Casting directors call in the actors that are submitted to them for specific roles. When a Casting Director has a role they need filled, they release information about that role on the breakdowns. Agents and Managers see that breakdown and submit any of their clients that fit that description.
The Casting Director looks at all the pictures and acting reels that are submitted (500 or so) and then calls in the actors THEY want to see. For Commercials it can be in the thousands according to my friend Carol Lynn Sher at CESD. Sometimes they call in actor they have auditioned before, or hired before for other shows, or actors they have seen at workshops. Sometimes they call in actors they have never seen if they seem to fit the role.
There are different types of roles to audition for:
Series Regular (In every episode)
Recurring (in several episodes)
Guest Star (works 3-5 days)
Co-Star (works 1 day)
(These are how these credits should be billed on your resumes by the way.)
Meeting a casting director doesn’t guarantee employment anywhere, at any time, ever. But every time a casting director sees an actor they get to know the actor’s personality and their skills better and better over time. They discover which actors are really good, and which actors still need work They discover which actors are ready to work, and which actors are not yet.
Casting Directors have very, very, VERY good memories. They can see an actor one time and determine if the actors is ready to work…and to which extent. Are they ready for co-stars, guest stars, or series regular roles? Every time a casting director is working with an actor in an audition format they are determining these things.
For example…What a casting director has a SERIES REGULAR role available, they will call in the actors they know who are capable of handling the demands of such a role. After that, they will call in additional actors to see if any of those would be able to handle the demands of such an important role. Sometimes during that process of screening actors for one role they discover an actor might be right for a different role…in the same project… or in another project. Casting Director’s keep track of all of this.
FOR PARENTS OF CHILD ACTORS Your job as a parent is to keep taking your child to the auditions they get. And try to remember this is a numbers games.
When an actor auditions for a film, the casting directors and the producers could take months to decide who fits the role.
TV AUDITIONS With TV roles, Casting typically happens very quickly. For example: a Costar or Guest star role is cast in one week… and then works the following week because they shoot a new episode every single week. Therefore, the process of putting out a breakdown, auditioning people, giving callbacks, and then making the decision is very quick.
THE CASTING PROCESS
All auditions start with the Casting Director. Once the CD is satisfied that the actor meets the description of the character, has interpreted the character in an interesting way, and has the acting skills necessary to do the job they will be given a CALLBACK.
This next round of auditions called THE PRODUCER’S SESSION in an audition in which the show’s producers attend the audition. In this audition the actor needs to do exactly what they did in the PRE-READ session and Callback session with the Casting Director (unless told otherwise by casting) The actor should wear the same clothes, same hairstyle, and do the same exact audition so casting can show the producers what they saw and liked about the actor.
For a series regular role it takes much more time and is a much more involved process.
DECIDING WHO IS CAST
The producers, writers and directors make the decision of who is cast, and often the Network has approval as well.
1) the actor may have to fit in with the looks of a family, with other siblings.
2) they have to have good chemistry with the other actors who will make up the series.
3) the have to be likeable and get along well with the others who are being cast.
4)being ontime, every time and well prepared at all times is critical and part of being a professional (on time to me means 10 minutes early)
5) the director, producers or network execs could just take a disliking to an actor for whatever reason and send the actor home. It’s a personal preference. The actor could remind the Executive of the wife he is divorcing and arbitrarily dismiss the actor from the process. An actor will usually never know why they did not get a part. Side Note: Don’t expect your reps to get you feedback all the time. It’s a bother to casting. Once in awhile you may get feedback.
WHO HAS THE FINAL SAY IN CASTING?
Once the cast is assembled a Table Read is scheduled and everyone who is cast comes together to read through the script out loud so producers, writers and directors can hear how the project sounds as a whole.
Then the re-wrting and shooting begins!
Well there you go….a peak into the world of casting. Keep reading my blogs and continue to learn!
WENDY ALANE WRIGHT
Talent Manager WAW Entertainment
COACHING WEBSITE: http://www.secretsofahollywoodtalentmanager.com