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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Advice to Actors

Hi Guys! I'm writing this blog because a producer friend thought it would be a good idea, since I've had lots of recent interactions with actors and casting for our short film, Visible Noise. I've held casting auditions for all my other films, but this one's different. Since I currently live in CO but we're shooting in Austin, TX, that puts a physical barrier between myself and the actors I need to cast for our film. So the majority of my casting has been online - even auditions.

After posting a casting announcement for one of the roles, I received over 30 submissions within one day. That's AWESOME, but overwhelming. Out of respect to all the entries and people who took time to send me ALL the info I need to make a proper decision, if they gave me a reel - I watched it. But through the process, I felt frustrated many times, and I'm about to tell you why. It's not to vent (I've already done that with Jeff and Lorie) but it's so that hopefully you, the actor, will learn something about the other side of production that will enable you to have the best possible chance at getting the role!

1) If you don't have a picture on IMDB, it's hard for me to take you seriously as an actor. I know it's $13/mo., but if this is your true passion, figure out a way to get it up there.

2) If you send me your head shot and resume without a reel, you will fall behind those that do. And I may forget to go back to you! So, please, send any video you have. It's better than nothing.

3) When you send a note with your submission, I want to be able to tell you are genuinely interested in the project without a bunch of questions attached to it. I'm a very nice person who wants to respond to everyone, but I've got 100 other people to look at, so your questions most likely will not be answered.

4) Always be kind to EVERYONE you work with, even if they're not your cup of tea. Here's why - if you say you know Gary, I'm going to contact Gary immediately, if you're a potential candidate, and see how Gary liked working with you. :)

5) If I have trouble opening your files, or I'm directed to another page and can not easily find a link to your reel or other, the likelihood is that I'll leave and won't return.

6) Sometimes I receive reels where there's multiple actors in the first take for long periods of time... I understand that there's set-up for your scene, but if I'm confused at who I'm supposed to be watching, I will probably just leave.

7) Have a versatile Reel - in auditions, you have a chance to prove your ability to adapt to any character, but if I'm casting for a dark drama remotely, and all you send me is comedy stuff, it's hard for me to view you as anything else. I have actor friends who have had a lack of work for a reel, so they created the versatility themselves by making up scenes and shooting them.

8) Be accommodating. I understand that you have another job, (or two) as we all do, maybe you're in college, and have a million other projects (hopefully) in the pipeline, but if you don't ACT like you're willing to do whatever I ask that I need from you to make the best decision, then it's a turn-off. Especially when there are so many other applicants showing serious interest.

I hope this helps a little!

Feel free to add to this if you're a seasoned actor or casting person, as this is just my experience!

xo Jentri

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