Advice For Actors!

Hey Guys x

Over the last six months or so, I've been working on some short films (most that will probably never see the light of day!), but one of them kept going and I got to the stage where I was auditioning people and actually choosing actors to play certain parts, which was great.

However, there were some things that I noticed during this time that I thought would be interesting to share, particularly with budding actors.

But I should point out, this is my second time auditioning people for a role. I am not a casting director in any way and my advice might be completely useless. These are just really personal things that I have found while auditioning people for this one project. Also, this is more about those sending in audition tapes than going to actual auditions.

1. Know What Role You're Auditioning For
This has only happened once or twice to me, but it's just quite a weird thing. I had one or two people who wanted to audition for a less popular part (i.e not the lead role), but when emailing them later, it became clear that they'd only done that so they'd have more chance of being seen by me. Actually, they also wanted to read for the lead role.
In my opinion, just audition for what you want to audition for. I saw everyone that wanted to audition for all roles, and if you're right for it, you'll get it without tricking yourself into it.

2. Send Your Audition In Promptly
If you've managed to get to the stage where the director wants an audition tape from you, don't wait too long to send it. In my experience, the director is always auditioning quite a few people for the part, and there's only so long they can wait for your tape before they have no choice but to give the role to someone else.
Plus, if you have to delay sending your tape for whatever reason, just let them know. When I was auditioning people, there were some that couldn't hand them in within the first week or so and that was completely fine with me, so if it's something unavoidable, just be upfront about it.

3. It's OK To Read From The Script
As I said, I'm not a casting director, so I don't know at all whether this is something that real casting directors have a problem with, but I definitely don't. Because I also wrote the script, I would much rather someone read from the script and get the lines right, than not read from the script and make it up as they went along.
Of course, not reading from the script and knowing the lines well would be the best thing, but if you don't know the lines, read from the script.

4. Know Your Availability
This, for me, is really important. Whether you think you're gonna get the role or not, it's important to know if you're actually available to do it. In my experience, a lot of actors have a few things going on at the same time, which is fine. But make sure that you know exactly when you're free and when you're not free, because if you don't know your dates, the person who is definitely available at the time will be the one getting the part.

5. Know If You Expect To Be Paid For The Role
This is definitely more important for student and amateur works. Most students, or people like me who are making movies for experience and putting them on YouTube (rather than being paid for them) can't afford to pay their actors, and aren't expecting to (depending on who their actors are and where they get them from). So if you expect to be paid for the role, that's a conversation that should definitely be had. Travel expenses are one thing, but to be paid for the role itself, you need to make the director aware that this is what you expect. On the website that I use to find actors, there is an option that says that the actor only accepts paid work,which is great because it's not even a discussion that needs to be had. But if you haven't had that conversation, you need to.

6. Be Patient
This is my last piece of advice. Shit happens. Sometimes the director can't find anyone to film, sometimes the script needs tweaking, sometimes the other actors take a long time to respond, sometimes there's technical issues. Either way, delays might happen. If you don't hear from the director for a while, don't automatically assume that the production is off - chances are they're busy trying to make everything work. However, if you're worried about it, send them a polite email asking if everything is still going ahead. More likely than not, there's been a small delay and everything will be back on track soon.

So, there's just a few pieces of advice. If there's anything else that you can think of, leave it in the comments, I'd love to read it!

Are you an actor? Did you find this helpful?

Lou xx


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