Don’t Cast Divas

Is your next production solely based on the star power of your cast? Remember this, when it comes to casting- talent is not enough. Find people that you can work with under pressure and largely unrewarding circumstances.

You need to start evaluating an actor’s work ethic from when you come in contact with them. Screen for is whether they seem to have a generally positive or negative outlook on life. People with a positive, optimistic outlook are going to bring a lot of life to your set. They are going to drop their egos and get the work done that needs to be done. They are going to see all the inevitable setbacks that happen as minor annoyances at worst. They are going to bring an intangible light to your production.

Actors, as a rule, are forced in to vulnerable position while they work, and you want to make sure that they are personally secure enough to do this. (The operative word here is “enough”). They will bring their own personal drama on to the set, and if they don’t have any personal drama they will make it. Your talent will alienate other members of the cast and crew, and may create a negative cloud over your production.

Some say it doesn’t matter how an actor behaves, provided she brings enough looks or acting talent to the production. This line of thinking can derail your film. It doesn’t matter how attractive an actor is, it doesn’t matter how much spark they bring to your finished film; if they do not work, they simply do not work.

Working with a train wreck of an actor may be a very short sighted way of looking at your career as a film maker. This may suggest that you are more concerned with star power than professionalism, this could be an issue. Your set may suffer your reputation and working relationship with your crew.

While some argue that the talent is worth the hassle of working with them, the truth is that most star power is constructed, and thus replaceable. More than one, trained and experienced actor will be able to play the role. Some will be a shade better, consider spending more time casting and getting to know your talent if possible.

Notice who arrives on time to your auditions and who doesn’t. Chances are you have a late audition arrival this will translate on the set. Have a few auditions, hold as many as you need or able to hold so you may understand actors’ work attitude. But do keep in mind before you go all “Soup Nazi” on them, people genuinely do have one of those days, and inviting them to at least two or three more rounds of auditions will let you see if this persists.

A committed actor should show up (on time) to a number of rounds to audition. She will be polite and present well. She will be kind to the other actors, and respect you. (Unless of course you are casting Hobo-bitch-zilla?) She will support you and your production in ways that a slightly more talented diva never will, so make your choice.

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