Double Your Callbacks
(partial mini-course - click here to be sent the full course)
Twenty simple steps you can take to double your chances of getting called back.
Did you know that agents know in the first 20 seconds or less of meeting an actor whether they are going to represent that actor? And did you also know that Casting Directors have a sixth sense as to who's going to get a callback by how an actor walks into the room? Don't be one of the 75% of actors who don't get a second chance because of a silly mistake.
Here are a number of short tips to help you win over those with a critical eye.
Here are a number of short tips to help you win over those with a critical eye.
1. Look like a million bucks.
You might think this is just a saying, but it's absolutely true. There is no way you are going to get a second chance if you walk in looking like a slob. Nice, well-chosen clothes are a must if you want to have a successful acting career. In addition to wearing good clothes, make sure you have clear, smooth skin, appropriate makeup & presentable hair. You should ALWAYS come into an audition looking just like the headshot you sent in (though you don't have to be wearing the same outfit). Also, make sure that your hands are in good shape. No one likes to shake sweaty or extremely coarse hands.
2. Don't chew gum when you come into an audition.
Spit it out before entering the room, because chewing gum is impolite unless you brought enough for everybody. But do be sure your breath smells good. Bring some breath mints, and eat one right before entering. Remember that the whole point is to give the casting director or agent absolutely no reason to hold anything against you.
3. When you enter, be sure to make eye contact.
I can't tell you how many times I've had an actor come into an audition who wouldn't look me in the eye. It makes you appear untrustworthy and doesn't look professional. If you find it difficult to look someone in the eye when speaking to them, practice with your friends first.
4. Walk with confidence, holding your head high and standing with good posture.
Sit up straight and lean forward a bit when listening to others, as it shows you are interested in what they have to say. If you lean back and sit with bad posture, they will notice. Be confident but not cocky. There is a difference between walking confidently and walking with a swag. If you do the latter, you are sure to get a negative reaction. Let the casting director or agent know that you believe in your skills, but don't let them think you think you're better than everyone else.
5. Don't shake hands in today's world unless they offer their hand first.
Germs and sickness makes everyone cautious these days. Therefore, be ready to shake the casting director or agent's hand if they offer it, but don't offer yours until they offer theirs. If you do and they weren't planning on shaking your hand, they might feel uncomfortable, and you've just given them a reason to dislike something about you.
6. Never forget to bring a copy of the sides and plenty of copies of your resume, unless they expressly ask you not to.
If you forget these things, you will seem irresponsible and not invested fully in their project. Be sure to also bring a copy of your acting reel on DVD and if you have one, a binder-style portfolio with photos just in case. Have all of these things ready to pull right out of your bag. If you sit spending a few minutes trying to find what is needed in your bag, it puts a sour taste in the casting director or agent's mouth.
7. Invest in a good bag.
Speaking of bags, having a nice, brand name bag that is organized neatly and isn't dirty goes a long way in sending the message that you care about your career (and you're successful). If your bag looks like a piece of junk, you will be judged. Remember: even though we live in a world where people aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, almost everyone still does. The honest and sad truth is that if you walk in with clothing or a bag that looks old and tattered or dirty, people will think you're irresponsible and don't care about what you do.
8. Treat each of those 20 seconds like gold.
Remember that you have a purpose while you're there, so be sure that you use your time well. Speak with purpose and be clear in what you have to say. No "um's," "whatever's," "like's," etc., as they make you look immature. Be polite, friendly, and confident.
9. Show your outgoing personality and answer their questions clearly.
People like to hear themselves talk, so the more you let them do the talking, the more they will like you. If you just sit there talking about yourself the whole time, they won't like you very much. But be sure to show your charisma and intelligence when they ask you a question. Research the company or production ahead of time so they can tell you did your homework. If they ask you a simple question and you don't know the answer, they will like you less. But be truthful in your responses, and if you truthfully don't know an answer, tell them so. Don't try to make things up because it can get really awkward if they catch you.
10. A brief, "Thank you for seeing me" when you leave is a great way to close the audition.
Be sure to ask them when you can expect to hear back, because you have a right to know. It not only shows you're interested in their project, but you'll also get access to information that you otherwise might not have known.
11. Arrive 5-10 minutes early.
If you're even one minute late, it's over. You might as well not bother coming in because the immediate judgement will be, "Is this person going to show up on set late?" They'll be worried you will cause production budget overruns, and in my honest opinion, there is absolutely no reasonable excuse to show up to an audition (or any job interview) late. You knew the time and could have planned way ahead for something this important.
All that being said, there is one possible way you can recover from coming in late, and that is by apologizing, telling them why you were late, and then following up by saying you take full responsibility for making a bad decision and not planning ahead. If you don't take responsibility and apologize, instead opting to blame other situations (no matter how dire), it will just look like you're unprofessional and don't want to take personal responsibility, which is a bad trait.
12. Try looking the part.
Many filmmakers and casting directors are impressed when actors come in dressed similarly to how they think the character would dress. Doing this gets across two things: 1) You go above and beyond the call of duty, and 2) You already own the clothes they need so they won't have to rent clothing if they book you (this especially applies to things like cop uniforms and other specialty outfits). All this being said, some casting directors get turned off if you come in dressed exactly as the character. To help with that, dress similarly, but not exactly.
13. Ask questions during the audition; don't just talk about yourself.
By asking questions and showing interest in the production, you'll allow the casting director or filmmaker to talk about themselves and their role in the project. As mentioned briefly earlier, the more you let them do the talking, the more they'll like and remember you. Believe me when I say, the best way to be interesting is... to be interested. The more interested you are in them, the production, and their role in the project, the more interesting and engaging they'll find you, and chances are you'll get the callback.
14. Ensure you have a clear U.S.P. for the production so they need to hire you.
U.S.P. stands for unique selling proposition, and is a well known marketing term. I'd love to explain it in more detail, along with sending you a few other awesome mini-courses I promise you'll love. Just let me know where to send them by scrolling down and clicking the button at the bottom of the page!