From Charlie's Desk > Nervousness - Part 3 - What Should I Do?


Last Newsletter we talked about how knowing what to expect will help.  Now let's address  "What should I do?"  It's usually uncertainty that makes us nervous.  If you know what to expect and how to prepare and what to do at the audition, your nerves will be much more under control.  
Most professionally run movie and TV auditions are about the same. (Inexperienced local film makers sometimes do it differently, so be prepared.)  Generally, you get notification by phone, email, or text from your agent or the casting director that you have an audition or interview at such-and-such a time and place.  We always give you a specific audition time; no "cattle calls" where everybody's audition time is the same and it's first-come-first-served.  
Always ask if there are "sides" available.  Sides are the pages of the script you'll be using for the audition.  Movie & TV auditions are usually cold readings from the script. (I've had dozens and dozens of auditions and never once been asked to do a monologue.  It's just not the way it's done.)  Usually the sides will be emailed to you or you'll be given a link or website where you can download them.  At Media Casting Group we use Dropbox.  The sooner you get them, the more time you'll have to prepare, and preparation helps eliminate nervousness.  
There's a saying in the business, "Ten minutes early is twenty minutes late."  Plan to get there half an hour before your appointment time.  You need time to catch your breath, get the traffic out of your head, go to the bathroom, fix your makeup, etc.  There should be a sign-in sheet of some sort; we use the standard SAG-AFTRA for all auditions.  Sign in and complete the size sheet if there is one.  It will ask for your name, and contact info, if you are union or non-union your sizes or measurements and other info.  Usually you'll return them to an assistant along with your headshot and resume.  ALWAYS TAKE HEADSHOTS TO THE AUDITION!  I amazed at how many people show up for auditions with no headshots.  Always take extras with you, too.  By the way, the standard size for headshots is 8 X 10.  I have never once been asked for my 
"8 1/2 X 11 and resume!"  Also, cut your resume to the same size and staple or glue it to the back of your picture.  I just took a stack of paper to the printers and had them cut it to 8 X 10.  That way they're automatically the right size when I print them out.  Once the paperwork is done, ask if there are any changes to the script so you'll be sure you're on the same page as the auditioners.  Then spend the time until you're called in working on your character, etc.
Once you're called into the audition room . . . well, let's save that until next time. 

Charlie Holliday