If there’s one thing that I have learned here in LA it’s that everyone has their own opinion…
- I once met an agent who told me that she “wouldn’t know where to put me” – that I would either have to chop my hair and go edgy or wear glasses and go nerdy. Then I read in An Agent Tells All that while agents will only be looking for certain types of people to fill holes in their roster at specific points in time, they will always be looking for “young and beautiful” people and can never have enough of them. Maybe I’m just not young/beautiful enough :)
- I have been told by agents and casting directors that it’s great that I can play a teenager, and I should try to go out for the youngest roles possible. And yet a top network exec tells me that there are “no college age roles” and that I need to “go older” and target the “just-out-of-college-young-professional-area.” Hmmm.
- Some casting directors hate props. Others don’t mind them. One of my acting coaches said he brought in a stethoscope to an audition to give him something to do in the scene, and he booked the role! Then at a workshop last night, the casting director said, “Props like cell phones and your purse are fine, but anything else, like a stethoscope, is just going to be distracting.” So, which is it?
- Some casting directors like to shake your hand. Others are germophobes and like you to keep your distance. I find myself doing an awkward salsa dance trying to figure out which to do.
- Some want you to walk in the door as you and then get into character for your read. Others “want to hire people” so you should be in character from the moment you walk through their door. Do I be moody and in character, or will they think that’s rude? Or do I be myself and risk them thinking I’m “too nice” for the role?
- My acting coach loves my bangs. My parents not so much.
(Okay, that last one was just for me. Sorry, mom and dad. Needed a change.)
The list goes on, but you get my point. This can all get very confusing. It’s got me lookin’ all:
As far as casting directors and their preferences, you just have to know who you are going in for. Thankfully between websites and acting coaches and friends, I can usually find out what certain casting directors like and dislike for the most part.
But if I can’t, I believe that I should just use my own judgment and go with whatever makes me the most comfortable. After all, I have heard countless casting directors say that they want you to get the job just as much as you do.
All in all, it’s your audition, so make the most of it! They just want to find the right person for the role.If they can’t find that person today, they are going to have to sit through another casting session tomorrow…But if you walk in today and book it, I’m sure they will be just downright thrilled.
And as far as all the other people in this town with their own opinions, that’s all they are. Opinions.
“Everybody talks, everybody talks, everybody talks.” – Neon Tress, Everybody Talks
There are no hard and fast rules to “making it” in this business. Everyone has to make their own way. I have done my best to be as informed as possible – I have read books about the business side of acting, books about agents, books on auditioning, on the art of acting, etc. I read “the trades” (Variety, BackStage, the Hollywood Reporter), and I have taken the advice of well respected acting coaches. But beyond that I have to do what I think it the right thing… whether it’s something small like deciding to cut bangs or something more signifiant like turning down an audition or a role because I am not comfortable with the content.
I have always loved Reese Witherspoon, and I really appreciated her recent acceptance speech at the MTV Movie Awards. She said something along the lines of that you don’t have to have a reality show (or make scandalous videos) to make it in Hollywood.
When I moved out here, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let LA change me. I promised myself that I would stay true to who I am and what I believe. I am thankful I have family and friends to keep me accountable, and most of all that I can look to the Lord for guidance and discernment. I trust that I am on this path for a reason and that the Lord will lead me where He wants to take me.