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The Craft

2 Callback Traps To Avoid

2 Callback Traps To Avoid
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Auditioning is its own art form, and while you may nail a first read—where the auditors might be looking simply for talent and ability—the callback is another challenge. Now you’ve got to prove you deserve a particular role in a particular project. 

As you prep, be sure to avoid these two common callback traps: 

Trap #1: Displaying every tool in your kit
While it’s good that you’re a well-rounded actor with the ability to take a script in many directions, a callback is not the time to display your vast and impressive skill set. Yes, it’s great that you can cry on cue, but don’t insert that little doozy into a comedic first-date scene where it doesn’t belong. Most casting folks aren’t interested in finding the best, most versatile actor—they need the right actor for the part. 

Trap #2: Avoiding the “wrong” choice
Now is not the time to tread lightly with a decent, noncommittal read—waiting, perhaps, for the auditor to take the lead on what he or she is looking for. The callback is your chance to show off a well-realized character and strong, specific choices. No, you don’t know what they’re looking for, but many times, neither do they. Don’t pussyfoot around with a general, please-everybody read; jump in with your take on the role.

Whatever you do, do it boldly. You proved yourself by earning a callback. Now you get to perform.

Jackie Apodaca is an associate professor and the head of performance at Southern Oregon University.

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