I wanted to create an online resource for Actors. I will be interviewing Directors Agents, Managers, Actors Casting Directors and Producers I have worked with and love. The goal is to help you be informed and get some great tips and tricks to help you navigate this industry.
Corbin Bronson was the first Casting Director to cast me here in Los Angeles.
What is one of your biggest pet peeves when it comes to auditions?
There are so many things you can’t control as an actor in the audition room. The fact that you look just like the director ex, or the fact I didn’t get to eat lunch….all can affect your audition, but are out of your control. The one thing you can control is how much time you spent with the material and what shape it’s in when you walk in the door. Completely controllable. So I would say my biggest pet peeve is preparation. By preparation I do not mean being off book. No one is asking you to memorize it. Memorization doesn’t mean you’ve done the work. I can tell people are prepared when we sit and have a conversation, “At the bottom of 2 you made this choice and most everyone else is doing something else, why?” Those conversation about how you broke down the scene and the thoughtful choices you are making in the scene show me you have spent time with the material and you aren’t just crossing your fingers and hoping it goes well…you are prepared. Other casting people might say their pet peeve is shaking hands, or wearing too much perfume…that’s not me.
What are three things you wish all actors did when they come to audition for you?
1) ask questions if they have any. Often the breakdown is cryptic at best and you can’t tell from the 3 pages you have “what is my relationship to this other character, my brother?” – “How do I pronounce this main characters unusual name so I don’t butcher it for the next 3 pages”. All questions you should ask before you start.
2)Realize that an audition isn’t about figuring out how to make a personal connection in the room. Too often that zippy on-liner or precocious story just fall flat because that’s not what the audition room is for. It’s all about what happens between “action and cut”, it’s about nothing else. If you really want to stand-out, do really well between action and cut.
3) Don’t judge how well the audition went by how many times you did it in the room. One has nothing to do with the other. I see people everyday do it once and get the job, and I see people everyday do it 5 times and never come close to getting the job. I see too many people auditions end in like this: I say “Great, thank you very much” and they say “That’s it? We aren’t going to do it again…aren’t you going to give me notes?”. This isn’t acting class. An audition is about whether or not the Casting person has what they need…not the other way around.
What are you looking for besides talent?
It’s all talent related, but I have 1 line to cast and I also have 100 lines to cast. I need to know actors of all shapes and sizes…and experience. I am constantly reading new people, I never want to feel like I know everyone because that’s impossible. Some of the newer actors I find might start out reading for some smaller roles, but as time passes and I see growth of course I’ll have them in for bigger and bigger opprotunities.
Can you tell when actors are letting nerves get the better of them?
Absolutely All we do is audition actors all day everyday. I have seem upwards of 100,000 auditions, easily. Casting people can tell actors who are nervous, or having a bad day, or that their head is someplace else. Sometime we can help and sometimes we can’t, but we’ll definitely have you back in the future.
We can also tell the actors who are looking at it for the first time in the waiting room because they have too many other things going on. They get in the room and their nerves are because they are unprepared. Very easy to tell the difference….those are the actors we don’t have back. If the later is ever you…don’t go on the audition. You’ll do more harm than good. You have to let that one go.
Advice for actors who are just starting out or haven’t been auditioning much?
Just know the casting directors want it to be you. We always want it to be the next person that walks in the door. We have you back and are there to help.
Should actors work on building relationship with casting directors? And what is and isn’t recommended? Build a relationship by always showing-up on time and being prepared. Those are the actors I want to work with for the rest of my career. Those actors are memorable.
If you have any questions about the industry you want answered make sure you email Kimberley@kimberleycrossman.com and I will do my best to answer them or find the best person to interview on your behalf.