Photo by Debra Lopez
By Mark Anthony
The adventures of a teen actor and his driver/dad...in Hollywood.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Are You Ready For Your Pilot Season Auditions???
I drove Zach to an audition on Santa Monica Boulevard last week. It's a casting studio that is always crowded and we've never been there less than an hour.
We got to the casting office and I dropped Zach off at the front door. I needed to find a parking spot and he had to wait for his turn to audition.
I parked and made my way to the studio. I walked in and found.....Nobody in the lobby.
It was the first time I haven't seen a single person waiting their turn to audition at this office.
I found Zach waiting for me outside (I have no idea how we missed each other entering and leaving the building). He told me it was a super quick audition. Three minutes at the most for each person before him and three minutes (if that much) for his audition.
There are different types of auditions faced by actors. With the start of pilot season upon us, it seems like a good time to take a look at the various types of auditions:
1. The Cattle Call/Open Call
This type of audition takes place at an advertised location where actors can be seen without making an appointment. A fantastic way to book extras as well as promote your film to the public and gather community support. These cattle calls can generate media buzz and win people over to backing your film.
Be prepared to stand in line for a long time!
2. Appointment Audition
This is the preferred way to audition. It's easy on the actor because you know what time to arrive for your turn (and always arrive early!!!). It's easy on the casting directors because you know who is reading for the role in your film/show. It doesn't guarantee you will get the role if the producers/casting people want to see you at a certain time. It does give you a boost of confidence to be asked to read for a role!
3. Cold Reading
This type of audition is a great test for the skills of an actor. A cold reading involves getting the script either when you sign in at the audition or when you enter the room with the casting directors. Either way, there is very little time to prepare for the scene.
4. On-Tape Audition
Sometimes you are auditioning for someone who can't be at the audition with you. They might have a prior commitment, they might live in another city or there might be a group of people who can't change their schedules to be in the room at the same time.
A on-tape audition can be recorded in a variety of locations. Many actors stand in front of a white/generic colored wall and record their tape. Others will go to a manager's office or a business that specializes in recording auditions for actors who don't have access to professional recording equipment.
Many casting offices like to conduct auditions this way to minimize the carbon footprint of actors who have to drive/ride the bus/take an Uber to a casting office.
5. The best audition of all....A Callback!
Once the folks in charge of the project have a chance to review the auditions, they decide to call some of the actors back for a second look. The second audition will (more than likely) be in front of people who are higher up in the project decision making process. The callback usually involves the actor doing the same scene as the first audition. This is also when the decision makers will ask for changes in the performance based on what they saw in the first audition. They might love everything you did the first time but just want to see how good you are at taking directions and making changes "in the moment".
Good luck/Break a leg/Kick some butt in your auditions this pilot season! Make each audition the best one possible!
April Yvette Thompson