5 Ways to Survive a Callback

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou made it past round one! You got the callback and you’re psyched. But more trials lie ahead. How do you gear up and close the deal? Check out some tips below!


  1. Research the Casting Director. If you haven’t already done this, now is the time. Look them up, look at their career, ask around. What kind of actors do they tend to book? What are their pet peeves. What do they look like, (so when you walk in and see them your face can light up with genuine, friendly recognition, instead of the blank panicked stare of the uninformed actor)? If you can, familiarize yourself with the staff. If you can’t make sure you’re treating every stranger with respect (a good policy in general). A good idea would be to start a notebook detailing your experience with every casting director/office you encounter, so you have a quick point of reference.
  2. Bring Back Up. Go full boy scout. Don’t think they’ll be taking headshots? Bring two anyway. Feeling hydrated. Doesn’t matter–fill that water bottle. Confident in your hipster-casual attire? Have a couple alternative tops in the trunk. Throw a granola bar in your bag in case it runs long. Mentally prep yourself to be open to improv or altered instructions. This is not the time to relax your game. Don’t set yourself up to get surprised or thrown off by changing circumstances.
  3. What Did They Like? There’s a reason you made it this far. Try to identify the strongest part of your audition. What got you in the door? What did they like about you? Keep that going in. Then think about how you can grow. How can you take your performance to the next level? How can you keep what they like and enhance it, show them something new, make a choice that sets you apart from everyone else vying for the gig?
  4. Personality. Remember, the audition isn’t the only test. They are going to hire someone they want to work with. You need to be relaxed, be yourself, be engaging. Do whatever prep work you need to do to put yourself in a calm, alert, good head space before you walk in the door. Listen to your pump up jams in the car, promise yourself your favorite coffee afterwards, practice some power poses (chest open, arms on hips or wide with hands behind your head, etc.). Imagine you are walking into a room of your best friends. Do whatever you need to do to show off your personality (while still keeping it professional).
  5. Avoid Comparison. This is the killer. You are about to walk into a room with at least a healthy handful of your type. They are probably going to look a lot like you, except for younger, fitter, and approximately 7 times more attractive. Probably more talented and with 19,000 Instagram followers, minimum. At least this is what your brain will tell you. Tell your brain to shove it. Comparison will kill your edge. You need to be on your side, and I don’t care what lies you have to tell yourself to get there. Today, you have no doubts. You are the answer, you are the next Viola Davis or Timothee Chalamet or whatever floats your boat. Keep your head down and your ego boosted. Protect your product, because your product is you. Now go book it.


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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at www.rachelfrawley.com

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