know you‘re capable of much, much, more? Maybe you
think increasing your time in the room will increase your chances of being
loved for the part?
Then there was this
tweet- “who is in this picture? because it isn’t the girl in front of me” another controllable embarrassment.
Yes, you’ve been
told over and over “get in the door!”
but I say it’s better to get BACK in the door after you’ve been there
the first time than it is to get in on a premise that makes your return a long
shot. Have a headhsot that looks like you when you walk through the door.
That’s a choice you make. Why are you sending in a picture that would make
someone secretly tweet “Who is this person…?”
You may be saying
right now, "I get a lot of
calls with this picture, and not so many with this one, so I go with the one
that opens doors and I don't care if it looks like me or not." Okay. How's that working for you? Are
you making it back into places that were looking for your type after they saw
that your picture was the right type but your real life appearance isn't? Do
they still call you in based on your reading, regardless of the mislead of your
picture? If so, then I'm wrong in
your case, but I bet you I'm right more than I'm wrong about this. In fact I
know I am.
This scandal isn’t
that big a deal, but gosh what insight this casting person gave us. We can make better choices about how we
effect that casting world and our careers. Our talent should be the thing we
don’t control, let that fly every which way to grow and deepen. The mechanics
of auditioning however are controllable. Take advantage of the few things you
have influence over, and let your influence be the thing you leave behind.