Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Confessions from the Audition Room, Pt. 4

Dear Actor,
We have wrapped our set of auditions in NYC. Had four days where we saw close to 40 people a day, for about 8 or 9 roles. Since some of these roles have to sing and dance, we auditioned that as well as the acting. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of singing and dancing in NYC.

There were some of you who even read this blog that came in to audition. I wish I had a part for every talented person that read. But for various reasons, many were not selected. And it's a numbers game. If we read 40 people for one role, 39 are not going to get it.

However, there were some that came and read that weren't right for the role and I've mentally logged them in-- to keep an eye out in the future for a role. This has happened several times. I've cast actors in other movies that came in to audition and didn't get the role.

We got lots of responses on my question concerning wearing the same thing to callbacks. Most of the comments on the Facebook mirror site for the blog. If you want to know my perspective to this question, and it's only one director's opinion, I would like to see a little variety. I understand if you got the callback, then you must be doing something right-- why mess with that. But most of you got to read the script-- I think you could do a good job guessing what the character might wear. Several of you went all out in audition to wear what the character might-- and it was appreciated.

And as far as callbacks, I was really surprised by a couple of things. First, one of the people who came in on the first audition and knocked our socks off was flat for the callback. And another person really shined. I didn't expect that I would change my mind, but I did. Secondly, I really enjoyed working with two and three actors and teaming them up to see the chemistry.

And there are a few roles we haven't decided yet even now. For one character, we really didn't find the right person in NYC. For another, the person we cast depends greatly on who accepts another role. The leading contender looks just like the actor we went out to for the other role and should he/she accept, then we have to go with our second choice.

Again, thank you actors for coming in to a tense situation, and leaving it all out there. I applaud your guts and determination, and your talent. I wish I had a cast of 80.

Finally, a couple of notes from a director. I'm also surprised how different some people look on tape then in person. Several of you I changed my opinion after watching tape. And by the callbacks, I had a monitor in front of me to see what it looked like on screen. I will endeavor to always now have a monitor in front of me. And, as always, I'm surprised by how much headshots can "lie" one way or the other. I understand you've got to make it beautiful, but I've gotten to the point I don't even look at the headshot anymore. I do like the multiple headshots-- especially if they represent several different looks.

Feel free to drop me a note.

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