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Whose Line Is It Anyway…?

February 14, 2013

How can you determine someone’s skill level from three words? How can you determine someone’s skill level from ONE line? This is what was going through my head when I went for an audition the other day. I was sent sides the night before the audition. They were very vague. I made an assumption about what the scene was about and what my character’s place was in the scene. I studied the line I was given… and couldn’t help but wonder – why? Why was the casting director calling me in for three words? Could I not have just called into the office and said the line? Couldn’t they have just asked for a video submission?

I was grateful for the audition, however I couldn’t help but wish there was more substance to the character. Something! Anything! Couldn’t my character break down in tears on the last word or suddenly begin bleeding profusely? Okay, maybe that’s a bit much, but you get my gist. In conclusion, I decided to just think up a few different ways to say the line, practice some improv lines in case they asked me to elaborate, and do the best I could with what I was given. In these cases, I usually assume they are just looking for a certain “look”, and I either have it or I don’t. That is for the casting director to decide. In the end, I was in the room for a groundbreaking two minutes, said the line once, and left – hoping my delivery was what they were looking for.

Have you had any success with one-liner auditions? What do you think the CDs are looking for?

The Growing Artist Signature

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2013 9:21 am

    The more experienced a casting director is, the faster they can tell by your choices, delivery of the lines (or in this case, words), and by “type.” That probably has a lot to do with it. Although personally I can’t imagine calling in an actor for three words, I can see that someone with a lot of experience knowing what they are looking for in that time.

  2. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    February 14, 2013 2:29 pm

    I had a similar audition like this earlier in the week: one page and all of the lines were “yeahs” and “well…”. So frustrating!

  3. California Triple-Threat permalink
    February 19, 2013 5:02 pm

    I also find these auditions silly… but honestly, I like that they are so easy! I’ve had auditions where I had to memorize a big monologue only to do it once for the CD and never hear back from them. UGH!

    • The Growing Artist permalink
      February 21, 2013 5:28 pm

      I know that feeling as well haha. It’s a double-edged sword sometimes.

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