Callbacks: Play Like It’s Yours!

Oct 17, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Acting Tips

Crush it!

Congratulations, you’ve been called back!

The casting director was blown away by your reading, and she loved your personality from the minute your energy preceded you into the room (which actually happens, believe it or not). All your hard work and preparation has paid off! Woohoo!

So…uh…now what?

  • Plan on arriving early! The only thing more embarrassing than showing up late for an audition is showing up late for a callback. If you’re relying on public transportation, give yourself an extra 30 minutes of travel time. You can always bring a book, practice your sides, or warm up if you arrive early, but you never want to find yourself walking into a room of people who have been sitting around waiting for you to show up. Trust me.
  • Wear the same outfit you wore to the audition! Recently, I read for a character described as

    It's okay to wear this if it fits the character!

    “easygoing,” and the “best friend.” Having read the script, I knew that the character had a “clean, urban, wannabe-slacker” vibe, so I wore nice jeans, a green shirt with guitars on it, and a brown zip-up hoodie to the audition. The outfit complimented the character, and it helped garner me a callback. You’d better believe I wore that exact same outfit to the callback, making sure they thought, “Oh yeah, hoodie guy! I remember him!” I got a phone call the following day saying I had booked the role.

I can’t stress this one enough:

  • Play like the role is already yours! Casting directors do not want to see an actor trying to be the character. They want to see the character! If you get in front of the camera and think, “Okay, I hope I’m doing this right,” then you’re already doing it wrong. Play a little! Take risks! Former O’Connor Casting CD and current acting instructor David Murphy always tells his students how much casting directors love mischievous actors; actors who aren’t afraid to ‘break the rules’ a little! In the aforementioned callback, I never did a take the same way twice, and the director thanked me for it afterward.
  • Be nice! Don’t be a jerk. Nobody wants to work with a jerk. “But Joe,” I hear you insist, “being a douche is part of my persona,” or, “I’m talented enough that it doesn’t matter.” Sorry, but you’re wrong. In her recent webinar, “6 Things You Can Do To Jumpstart Your Entertainment Career,” creator Jenny Yerrick Martin noted that talent ranks dead last in order of importance in the entertainment industry, behind things like knowledge and relationships. So I’ll say it again: DON’T BE A JERK!

I realize that most of us are probably like, “Duh, Joe. We knew this already.” Indeed, this is all ‘Auditioning 101’ material, and I’ve probably gone over it in previous posts a billion times. But it never ceases to amaze me just how many actors in Chicago can’t seem to grasp these concepts (especially the part about being punctual). Just remember: Professionalism, a positive attitude, and confidence will always set you apart from the rest!

Now go get ’em, tiger!

~JVB, a.k.a. “the hoodie guy”