Posted in Filmmaking

Tips from a Former Casting Associate


Many actors think that the audition is just reading the lines. But many casting directors will deny this, and it’s a fact: the audition is everything you do from the moment you walk through the door until the moment you walk out. The actual reading is only part of your audition. The casting director wants to see not just your acting talent, but your talent and professionalism.

Here are some tips from a former casting associate…

Don’t Shake Hands

Just assume that everyone in the room is a germaphobe. Think about it — the casting director is seeing dozens of actors throughout the day. He or she doesn’t want to shake hands with each and every actor that walks into the room. A polite nod and smile will do.

Don’t Make Small Talk

We know you were stuck for an hour in traffic, and we know you had to travel across Los Angeles. But revealing these details will only make you appear desperate. You want to come off as warm and easy-going, not as someone who’s had a rough day. Which leads us to…

Only Respond when Spoken To

Oftentimes actors will come in and just dive into their life stories. While it’s important to make conversation if the casting director, director, or producer in the room starts asking questions and is genuinely interested in something to talk about, don’t try to make small talk just to cut through the awkward silence. You might go on to perform the best audition of the day, but if you stink up the room with a bad story about your dog or your boyfriend, you’re going to be less likely to be called back.

Acknowledge the Videographer

He or she is the one who makes you look good. Completely ignoring the videographer is risky because the videographer might not wish to go in for that perfect close-up and make sure the image is in perfect focus. Don’t literally flirt with the videographer, but make him or her feel special. It will only help you.

Don’t Ask if the Casting Director Wants to See It Another Way

The casting director has fifty more actors to get through. You just completed take one, but you feel one more take will truly set the room on fire. Don’t press your luck. If the casting director asks to see it a different way, then all the best to you. If not, get your stuff and be on your way. When in doubt, just remember — don’t piss off the casting director.

Don’t Fumble With Your Things on the Way Out

This may be the trickiest step of all. You’ve delivered your audition and feel good about it. You just know the casting director loves your talent and everything about your personality. Then you spend the next two minutes gathering up your three bags and bottled water, which just so happen to be scattered around the room. Make sure to put your stuff in an easily accessible location as soon as you enter the room so you can grab them with ease on the way out.

Be Sure to Thank Everyone for Their Time

Finally, be sure to give everyone a big smile on your way out, and most of all, thank everyone for their time. This seems like a given, but you’d be surprised by how many actors just waltz on out of the room after they act the scene. Thank everybody — they’re giving their time for you.

Following these tips will help you obtain more auditions and start booking jobs! Remember, the casting associate always knows best…

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