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Some interesting tips, one that really stuck out for me was where it said " reading the energy in the room". There's alot of truth in that because regardless of how much to rehearse before hand you wont really know whats happening until your in the room.
That one stood out to me as well, Tony. It's a very valid and important point. Some casting directors/directors are very matter of fact, some are willing to engage in small talk. At the end of the day, they have a job to do, needs to fill and are human like everyone else. Being able to take the temperature of a room is a skill, but one that can be, and should be, learned.
Most welcome, Dorothy!
For me the best takeaway is just be believable. Not too hard when the character you are reading for is very similar to your own ego identity and looks. That's what I see in the two filmed audition examples. Film auditions can be very weird, though. I auditioned for David Lynche's Blue Velvet ( That was back in the day before the internet and you didn't get sides ahead of time) and all the casting director did was ask me what made me mad. That was the audition. No sides, no character...no kidding. Also, my niece told me about her friend that auditioned for the most recent Richard Linklater film. He had never acted before in his life, went to the audition drunk, and got a speaking role in the film. Of course, that was the character they were casting. The lesson? Unless you are an established actor you need to actually be the character in real life that they are looking for.
Interesting and terrific post, Bruce. Loved the BLUE VELVET story.
Thank you RB. I hope I don't sound too cynical. I have also experienced some wonderful auditions with some great people that bend over backwards to help you understand the character and allow you to actually act.
Oh, hell no. Full transparency coming from a place of experience is not only honorable and necessary, but very much a collaborative mindset.
This is probably one of the best pieces of advice on auditioning I've read. Knowing the business AND audience is so key and it's left out by the majority of actors auditioning, especially for actors going out on guest spots, or co-stars. Definitely gonna talk about this on my podcast tomorrow.
This post is Right On....Kick Down! Thank you, Bruce & RB!
Weesam! Great to see you here, man. Good to get the perspective from someone constantly in the trenches.
I'm in and out like a ninja RB~ haha!
I'm digging the visual...
Very good advice, Thanks RB
Very welcome, Bruce!
Great article and advice. I like the part about knowing your audience and keeping a acting journal for life. I played baseball when I was younger and it reminding me of the binder of stats we kept on hitters, where they like to hit, what pitches they liked. Except with this it is CD like to talk, doesn't like to talk, runs late, gives advice, expects you to be off book. Also the advice on how you walk in the room give the first impression. Auditioning is the job and to work as an actor we need to be good at our job. Thanks for sharing RB
I think you are right Joshua, auditioning is the actors "job". But, I also think it is about interpreting and playing the script, like a piece of music.
What was interesting about the Matthew MacConaughey audition was that he was really responding and staying right in the moment. And regarding that notion, for me, Jimmy Stewart said it best - "There's no such thing as acting...only reacting." When you fully grasp that advice you're on your way.
Bruce I like what you said about interpreting and playing the script. Rick you are right, being in that moment and out of your head is key. The goal is not to act but to be in the moment. I had an acting teacher who pushed me hard on that.