by Casting Director, Terry Berland
Acting is a huge responsibility. Congratulations. Praises to you.
It’s time to acknowledge all the elements it takes to be good at what you do to come through for casting directors, producers and directors.
Most actors are striving for their career to cover commercials, television and film. It starts with having to know the lay of the land for each different venue. This would encompass becoming familiar with who the casting directors are for each venue, and a feel for how each casting office run their auditions.
I realize you then have to know differences in the processes leading up to the audition, the audition itself, and the after process. Understanding the structural differences of the behind the scenes process will eliminate a lot of wasted energy and angst wondering what’s happening.
Now it’s audition time. I’ve mentioned before, we as casting directors are no better than the actors we bring to our clients. You are a reflection of our taste. So you certainly need to be good at all the different techniques.
After your audition, there is the waiting period of hearing or not hearing about any avails and/or bookings. If you do not know the process of each, the waiting time could drive you crazy.
Then there is the booking. You happily accept that booking and you can’t be ill and call in to say you won’t be there. You have to arrive on time and are faced with pre-preparations on set and paper work. You have to look over your paperwork and if something does not seem right, know the right questions to ask and know when to get in touch with your agent if things need straightening out.
Paperwork is done and then what? The more you have been on set, the more comfortable you are with the rhythms or non-rhythms of possible waiting time. You need to know how to keep yourself centered and ready to start work again when waiting times are over and “they” need you.
It’s your turn to work. You are part of the scene, the camera rolls and you have to be on point every time take after take. If you aren’t, there is no scene. Not to mention, each take has to be new and fresh, the same way every time or tweaked as directed. You have to hit your marks, work with other people, remember your lines, have proper timing, listen to the director and be able to change with every nuance the director asks for.
You have to come through; otherwise, there is no shot, or no commercial, no scene that works for the film, or sit-com. The creatives have no backup plan. It’s YOU they are depending on.
Wow, kudos to you for knowing your craft. A big smile to you for being an intricate part of the process and doing so well. Thank you actors!
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Terry Berland is an award-winning casting director for on-camera, television, voice-over, and hosting. Her casting awards include Clio, The Houston International Film Festival, Art Director’s Club, Addy, and the International Film and Television Festival. Her former casting staff position for Madison Avenue giant BBDO/NY has lent to her deep understanding and involvement in the advertising industry. She is known throughout the country for her talent development and is the co-author of the how-to industry book,”Breaking Into Commercials.”