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Lessons from a Top Casting Director

Four most important things I learnt sitting down with a top casting director:

#1 Stop Blaming Your Agent

#2 Keep Things Simple

#3 Don't Be Scared to Reach Out

#4 Make Choices

Auditioning is a strange part of our job as actors. In fact it’s so far from the reality of acting on stage or set that it requires a whole different set of skills. Improving your audition technique is a great way, and really the only way to increase your

chances of landing roles.

#1 Stop Blaming Your Manager

Too many actors blame their agents for their lack of auditions. Top casting directors are not a fan of actors blaming their agents/managers. Instead they encouraged actors to take control. When did you last update your showreel or headshot? How are your online casting profiles looking? When did you last take an acting class? There are plenty of screen and stage classes happening throughout the city. Some are more expensive than others – but they can really be worth it.

The main reason for taking an online acting class from schools such as Musyko is to further your craft, however, it is also a fantastic way to meet new people. Teachers of these classes are usually working actors or directors, and simply putting up good work in front of them is a good move.

You need to make your agent’s life easier by being a proactive actor. So stop sitting around and waiting for the phone to ring, go out there and take control of your own career.

#2 Keep Things Simple

Headshots and showreels shouldn't capture every facet of your personality - there's too many! Yes, it's important to look good, and showcase your best work as an actor, but top casting directors say that actors need to stop trying so hard. Keep it simple and let your acting do the talking. This principle of keeping things simple actually applies to all areas of your acting and career. Are you casting profiles full of clutter and outdated? Simplify.

#3 Don't Be Scared to Reach Out

Many casting directors have mentioned that they were actually happy to receive emails from actors - if they were valuable. Don’t just say hello, but if you are working on a show and would like to invite Casting Director's along, or have updated your showreel, you can definitely reach out. Every casting director is different, but how great to hear that a top casting director is open to seeing an actor's work!

#4 Make Choices

If you want to stand out in an audition, you have to inject into the character some of yourself, your 'flavour'. Casting Directors seconded the classic advice of making "bold choices" and encouraged actors to be brave. It's easier said than done but great to know that top Casting Directors love seeing strong choices for a script from actors. Do you have a gut response about a script or character? Follow it. Make a choice rather than just playing it safe. BUT, you then need to be flexible and open to the direction that a casting director will give you in the room.

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