Want to be a Millionaire? I bet you’ve seen the show and I’m sure you answered the question in some affirmative way. In the show we saw each contestant sweating at some point when they didn’t know the answer. One of their trusted partners had the ability to provide a “lifeline” to the answer when called on, though.
When auditioning, your lifeline is the client’s gatekeeper. That gatekeeper may come in the form of a casting director or producer. Despite the title, they are acting in similar capacities. The casting director/producer has communicated directly with the client (e.g., the guy/gal who signs your check at the end of the day). They also have a better understanding than the talent when it comes to exactly what that client desires. This makes them your trusted friend in the audition process!
No, they aren’t vested in your career, but they expect you to invest in theirs! The casting director’s job is to provide their client with the best options possible. They want to see you succeed!
It may sound strange, but consider it from their perspective. A happy client with many good options will come back to them again and again. They aren’t in the casting room to be your friend or trusted advisor, but they will likely give you some advice pertinent to that job or moment that could give you an edge up on the competition, so listen closely!
Casting director for Tyler Perry Studios (Meet the Browns, House of Payne, and many movies), Alpha Tyler, has said many times that she is looking for talent who follow direction in the casting room. These are the people who will be able to follow direction on set, and that in turn, will make her look great!
When entering the casting room, have your prep work done so that when advice is given, your focus becomes following the direction rather than keeping character, remembering lines, or sucking in your stomach.
What valuable direction have you been given during an audition? Were you able to deliver on the direction? (If not, brainstorm what you can do to be able to nail it next time!)