by Casting Director, Terry Berland
Half Empty or Half Full?
Is your glass half empty or half full? Do you look at the positive or the negative? I think being in this business and staying in it, you have to look at your glass as half full. Here are some little reminders from a casting director’s perspective which are based on reality.
Negative thought. “There are so many people at this audition.”
Positive Perspective: There are many age ranges and types being auditioned. If you really do the math, there probably are only about 25 people in your category.
Negative thought: “There is so much competition.”
Positive Perspective: There is no one else like you. You are very special and have an entirely different personality than anyone else.
Negative thought: “I’m just starting out. How will I ever break in? How will I catch up?”
Positive perspective: Everyone starts out in the same place; at the beginning. All the people who are now more advanced, were beginners at one time or another. Casting is always looking for fresh great talent.
Negative thought: “Do I really have a chance to book this job?”
Positive perspective: There is a definite job opportunity at the end of the audition.
Negative thought: “I’m put on so many avails, this is very annoying.”
Positive perspective: You must be doing something right. You should be very appreciative of all these avails.
Negative thought: “This audition is so quick. There is no time to develop this character.
Positive perspective: Commercial auditions are quick. There is so much you can do in 15, 30 or 60 seconds. Pretty amazing. You CAN develop a character in 30 seconds. It’s the same as a character in a short scene. If you still don’t know how to do that, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Negative thought: “I don’t like being brought into a room with 20 other people to be given a group explanation.”
Positive perspective: Group explanations move things along quickly and efficiently. If you understand the rhythm of commercial auditions, you will eliminate this frustration. In fact, you should understand the rhythm of each acting venue. They are all different.
Negative thought: “Why are they making such a big deal about transitions?”
Positive perspective: The director is looking for transitions in this quick venue. Be glad the moment of the transition has been identified by the casting director.
Negative thought: “Why won’t they take me at whatever time I arrive? Why are they going by call time instead of taking me when I arrive?”
Positive perspective: This audition is really organized. Be glad it is not on a first-come, first-served basis. An audition time allows you to plan your day.
Negative: thought “Here I go again having to wait at this audition. This is really annoying.”
Positive perspective: Assume there will be a wait. There are a lot of variables that comprise an audition. Be pleasantly surprised if there is not a wait.
Negative thought: “I have to go to Casting Director seminars to meet casting directors in person.”
Positive perspective: Feel appreciative you have a venue so easily accessible to meet the people you want to “strut your stuff” in front of. In today’s high-speed environment there is no time to have general meetings. Casting directors are blasted with details to keep a job going in a designated amount of time. By the way, I wish there was a venue for casting directors to meet producers and directors who can hire us.
Negative thought: “The casting director is not in this audition room.”
Positive perspective: The casting director is working on prepping another job, which is a possible additional opportunity for you to audition for. Be assured the Casting Director will become aware of your work. It is our job to do so. We are not worth much as a casting director if we don’t get to know the work of actors.
Negative thought: “ I don’t want to take acting classes.”
Positive perspective: Acting class is the opportunity to work out and do what you love to do, going to a deeper and deeper level. It’s so great to have the opportunity each week to dig deep into the layers of your craft.
Negative thought: “This job of acting is so unstable.”
Positive perspective: This job gives you so much freedom and allows you to do what you love to do. You are blessed and privileged to find a way to live as an actor.
Negative thought: That casting director is scowling, she must dislike me.
Positive perspective: That CD is having a hard time, she must have just gotten a phone call from the client regarding a problem.
Negative thought: “Why am I getting a call this morning at the last minute to show up in the afternoon?”
Positive perspective: Wow, another opportunity! They must have just added this to the breakdown and now you have an opportunity they you did not have before.
These are just some thoughts. If you have a negative thought and you just can’t find the positive in it, please feel free to email me at email@example.com and I’ll see if I can help you out with a positive perspective.
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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.”