Actors Working In Casting Offices

1880513It may have crossed your mind that as an actor, it may be beneficial to try to work in a casting office. In a sense, you’d be taking a peek behind the curtain and seeing just how the casting process works. You could gain valuable insight and become more well-rounded, as auditioning isn’t always just about the performance. There are some things to consider though, when deciding to pursue a job in casting, even if you’re only planning to be there for a short while.

First, you should know what to expect when working at a casting office. Casting work requires a surprising amount of paperwork, research, time on the phone, and video editing and uploading. You could find yourself as an intern or an assistant, but no matter what the job, your day is not one big audition marathon for you to watch. It’s an office job, and like any profession, it can be hectic. There are deadlines, and everyone around you needs something right away.

If you don’t like the sound of spending your entire day at an office, becoming a reader may be a better option. Being a reader means that, on certain days when casting offices have important auditions, say with directors or producers, you get to sit in for auditions and read opposite every actor that is seen. The reason casting offices do this is two-fold:  they give the person auditioning a more skilled scene partner, and it allows the casting office to better evaluate. There are many ways you can explore becoming a reader. You can usually call casting offices to ask if they need assistance, or you gently let casting directors know you’d be interested when you come in and audition. You can also get references from acting classes or fellow actors.

Being a reader isn’t your chance to steal the show though – and you should be mindful of when it’s appropriate to ask questions or make comments. In fact, any casting job you end up working at shouldn’t be considered an opportunity to be discovered. If this is your sole reason for trying to work in casting, you should probably reconsider. Casting directors need and appreciate someone willing to work hard and who can be professional. Any actor who constantly evaluates roles for themselves or who use every opportunity to solicit work from everyone they encounter wouldn’t make for an ideal employee.

Can actors work in these offices and try to build a network of useful contacts? Of course. Those contacts can come in handy one day. The point is to know when it’s the right time to ask to be considered – say, after your internship is over and you have a relationship with the casting director. If you use the work time to focus on the job at hand, you’ll learn a great deal that can help you as an actor, and you’ll stay in everyone’s good graces by not seemingly being there just for yourself.

 

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