#6 -- Thinking You Know Better
Sometimes a request from a client or casting director doesn't quite make sense. Perhaps the character description says "late 30s" and you are only in your early 20s; or maybe it says "hispanic" and you are clearly caucasian. It's rare, but sometimes Casting will request to read a talent for a role they don't really fit, which can leave the talent flattered in one respect, but feeling quite insecure in other. Thoughts that roll through the talent's mind might include:
-- I don't fit the character description, so maybe it was a typo.
-- I don't look like any of the other talent in the casting room; surely this is a waste of my time.
-- Did they confuse my name with someone else's?
-- This CD obviously doesn't know what they are doing. I could be home watching my favorite television series!
As out of place as it might feel to be seen for a role you don't obviously fit, there are sometimes reasons out of your realm of understanding. I've called talent to read for roles without totally understanding the method behind the maddness. Every now and again, a talent gets booked for a role that they never fit, but it is rare. Most of the time, neither myself or the talent understands exactly why the talent was called in to read at the end of the day. But the important thing to realize is that we do not NEED to understand why.
What we do need to do is respond to the request. Every opportunity to get in front of a CD gives the talent an opportunity to showcase their abilities and remind the individuals in production that they are perfect for some role -- maybe not this one, but there will be many more coming down the line! While sitting in the casting room and participating in negative self talk through thoughts like the ones above, a talent can talk themselves right out of giving an amazing performance. A poor or mediocre read can lose you the job that you don't even know is coming down the pipeline!
Next time you get an opportunity that doesn't fit the logic from your limited perspective, think these thoughts instead:
-- There is information I am not privvy to.
-- Someone (perhaps that crazy CD) is in my corner and wants someone else to see what I'm capable of.
-- This is a great opportunity to remind the CD how diverse my skill set is!
-- What a fun challenge to practice a character outside my comfort zone!
-- I'm thankful for the opportunity to practice my craft rather than sit at home in front of the television.
Watch how new opportunities and new individuals will grow in your network!
What thoughts went through your mind as you waited in the last casting room you attended?