Make sure you stay in the moment until you are 100% sure that the camera is off. Great takes are ruined when an actor breaks before we are done. Also, don’t be so quick to judge! So many good takes ruined by an actor saying, “well that was no good.” Let us determine if you need another take.
You rehearsed it and rehearsed it and you still forgot that line. Now we are watching you mentally tune out as you tell yourself what a bad moment that was for you. And Now you just dropped another line because of the previous mental beating you were giving yourself.
What do you do?
First, take a breath and stop beating yourself up. Ask yourself the following question: when you are speaking and saying something important, does it always come out exactly the way you planned it? When you are feeling all of the feelings (like when you act out a set of sides), is it ever just how you imagined? Unless the writer is sitting in the room with you (a rare occurrence), dropping or stumbling on a line is okay. Really. Move on.
Here is what we do care about: we care that you keep listening, we care that you continue to have an organic conversation with your reader while making character choices, AND you have to keep it simple. You have to forgive instantly. If something comes out of your mouth unplanned, it’s okay. We do not have a secret word accuracy scorecard.
If you make the choice that your flub cannot be forgotten or forgiven, and you are 1 page in or less in your sides, stop, ask to do it again, and do so. Don’t apologize. Things happen.
You will hear this time and time again in this blog, because it is so important to what we do: we are there to make you comfortable. We are there to help you get the job done, thus getting our job done. If you drop a line, pick yourself back up quickly- refocus and forgive. We aren’t keeping score and neither should you.
I am sitting here doing some work and looking at a full lobby of actors. It is 2:46PM and my session starts at 3:00PM, one actor every ten minutes. Right now, technically, our lobby should contain an eager new intern and a water cooler. At 2:55PM, perhaps I should have one actor in the lobby.
This leads us to today’s topic: WHEN DO I SHOW UP? The answer is simple. Show up as close to the time your agent gave you as possible. We always give an exact time for every actor.
Our lobby is not the right place for you to do a full mental warm up for you to get ready to audition Our lobby is where you sit, five to seven minutes before your appointment, pull your sides out of your bag, run them once and wait for us to call you.
Particularly frequent offenders are parents with children who are auditioning. Listen, we totally get it. Maybe you drove from Jersey or Connecticut and are just relieved that you made it to the city on time, so you automatically come to our office, 45 minutes before your child’s appointment. This won’t help you in the end: our lobby is small, and you and your child will wait, which, in the end isn’t good for you or your child.
Coming too early, we have noticed, often causes a mental spiral within the mind of the actor. Time seems to stretch out. You may see too many other actors before or after you and start second guessing yourself. “How am I here when she’s here too? She’s totally going to get this part.”
Everyone has that right to have that same peaceful experience. Our schedules are designed with the actor in mind. Crowded lobbies make for lots of talking and noise. And upset or distracted actors make off audition choices.
Please understand that we are being anything but cold here. We want our office to feel warm and inviting, because we want you to audition well! We want you to have those five to seven minutes to tune out the hectic subway ride and to focus in on the job ahead of you.
Help us help you. Right on time is the way to go.
Welcome to our blog! For our first entry, we are giving away the biggest tip possible about auditioning for on-camera work, or any acting work. Ready?
Auditioning and acting are two different skills, and if you don’t audition well, you don’t get to act.
This was the motivation for starting our LAB two and a half years ago and except for an intimate 200 students, we are a well-kept industry secret. We have officially decided that we want to be the popular girls and are inviting you to the party.
Laura has been auditioning actors for 26 years, and I have been at it for 10. After seeing and appreciating what actors do in the room all this time, one would think that we’ve seen it all, but then someone comes in and does something truly memorable and blows us away with a simple performance choice that makes him or her stand out. We get to see what makes people talented firsthand. It’s what makes the job fun.
With the good and beautiful moments come some interesting adrenaline-based fails. We started to gather some of the common mistakes and wrote some curriculums to help actors get better at all types of auditioning, from self-taping, to commercial auditioning, to the particularities of the callback audition.
Here’s one tip: a lot of what makes someone good at auditioning is knowing how to use your social life experience to read a room. Is the casting director trying to chat with you to get to know you better? When do you quiet down and do the work? Do we shake hands? How do we stay in touch? Do I ask for another take because I didn’t like that one?
You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers that come from a position no one else has in the industry. Come back to the site for more blog tips, and maybe check the calendar and join us for a LAB or two. You won’t be sorry.