Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Audition Tips #4 - First Instincts Are Usually Correct

At least, I think they are.

Take an audition from a couple of weeks back. I sent 12 invitations to actors to come in for a read. Two cancelled, the other 10 showed up. Out of those 10, I would say that five gave decent reads. The other five gave "okay" reads but, being me, I pushed them a little and got more out of them. This is why I like to do long casting calls when I have the time - such as when two people cancel and the clock isn't ticking.

After pushing, I had 8 good actors, and two that weren't right for the part no matter what. But the first actor had been so good right off the bat that I knew everyone else had to beat her. She set the bar. I took the tape home, watched it, and had a friend in LA watch it. I didn't tell him who I liked. He wrote back and said, "The first one."

He was right. It was the first one. She wasn't spectacular compared to the other 7, there was just something about her that seemed to fit. She was right for the part. The other 7 actors would probably have done a fine job with it, some of them perhaps better than others. They were all quite good, better than I expected them to be, which made my job harder. But the first actor had "it." Whatever the hell "it" is.

Casting isn't easy. If you think casting directors take it lightly, they do not. Try as they might, no matter how often they watch the tape or look at the headshots, Zeus isn't going to come down from Olympus and say, "That one."

When you're casting, you have to trust your gut, and your gut's first reaction is usually the one you'll go with even after chewing on it for a day or a week.

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