Terry Berlandby Casting Director, Terry Berland

Confidence is part of the formula for success.

Do your work to be the best actor you can be, believe in yourself and other people will believe in you.

Sometimes you lose confidence and it takes someone else to believe in you.  That might be a casting director, a coach or a friend.  For those of you who have not yet seen the HBO documentary “Casting By”,  find it and watch it!!!!  I recommend it for every actor.  It is a story on many levels from both the perspective of casting directors and actors.   It is about one veteran casting director, Marion Dougherty, who believed in certain actors and trusted her instincts. Watch what happened to many actors as a result of her belief.

Actors and directors such as Robert Redford, Jon Voight, Martin Scorse, George Roy Hill, Woody Allen, Al Picano, Jeff Bridges, Bette Midler, Clint Eastwood, Diane Lane and Glen Close are featured bringing us back to the beginning of their careers up to the present.  With admitted moments of self-doubt, the actors were instinctively always looking for that one person to believe in them.

Acting is a business, and every business needs other people, customers or clients to believe in them.  It’s no different than lawyers, doctors, stores, coaches or casting directors.

Casting directors and agents are scanning photos, resumes, showcases, theatres and every place else keeping their radar up for talent.  I’m constantly on the look out.  Not sure when I will have a call for that person, not sure what for, but knowing there will be a time and place for that talent.

As talent, on the other hand, you are honing your craft and putting yourselves “out there” through many different venues the community offers to market yourself.  How fortunate for you that you are doing what you love to do.  Kudos that you have found a way to do it.  Is it easy?  No, it isn’t.  There are many brilliant actors who are not constantly working.  But they are actors through and through staying in the game they love, living their life doing what they love to do.

  • As a casting director, every time I give you an audition, I believe in you.
  • When your agent submits you for an audition, they believe in you.
  • When you get a callback, the creative team believes in you enough to take you to the next level.
  • When the creative team presents you to their client, they believe in you.
  • When you get the booking, everyone on the project believes in you.
  • When you have an acting coach who puts all their effort into teaching you, they believe in you.
  • When I coach you and I take you to your next level, I believe you can do it.  I believe it’s worth the effort to get you there.
  • When I direct you at the casting session, I believe you can take the direction.

When you act professionally, you are doing everything you can to keep in tip-top shape.  That includes taking care of yourself, studying your craft and having outside interests to be a well-rounded person.

Trust yourself, trust your choices.  Know there is not only one choice.  Pick one and commit to it.  You can’t be that off if you know the acting venue you are working in.

Before I wrote this article I read many, many emails that I invited actors to send to me about feeling confident.  Look at your own life and find a way to feel confident about your acting.  Focus in on the positive.

Actor Kevin Brown emailed a paraphrased quote he heard along his journey:  “Everything changed for me when I realized that when I audition, I can be the solution to their problem.”

That one stood out for me!  It’s true.  We are looking for the solution, the one person where all the SUBJECTIVE variables fall into place.


Any reproduction or usage of this article on other websites must be credited to Terry Berland, Casting Director and linked back to here.

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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.”

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