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The wonderful casting directors Maya Adrabi and Lindsay Bronson joined us for our November seminar to share some of their wisdom and experience with us. Let’s see what they had to say.

1. Make sure all of the dates work for you.

If you have an audition, then a callback, then an avail, and then you get booked for the job, and then you tell your agent that you have a trip to Europe that week, you’re doing things backwards. When you get an audition, make sure you check all of the dates and make sure that they work for your schedule. If the dates don’t work, tell your agent (or if you submitted yourself, tell casting) and things might still work out for you. But things will certainly not work out for you and your professional relationships if you hold that information until you get booked for a job.

2. At a callback when clients are busy talking amongst themselves, use this time to mentally prepare yourself.

When you walk into a callback room, there are often several clients talking to each other, working on their computers, texting on their cell phones, etc. This is the perfect opportunity for you to mentally prepare yourself for your callback. Don’t worry about impressing everyone, don’t shake everyone’s hands, don’t crack jokes. Just be calm, get familiar with your environment, and give a good performance. That’s what you’re there for.

3. The more comfortable and present you are in the space, the more adaptable you will be.

From the second you walk into a casting studio, get comfortable and familiar with the environment. You want to feel at ease when you make it into the audition room, and there will be plenty of distractions along the way. Familiarize yourself with the space and make it personal for you, especially when you are in the audition room itself. This applies to both auditions and callbacks.

4. Make sure your headshots represent YOU.

This is a common theme echoed at our monthly seminars: it is vital that your headshot looks like you. Make sure that your headshots look like you do right now, in the audition room. If you don’t use a lot of makeup when you go on auditions, don’t wear a lot of makeup in your headshots. Wear clothes that you would normally wear. Make sure your headshots look like YOU.

5. If you’re getting avails but not getting booked, just trust that those avails will soon turn into bookings.

If you are getting avails, you are doing your job. Getting booked is out of your hands. There are a million reasons that an avail might not lead to a booking, and you don’t have a lot of control over that. Just keep showing up, keep doing your job, and keep learning from the process. If you are undeniably good, those avails will start turning into bookings fast.

And there you have it! Be sure to look out for our next seminar, Saturday, December 17th, 10:30 am at the SAG Actors Foundation Center. We’re going earlier in the month this time, because we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought you’d show up on December 31. It’s New Year’s Eve, man. We wouldn’t want to come either.

Mike Danner is an actor, a painter, and a Cubs fan. He has a Master’s Degree in Film Production from Chapman University, his favorite movie is Jaws, and he enjoys a good breakfast sandwich. He currently lives in Los Angeles.