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by Tamara Taylor

Casting Networks Inside the Industry with Commercial Casting Director Carolyne Barry

How prepared are you for your next audition?

Well, Commercial Casting Director Carolyne Barry, primarily known for her workshops in Los Angeles, made sure that those who were in attendance were going to be equipped for their auditions to come.

Ms. Barry discussed our duties as actors to be prepared prior to, during and after the audition. “You should be reading the material several times and clearly understanding what you are saying or doing…” says Carolyne, “determining who you are and who you’re talking to…and playing around with a few approaches to the material…beingcreative, not clever with your choices.”

This opened the door of opportunity for actors to show off their acting chops. A few actors boldly volunteered to review some material and basically audition in front of us as if we were the camera. As the actors did their slate, she quickly reminded the room that “a slate is your introduction… and not an announcement. Look into the camera and literally introduce yourself to someone in the room…nothing over- the-top, just a little more enthused and natural.”

The actors continued with their read but before they could even finish their first few lines, she wanted to know the ‘Before Life’. “A ‘Before Life’ is five words or less, describing what you’ve seen, thought, or heard that creates a simple physical, UNREHEARSED reaction that motivates the first line or action.”

With a little guidance from Ms. Barry, the paticipants analyized their roles and developed a deeper understanding of their characters ‘before life’. You could distinctly see and hear the actors finding the right tone of the scene and making it work for them. And also, allowing them to come across more natural and relaxed.

After practicing the preperation techniques, she commented on the audition process as well. “As you walk into the office to audition, don’t think about anything you’ve just worked on. You have done your preparation, now just go play. COMMIT!”

Carolyne continued taking us through the audition process and giving us great tips and reminding us overall to just have a good time.

“After the audition, either you’ll get the job or you won’t, and many times it has nothing to do with you.  Just do your best, learn something, and move on. If you continue to do strong auditions, you’ll get your share.”