I was recently asked for a list of audition advice from a student in the Audition Techniques class at my old stomping grounds, Valdosta State University. I decided to post them here as well, in the hopes that it may be helpful to some other actors out there.
These notes are more from my experience casting my feature film Uncommon Law than from my experiences as an actor. Several of these notes apply specifically to the submission process, before you even walk in the door (while sifting through hundreds of submissions, I was amazed at how much of an opinion I developed based solely on who actually followed instructions.)
It’s kinda funny when you run into someone after a long time, tell them what you’re up to, and they look at you like you’ve gone completely insane. It probably doesn’t help matters when you kinda agree with them.
My last several weeks have been consumed with auditions, callbacks, responding to hundreds of emails, script revisions, production meetings, and all other manner of insanity that goes into filmmaking when you don’t have anything resembling a budget. On top of that and the usual work load, I shot & edited a music video for Heath McNease (premiering soon!)
The audition process has been incredibly eye opening, particularly because I’ve always been on the other side of the table. I’ve compiled some notes, and when I get a chance I’ll make a post of helpful tips for people submitting for auditions. I’ve already decided that for my next film, I’m going to hire a casting director, because I don’t even know how many hours I spent fielding emails and getting everything prepped for the auditions. I had over 100 people audition for Uncommon Law, with over 200 submitting their information to be considered. I’ve seen a lot of good people, and it’s taken two eight hour casting meetings just to narrow it down to the point where we’ve almost got the whole thing cast. I start making calls to people tomorrow.
Fortunately, my good friend Amy has taken on the role of production manager, which has totally saved my butt. It’s great having someone to bounce ideas off, contact everyone, find locations, and handle the production side of things. Now that casting is just about over, it’ll free me up to focus on the artistic side of things, since I still have little things like revisions and storyboards to worry about (not to mention obtaining equipment.) However, I am taking a reprieve tomorrow to see Super 8. Somehow that feels appropriate, all things considered.
As a side note, I’d like to return to my sleep schedule from ten years ago when I was just fine on four hours of sleep, but I’m afraid my body would rebel against me.