What You Should Be Doing During a Casting

You’ve already had to do a lot of work just to get to this day, but eventually, the audition day will arrive. Get to your audition space early to set everything up so that your day can pass without a hitch. Soon, actors will start arriving, and it’s finally time to meet the some of the people who you’ll be working with on your project. Stay positive and professional, and you’ll get the same respect from them.

Your usher will bring the actors into the room one by one, and it’s your job to make them feel at ease and comfortable in the audition. Establish beforehand who in your team will act as the “host” and be the first to speak when each actor walks in. The members of your team should be introduced, and the procedure of the audition should be explained to the actor. Be friendly and show interest; the actor is probably nervous. Auditions are job interviews for actors, and few people go into interviews with total confidence.

Keep your auditions private and never let one actor watch another audition. For your first round of casting, do it one by one. Later, during callbacks, you can have multiple actors in at once to read together to find those with chemistry.

You, the producers, and anyone else needed for the casting session should be seated behind a table at one end of the room. The actor should stand across from you at a marked spot that puts them in a good frame for the camera (which should be to the side of the director’s table). If you have a reader to read scenes with the actor, put them right in front of the camera but not in the shot. It’s a good idea to have extra chairs available.

The camera should frame the actor in a medium shot for most of the reading, but do at least one close up during the process. The camera work doesn’t have to be perfect. These recordings are just to help you with your decision process later and to provide a small example of what the actor looks like on film. Remember to check sound levels beforehand. You may need an overhead microphone if the camera isn’t close enough to the actor to pick up sound by itself.

Finally, remember not to spend too much time on any one actor. Feel free to have them re-read scenes or see how they take direction, but remember that you have a schedule and that this is just the first step of the process. If you feel positive about their performance, put them in the callback pile, and go more in depth during their next audition.

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