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9 tips for getting your callbacks after a commercial audition
03-04-2019 Posted by Ingrid Sanghee Edwards in Other

Do you find yourself going from casting to casting and still no callbacks?The answer could lie in the economy, yes, but it is important to remind yourself that there are enough jobs out there for everyone and realize that your preparation and execution could be the issues versus your ability as an actor.

If you feel like you are going to casting after casting and not landing a role, here are a few tips that may help make the next one your best. 


The speedy version:

  • Preparation
  • Presence
  • Personality
  • Subtext
  • Openness
  • Costume 
  • Confidence
  • Love
  • Movement

And now for the windy version:

  • Preparation-

Being prepared does not just entail knowing your lines.  This also means getting enough rest and taking care of your body if these are important elements of the role. Of course, if you are trying to land a role as a drunken rock star cyborg from outer space then taking care of your health and beauty may not be the first step in your appropriate preparation.  However, in the long run for someone wanting to be an actor and despite what kind of role it is, it is best to be good to yourself: body mind and spirit first and foremost…Oh yea, and drink more water! 


  • Be Present- 

As many of us have a tendency to be inside our own heads, it is very important to focus on the here and now and be in tune with the director and the casting.  Long term ways to train the mind into being present are most ideal, such as training the mind with meditation, focus techniques or taking time to invest in workshops such as the Tony Grahn “Focus Method” where he gives valuable information on the power focus in acting. See what I did there Tony? :) Thanks again for your great work!


  • Subtext- 

In the same importance as being present, it is good to remember a subtext in your head.  This means thinking of an underlying message to be conveyed when you are speaking dialogue.  In the acting world, some may call this “lines between the lines” or “the unsaid meaning”. What subtext does is add an extra layer of complexity to scenes or characters, but it can also give the viewer your most general self.  Have trouble figuring what to say? Why not start with “I am the one you want” and read more about subtext here.


  • Openness-

While no one likes a “yes” woman or “yes” man, being open to suggestions and trying something different is always a great characteristic to bring during commercial auditions as well as in life. This obviously excludes things that may be harmful to your mental state or personal boundaries, but having an open sense to critique and suggestions can ensure the “difficult actor” stamp is never placed on any of your headshots. 


  • Costume-

Styling and makeup are very important when it comes to auditions. Too much makeup can be distracting and is overall unpleasant in my opinion.  The person who invented ‘spray on Instagram brows” and ‘cake face' needs to be banished from the earth until they get it through their heads that it's not cool for the sake of women's perception of beauty.  No makeup is ideal, however, a perfectly matching base foundation over moisturizer, eyeliner, and some mascara can go a long way.  Honestly, the production team will be looking at you as a canvas to see if you will fit the makeup and styling on production day. For men and women alike it is helpful to research what kind of clothes your character wears. For instance, if you are going for a role as a baker, why not bring a chef hat or apron? are you being cast for an American from the 70's role? Do some research and make it your own but remember less is more! Flare jeans, white shirt and one little element such as “peace symbol” earrings could help the director envision you in the role.  Be prepared however to remove it, because what works for Tarantino may not work for Speilberg.  (Side note there needs to be more WOMEN in the Top Hollywood Directors). That being said no more than one or two crazy element please, and if you show up dressed up for that role as Janis Joplin and high as hell then you may be asked to leave the premises. We warned you.  

  • Attitude-

No one ever gets the easy pass in castings or in life.  If it's pouring down rain, you're nervous, you have the violent poops… or you just got dumped by your significant other…be bigger than the doo-doo storms and have a good attitude.  As soon as you walk in the door of a casting everyone could be noticing you.  Front desk girl making you wait? Be patient but don't be run over and unnoticed. The way you behave and treat others ANY OTHER DAY as well as on casting day will show who you are as a person if you deserve this role, the exposure, and da moolah.

  • Confidence-

While this is a staple in any situation in life, natural true born self-loving confidence can be felt in the sense of presence so practice good posture and body language.  This can help every day as well as before you arrive at your casting. Finding it hard to believe in your self?  Start running, do meditation, join acting groups, meetups and go to events.  Most importantly surround yourself with those who believe in you.  Take the advice, my sister, mom and dad gave me growing up: chin up buttercup, don't forget to smile and don't scuffle your damn shoes! Thanks, fam! :) 


  • Appreciation

Finding appreciation in the character or scene is very important. Despite the fact that you should not apply for a role you don't want; there are parts to any scene or character that we may not like.  If you are able to find a point of appreciation for your role then you can then turn that appreciation into love… and by loving your role, you truly understand the character.  That's exactly what casting directors should and will be wanting for casting their parts.  


  • Movement – 

Some of the best acting can be done with no dialogue.  When I am sometimes playing parts with no words I think in my head objects I am focusing on.  For our performance in Shanghai for the Tiong Ang "Misconceptions of the Lyrical Cube" exhibition, there were 13 of us who did a 9.5-hour performance. What helped many of us through it is internally talking to ourselves about what we were seeing and focusing on.  That allowed me to personally continue this performance with only 1 coffee, 2 cigarette breaks, and a dinner break. Okay maybe I was a bit “hanky” (hangry and cranky)  in the last few hours but it was an amazing performance that we will never forget.  Making internal notes on things in the room can be seen as focus, but also stretches the appreciation muscle for all that you see. 


In the end, your career is what you make of it.  Keep getting out there and rock on Aliens!



Are you a casting director and have more tips? Send us an email at office@in-casting.com and let's plan an interview!


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