Thursday, 30 May 2013


Casting directors are your advocates and heroes. Your work reflects on them. Which is why it is marvellous if you have been on a reality TV show. Or at least done a bit of singing on the X Factor. If you have a little bit of profile it will help you get the job - and make it far easier to convince me, the producer, and the other investors that you are right for the role. Casting directors need you to be great – with as little dribbling and shouting as possible.

They are there to host your experience and shepherd you out as quickly as possible if you look wrong, or smell bad. 

Casting directors wait on the other side of that door – the door that is locked firmly shut until they have finished drinking gin, watching YouTube, and licking things. I know, as I am usually in there licking with them. Avoid turning your audition into a horror movie – in actual fact it would be far wiser to turn it into a soft porn movie. In reality many of you do this anyway by the tight crop-tops and revealing hot pants that you wear. And indeed this can become a highlight of the audition room – and aid your quest in getting a recall. Your audition is your opportunity to do exceptional work. Enter the space and do the work yourself, for the gratification of the panel, and let us see if you are the right actor to collaborate with and help the director come up with some ideas. Because, quite literally – most directors haven’t read the script enough times to do it without you.

Here are some choices (and they are facts) to make any casting director dribble with excitement and offer you the job there and then.

1 - Accept the invitation with excitement and wonder. You were requested to be here because Rylan couldn’t make it.

2 - Come to work and not to please. Of course if you are doing it wrong then we won’t approve.

3 - Enter with certainty. But don’t look arrogant. And also don’t look like a gibbering mess. Find the happy medium.

4 - Face the right way.

5 - Play on a level field. We’re all figuring it out – none of us know why the hell the director wants to make a musical using ‘Girls Aloud’ songs, but that might be what you’re auditioning for.

6 - Make the room your own. You are more than welcome to bring a kettle, chair and bed in with you if this helps.

7 - Don’t fall over.

8 - Make no excuses whatsoever. Unless your nan has just died. Then tell us. As this will guarantee that you will get the job.

9 - Ask questions when you truly need answers. ‘Do you have any questions?’ is usually our way of  saying ‘sorry but it didn’t go your way this time’.

10 - Know you words. In the correct order. And try and understand what you are talking about (although this is only recommended for experienced actors).

11 - Please apologise if you are really bad. It will help break the tense atmosphere.

12 - Make choices, and take responsibility for your own hairstyle. Your hairstyle is a choice. Make it represent the character.

13 - Know what you want to do and do it. Unless this involves touching the panel in naughty places. In which case don’t.

14 - Don’t mime – keep it simple. Unless you are not very good at acting. In which case do as much as you can to try and cover this up.

15 - Don’t blame the reader. The readers are always chosen to be purposely bad, and have usually only just passed their GCSE drama. Treat them with respect. They tend to be the casting director’s children or partner.

16 - Make bold choices. We want your unique voice to bring the script to life. If you feel it is not going well then change the pitch of your voice, or use an Australian accent.

17 - Stand away from the panel if you are smelly.

18 - Don’t expect to be directed. But if you are, nod approvingly and do whatever you are told. Even if this involves procreation.

19 - No stroking or cuddling. Unless you are really attractive. In which case feel free to touch all of us.

20 - Stillness is powerful. But for god’s sake don’t stand still all the time. Unless you are one of those Covent Garden performers. In which case we will watch you for a few minutes and then throw some loose change at you.

21 - Above all else - share your artistry, and as much flesh as possible.

Remember that we’re all human in those rooms, and you can affect us on an emotional level – particularly if you are good at crying. Actors who can cry tend to be very good indeed. Especially if you have a little bit of snot coming out of your nose at the same time. That really impresses. It’s what we really want. Your being fully present, truthful, personal, and good is going to give us the ammunition to allow you to leave the room unharmed. We’re rooting for you to be good. You do your fullest, deepest work, and let my casting director take you for some drinks that evening – and we’ll slay little puppies for you. And we’ll be happy doing it. You have the power. So cry, show flesh, be available for late night auditions, and try not to spit too much. For you. For us. For the work, dear!



  1. As ever very informative #dear

  2. Wow very nice information! Thanks for the share...