From Charlie's Desk > Nervousness - Part 4 - What's in the Room?

The last couple of issues we've been talking about nervousness, especially at auditions, and how to handle it.  We're usually nervous because we don't know what to expect, what to do, or we're not prepared.  Okay, you've gotten the calling been given the time for your audition or interview, downloaded the sides studied them, and showed up half an hour early.  After signing in and filling out your size sheet you work on your lines and your character while you wait to be called in.  Finally, your name is called and you're ushered into the room.  What lies on the other side of that door can vary.  In LA, for smaller roles, very often it's just the casting director sitting behind his or her desk, and that's who you read with.  Here in Northern California  almost all auditions are recorded.  When you go in you'll find the casting director, a camera operator, and sometimes a reader.  If it's a callback, there may be several other people in the room; the director, the producer, sometimes even the star of the picture.  (It's okay to ask who's in the room before you go in.)  Once inside, head for the mark; there will be a piece of tape or something on the floor indicating where you are to stand.  It's important that you stay on the mark, because that's where the camera is focused and that's where the best light is.  Another thing, don't try to shake hands with anyone unless they offer to shake your hand first.  
A lot of casting directors are "germaphobic", since they see so many people every day.  Just head for the mark and be cordial.  Before you begin your read it's okay to ask intelligent questions about the script or your character.  For movies and TV, you will usually be asked to slate your name, your height and the role you're reading for.  Always slate directly into the camera and after that read with the reader, not the camera.  After you read they may give you adjustments.  Listen to them carefully, then try to implement them.  Once your read is finished, they'll usually say thank you or that was fine or whatever; what that means is goodbye!  Thank them, and then leave.  Don't hang around and try to talk.  Don't comment on your read.  Just thank them and go.
That's pretty much the way most auditions go.  Next issue will be talking about how to prepare for your audition.  (I probably should've done that one first!)

Charlie Holliday