It was terrific to have casting director Gabrielle Schary come in for our June seminar, as she shared with us some great tips to succeed in the commercial casting world. From questions you might get asked at an audition, to current trends in the industry, take a look at the Top 5 Takeaways from our seminar with Gabrielle Schary.
1. Be prepared to answer questions about yourself.
Gabrielle (and many other casting directors) like to ask actors questions about themselves, to get a better idea of their personality. Oftentimes, you will not get a lot of copy in an audition, so you might be asked questions such as, “What was your best day ever?” or “What scares you the most?” Just relax, and be ready to talk about the real YOU.
2. Only submit yourself to roles that are right for you.
Ever see a role that you’d be PERFECT for . . . if only you knew how to juggle kittens and eat fire? When you submit to a role that you are not right for, with the idea that they’ll love you so much it just won’t matter or that you can learn any skill fast enough, you’ll not only be hurting the casting director, you’ll be hurting yourself as well. Chances are, if you submit to roles that you don’t fit, the casting directors will notice, and they might pass you up on the role that you actually ARE perfect for. Plus, if you do get hired and then can’t live up to your promise on set, you can be sued. Like, one million dollars kind of sued.
3. What makes a good headshot? Be yourself!
Great headshots are one of the most important things to have as an actor. But what makes a good headshot? Do you have a favorite hoodie? Are you always carrying around your skateboard? Does your face scrunch up when you laugh hysterically? Use it! It’s very important that your headshots actually look like YOU, and not some glamorized version of yourself that you think you should look like. And make sure you get a photographer that you feel comfortable with, so that the real you shines through.
4. Take all the classes you can take.
Improv classes, scene studies, fight choreography. Take as many classes as you can. When you take a lot of classes, you will keep learning, and your knowledge will shine through in your next audition, whether it be commercial or theatrical. Classes can be expensive, but they are a vital way to keep your skills sharp and teach you some new skills. So get out there and LEARN.
5. Reality TV has made real people casting big.
You can blame it on the success of The Real World back in the early ’90s, but Reality TV is a huge industry. This means that commercials are going to try and capture that feeling. The good news is that “real people” doesn’t necessarily mean “non-actors.” Actors are real people too, and they are sometimes exactly what a “real people” casting is looking for. Just get in there, leave the schtick at home, and keep it real.