The Importance of Respect: Part II

Last time, I talked about how important it is for your agent or manager to be mindful of representing your character and career in a positive manner. It is also obviously important for you, the actor, to use the same courtesy and respect, as well. Aside from the usual “show up on time,” “bring your copy of the sides,” and “come prepared,” there are additional tips and tricks to winning points with the casting crew and showing that you respect their time. After all, these are the people you want to impress.

Tip #1: Be nice to the casting assistants. Many actors ignore the casting assistant or are indifferent or sometimes outright rude to them. Assistants do much more than answer phones and sit behind a desk. Casting directors often consult their assistants on their thoughts on actors in some manner. You should say hello, be friendly, and gauge the workload. If they have piles of papers on their desk, a quick introduction will do. If they do not appear to be very busy at the moment, it is perfectly ok to pass the time waiting for your turn by engaging in conversation. After all, you want to be memorable, not just in the room on camera, but outside of it, too.

Tip #2: Make sure you look presentable. Unless your role calls for a particular look, show up wearing clean clothes and hair; makeup should look natural and fresh. Make it seem as if you are grateful to be there, and not that it is a chore or a burden for you to show up. There are actors who come in disheveled and without the proper sides who waltz into casting offices like they own the place. This is a job interview. Treat it as such. It is often the unknown actor with no credits who comes in acting like he is better than everyone else. Many times, the well-known actor who is a regular on that hit TV show or who just hit it big in the latest Blockbuster is the most humble and kind. A simple smile and a shake of the hand goes a long way. (To further explore proper dress code in an audition, you can check out the article Costumes in the Audition: To Dress, or Not To Dress?)

Tip #3: You should always show respect for the material. We understand that some scripts are silly or poorly written, or even downright terrible. We get it! We have to read them over and over again. However, that script may be the pet project of the director or producer who is very proud of it. After all, they would not put their names on something they thought was bad. And the director and producer are the ones making the ultimate decision as to whom they choose to act in their film to bring said script to life on screen. Therefore, it is so important to perform the sides as if you are proud to be a part of it. When you come into an audition and complain about the scene or make disapproving remarks about the dialogue, you are showing disrespect for the writer, director, and casting office. As an actor, you are a tool to perform the writer and director’s vision. Remember: you can always pass on material if you do not feel comfortable with or really dislike the script.

Keep in mind that respect and simple pleasantries are greatly appreciated in this chaotic and often unfriendly business!



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lauren began her casting career as an intern for Sarah Finn Casting on films such as Captain America, Cowboys & Aliens, TRON: Legacy, and Faster. After her six month internship, she returned for her final semester of college, where she went on to become a casting director in Wilmington, NC on various independent films. She also spent over a year as a casting assistant with an independent casting director and acted in multiple films. She is currently working with Marcia Ross & Erin Toner Casting and also works as an actor and in production.

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