The Other Side of Auditions: Part 2
Interning at PR Casting was one of the best experiences of my career. I loved being surrounded by so many driven creative artists, and as was previously mentioned, the break from subbing twice a week was nothing more than a treat. And don’t get me started on the food. (If you ever decide to intern at a casting company, do so over the holidays. The food keeps coming, and it’s glorious.)
I learned so much during my internship, and one of the most comforting facts I learned is this:
Believe it or not, casting directors want you to succeed.
Chicago-based casting director Claire Simon says it perfectly:
But I am here to tell you, no, promise you, that everyone in that room is not only rooting for you, but hoping you are amazing. They are praying that the next actor in the room solves their casting program. They are hoping you are “it”.
And that’s really it, folks.
Before my internship, I always felt uneasy in the audition room, but that was before I learned this valuable lesson. As an intern, I got to know the ladies at PR Casting on a personal level, and it turns out they are real human beings! And again, they want you to succeed. I learned this lesson best between auditions, behind closed doors. Casting directors would say things like “man, he must have been having an off day,” or “YES! That’s exactly it!” And I’m really not lying here. Casting directors empathize with actors more than anyone else.
Have you ever tried to sell a house? When you hire a realtor, he wants your house to be clean and beautiful before anyone walks through because the sooner it’s sold, the sooner he gets paid. It’s really the same for a casting director: when you succeed, the casting director succeeds. It’s a win-win.
It’s amazing how much easier auditioning became for me when I realized casting directors are on our side. I noticed myself relaxing and listening more. I noticed myself taking more logical risks that helped me to stand out. I also noticed myself listening more. Sometimes a casting director will give you a note. Instead of pretending to listen, actually relax and listen. This makes all the difference in the world.
The next time you have an audition, right before walking into the audition room, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that the casting directors know you got it in you. (That’s why you got the audition in the first place!) Now it’s your job to prove them right.
P.S. I took today’s picture at PR right before an audition. It was a bad month for the Chicago theatre community. Two well-known actors in our community tragically died, both at young ages. The ladies at PR took it upon themselves to do a little something extra to make their actors feel good with these words of encouragement and a full room of food. It’s moments like this that make me proud to be a part of a strong and supportive community.