Auditioning for Film
Venk Potula considers the ways this might differ from how you prepare for going out for a part in theater.
As I said in my last blog entry, my prior semester with TMU focused on auditioning and this semester will focus more on film and theater. In honor of my previous blogs I will make this transition by talking about some of the differences between auditioning for film rather than theater.
What to expect:
• At least 15-30 people all lined up against a wall, seated in chairs.
o Expect 30 more people in 10 minutes. 3 people every 1 minute.
• They all look exactly like you. Yes. Down to the thinness of your nose to the size of your thighs.
o Don't let it get to you. As they say: The more the Competition, The more the Bragging you can do to your actor friends when you do get the part.
• A Sign In Sheet. Pretty standard. You write your name, e-mail and phone down on the list.
• The Casting Director's Associate will call your name.
• You will walk into a tiny little room with a table, a small handheld camcorder, a window or two, and the Casting Director and Associate.
• The Casting Director will greet you with a simple, "Hello."
o Do not shake their hand and have a 2 minute conversation with them. Remember, there are a gazillion more people to go and they are on a tight schedule. If you waste their time—forget about them even considering you. A simple, "Hello" back would suffice.
• You will be asked to slate
o Which means that you will say your name into the camera and turn to your right and left so they can capture your profile. They may also ask some logistic questions such as, "How tall are you?"
• The Casting Director or Associate will begin to say the lines of the sides you should have revieved.
o Sides = Unique pages taken out of a screenplay for your acting enjoyment. Sides are also used in Theater.
• You then reply back with the words in the side—which is the acting part of the audition.
Do not "memorize" the script.
Why, you ask? Simple. It's a matter of psychology. If you walk into the room having "memorized" the sides, you will inherently be putting on a performance. In so far the Casting Director will now have slightly higher standard for you because he/she thinks that you prepared something for him/her. What should I do instead, you ask? Simple. Walk in with the sides in your hand. Therefore, it looks like you are just doing a reading. Which has a much lower standard than a performance. Think about a staged reading and a staged performance? You would put the performance to a higher standard, right? It's the exact same thing here. Also, if you do a fantastic job (because you actually did prepare extensively for the 15 minutes that you had the side) it would seem incredible because you only did a reading.
My tip may seem strange to you theater folk out there because in auditioning for theater—you would never bring your monologue into the audition. In theater, you must memorize your monologue. But that is one of the many differences between film and theater.
And that concludes my article! At least through my eyes. Maybe you have a different take on the process of auditioning for film? Do you agree or disagree with what I said? I would love to know what you think—comment below!