Thursday, December 15, 2005

REV: Audition Notes

From Dan Eggleston at the Austin Film Casting Group, who forwarded this fine list of audition tips from Donise Hardy of Casting Works Los Angeles. Some of these are rather well-known, industry-standard kind of notes, but the composite list is the best i've seen, and includes some things i've not seen before. Cut and paste this into a Word document and print it out to keep in your journal.

Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005
From: Dan Eggleston
Subject: audition tips

Thanks to Donise Hardy of CWLA for the following list of excellent tips to help you with a better audition. It applies to any audition, but especially those at CWLA.

CASTING WORKS L.A. AUDITION TIPS

BEFORE THE AUDITION:
*ALWAYS book out with your agent, even if you will only be out one day.
*Have a pen that actually works together with paper next to all phones to take down audition information at any time.
*Let your agent do the talking to relay all the information to you.

It is IMPERATIVE that you know the following:
*WHO is the Casting Director?
*WHERE are the auditions being held? (confirm the address/location)
*WHAT is the project? (i.e. commercial, industrial, etc.?)
*WHAT is the name of my character?
*WHAT about wardrobe and makeup?
*WHAT are the conflicts, if any?
*ARE there call backs? If so, WHEN?
*WHEN are the shoot dates?
*HOW MANY head shots, resumes, and size sheets should I bring? (always bring extra!)
*ARE sides/script available?
*WHAT is the rate/use?

*Ask your agent for any of the above if they do not cover it during the conversation.
*If you are not available for callbacks or the shoot dates, decline the audition.
*Work on the sides or script before coming to audition, if they are available to you.
*Make sure your car is ready to go and that you have directions.
*Have a MINIMUM of 15 head shots and resumes in your vehicle AT ALL TIMES.
*Resumes should be stapled to the upper left and upper right comers of your headshot.
*Make sure to plan, prepare, and select the appropriate wardrobe for your character.
*If you have any questions regarding the pronunciation or definition of any word, check with your agent or consult a dictionary.

DAY OF AUDITION:
*Be sure to bring the appropriate number of head shots, resumes, and size sheets to each audition because it varies from time to time (plus extras).
*ALWAYS arrive no more than 10 to 15 minutes early, unless you need to pick up the script/sides. If you do, come in and request the material, leave and return 10 to 15 minutes before your call time.
*When you check in, sign in, sit down, and "shut up"!
*Remember that this is not a social opportunity to catch up with friends.
*You need to be concentrating and focusing on material.
*Check in a mirror to make sure your hair, makeup, etc. are presentable.
*Do not wear perfume, cologne or after shave to the audition. Soap, deodorant, and toothpaste work wonders!

When entering the casting suite:
*Close the door quietly behind you, put your belongings on the table provided, keep the script (if any) in your hand, walk to the mark, stand there quietly until the Casting Director begins the audition.
*Feel free to look over at the client table, smile and greet them briefly.
*Do not engage the clients in conversation unless you are spoken to first.
*While standing on the mark ask any and all questions BEFORE the tape is rolling.
*Please ask "What's the frame?" PRIOR to tape rolling, so you will know your work space.

DO NOT START WITHOUT ME
*When you, hear the words "Roll tape" that is not an indication for you to do anything but continue to stand there.
*When the Casting Director greets you on tape, please respond appropriately (i.e., "Good morning", "How are you?'" etc.).
*When asked for your NAME, please state your name ONLY pronounced slowly, distinctly and interestingly.
*"Slate please" implies the Casting Director wants your name and agency name.
*Do not perform any other business (i.e. profiles, hands, etc.) unless specifically requested to do so and not UNTIL specifically requested to do so, smiling throughout, but not talking or joking around.
*Listen to the Casting Director for instructions and cues.
*After your audition is complete say "thank you" or "thanks for having me in", pick up your belongings and leave the room, closing the door quietly behind you.
*Sign out and leave.

GENERAL TIPS:
*DO NOT touch anyone (i.e. clients, Casting Director, camera operator) unless that person instigates contact first.
*Keep the interview portion of the audition upbeat, warm and friendly, but get into proper character before you are actually doing the read by pausing a moment.
*NEVER bring anyone with you to an audition. The Casting Director might decide to put them on tape and invariably your friend books "your" job!
*The absolute rule is ONE PARENT/ONE CHILD on auditions for children.
*This event is not to be considered a family outing. No grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, pets, etc.!
*Common sense is your best friend.


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