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From Behind the Casting Table

May 1, 2013

Recently my company, TRG, held auditions for our first big show, “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress,” by Alan Ball. One of our collective favorite plays that really aligns with our mission statement.

Bear with me as I throw a few numbers at you.

“Five Women…” has a cast of six (6). Five (5) women, one (1) man. TRG has three (3) female producers, and we all wanted to be in the show, so this leaves roles for two (2) women, and one (1) man.

So first we went to our amazing director and TRG auditioned for her with sides from the script. We chatted with her about her thoughts on the casting, but no decisions were made.

Our next step was to do a strictly invited casting. So, we each put together a list comprising handful of actors, whom we had worked with before that we thought A) were super talented and B) were awesome to work with. So, any one of the actors walking in to the room we already knew were very good and would be also be pleasant off-stage.

Some more quick math…we reached out to about forty (40) people. Of those forty (40), about thirty (30) auditioned. And of those thirty (30), there were three (3) available parts.

The point is: when you audition you never know what is happening behind the scenes and you never know why you might or might not get cast in a particular piece, and most of the factors lie outside of your talent as an actor and your subsequent audition preparation.

So how do you book the job? You go to every audition prepared and focused, because that is what you are in control of. That makes you look like an actor who is serious about booking work, and the people on the other side of the table remember that.

The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up over any projected feelings of “They didn’t like me,” or “I bombed,” or “I suck.” It will only cut your legs out from underneath you and plant the seeds of self-doubt in your mind.

And, I argue, it’s a choice to beat yourself up. It’s a choice to empower the negative thoughts. What if you practiced saying “I did my best today,” or “I was as prepared and as focused as I could be today.” How might that change your confidence, not just for auditions, but for life?


One Comment leave one →
  1. May 1, 2013 9:57 am

    I definitely remember the times when I would beat myself up. When I was in college, my mom brought me to a huge audition. Right when I ended my two contrasting pieces, I felt good about it! But I had to tell my mom, “Mom, I felt good about that one. I did fine. If I start doubting that in the next few minutes, tell me to shut up,” because I knew the self-doubt/ picking-it-to-pieces moment was just around the corner.

    Nowadays that becomes less and less frequent. Even if I have a bad audition, it’s so much easier to move on. One thing to remember is, even when you bomb an audition, it doesn’t ruin your reputation with that casting director or theatre company. That’s what I used to worry about, but honestly, they’ve seen so many people,. they probably will forget! You’ll have another shot.

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