One of the best ways to prepare for an audition is to learn as much as you can about the people you are auditioning for, both on a business level and a personal level.
Whenever a casting director is contemplating auditioning someone, they look at an actors résumé, headshots and media clips. This is standard. This is because any casting director that is contemplating requesting you to audition wants to know as much as possible about that actor before the audition. At worst it saves time by potentially obviating the audition, and at best it will make the casting process more productive.
Before every meeting I attend, I make sure that I know all of the attendees’ names, their background information, and details about their company. It can be as detailed as “CEO John Smith likes airplanes” or as vague as “John Smith’s company is based in New York.
If I am contemplating working with you, I am always impressed if you quote back to me one of my speeches or if you mention that it is cool that I was a former competitive gymnast. Sorry, but I can’t help bragging about rigorous dedication and hardcore training as a child in one of the hardest sports in the world. I hope I am not one of those dumb gals who “falls for flattery,” but either way, I am impressed that you took the time to be prepared. Trust me, it is the same for me when I am meeting with a prospective client; the prospect can’t help but feel the respect I am showing by having taken the time to prepare for the meeting in advance.
Research. Find out who you are reading for and search their name(s) on Google and IMDB.com to find out what they’ve done. Also, if you want to work in TV and films you should see everything. Watch at least one episode of all the currently running series at least once and see movies–old and new—this is to keep up on current trends and tastes but also for inspiration.
Here are a few ways that you can quickly gather research on the person you are auditioning for:
- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN or any other social media platforms
- Asking colleagues (this is just a quick email to everyone — a no-brainer)
You can find anything about people online. Their interests. It can be very beneficial to get a sense of the casting director and what they may or may not like.
All of these are great resources for unearthing a plethora of information on whoever you are researching. And the best part is that most of these platforms are free to use!
I’m always hearing actors talk about how horrible it is to audition. Let’s change that perspective! It’s not helping you one bit. Auditioning is the necessary beast on which every acting career depends.
Jenn David, Talent Agent