There are many actors who make a living out of attending casting sessions. And while this is not the norm in Qatar, career actors around the world depend on successful castings for their livelihood.
But even in our small local acting and presenting community, you can be lost among hundreds, if not thousands of talented (and not so talented) artists if you fail to show up unprepared to stand out from the rest. Whether your headshots are outdated, or your wardrobe is not correct, there are a million of small details that can make or break that casting outcome— if you’re not paying attention!
You’re showing up to a casting session along with dozens of others to do the same thing over and over again in front of a director, producer, or casting assistant or agency.
So how do you stand out, given the same direction, the same wardrobe notes, the same everything as the person before you and those who will come after?
Here are 5 simple ways to stand out from the rest (And take note, these tips will also work for job interviews!).
Remember the casting director has probably seen the same scene over and over again by actors who came before you and will come after. Your individuality, not just your amazing technique is what will impress them in the end. Read your lines and understand the role, but deliver the scene as only YOU could and are capable of.
Take it easy and do not stumble into the audition. Finish the casting confidently and avoid asking the director, or his assistants (or the person taking your details): “Was that okay?” or “Did I do it right.” I know we all want validation and we all want acceptance.
But walk in confidently, take direction, and then thank them gracefully for their time. And Khalas! Don’t rush out of the room, but don’t stay and make conversation. They have more people to see and you will find out soon enough if you got the part anyway.
The moment you enter in the casting room, it is important that you connect with them on a human level instead of making them feel they are Roman or Greek demigods you will be serving. Simply say hello, make a small comment or two in appreciation of being there and maybe ask how their day is going.
This is always a point of contention as some Casting Directors simply want to see you deliver and then be on your way. They’re in no mood for small talk or chit chat.
So learn to read their body language. Smile, be polite, look at them in the eyes and be sincere when you greet them and most of all be genuine overall!
Remember that they are also human – and they are rooting for you to be good! They want YOU to be the ONE.
Be sensitive of the time always, and of course, your surroundings. Do not talk too much if you feel that they are also rushing.
Arrived late? Apologize sincerely and don’t make a habit out of it. Flubbed a line? Pause and politely ask if you can read again or just continue if possible as if it didn’t happen.
Didn’t like how you performed? DO NOT ASK if you can read or perform again.
Even if you’ve not had much exposure to acting or being on camera, the director will most certainly be able to tell, however they will easily be able to tell if you can take direction.
By giving you direction.
So kindly wait patiently and be still. Let the director tell you what he wants you to do. The casting team will most certainly ask you to do it again anyhow.
Don’t make excuses for not performing when you’re saying, “I’m nervous, this is my first time,” or “My Uber driver made me cry,” whatever. They don’t care. Just listen, and then get on with it.
Simply put— HAVE FUN! It’s easy to be a nervous wreck when faced with a judge and jury of however many – but face it, in the end, you’re there for a fun role that will hopefully earn you a few extra riyal on the side. This is not a life or death scenario (we hope) so keep it light.
And before you go in, make a choice… a CHARACTER CHOICE.
You want to be that actor that makes them think “BINGO! You’re the one!”
It has something to do with how you interpret the character. Internalize and be the spirit of that character. You have precious little time, so own it as if no other is better than you. Deliver those lines, be creative in your CHOICES and always, always, HAVE FUN!
So are you ready to stand out now?
Memorable and interesting auditions can only happen to you when you dig deeper into the character and scripts with these thoughts in mind before and during your auditions.
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