“If you love to act, this is the test,” Bryan Cranston insists. “If you say, ‘No, I hate auditioning’—why? It’s an opportunity for you to act, so are you not telling the truth when you say you are in love with acting?”
The Emmy and Tony Award winner takes serious issue with actors who don’t embrace their time in the room. Currently Tony-nominated again for his tour de force performance in Broadway’s “Network,” Cranston goes further to say that not only is every audition an opportunity to act, but every audition is an opportunity to learn.
“When I look back at auditioning, I [remember that I] always looked forward to them,” he told Backstage back in November when “Network” was still in previews at the Belasco Theatre. “It’s a chance to perform and to stay sharp and come up with a character that serves the text but also is interesting. But if you’re doing Clerk No. 2 and the line is, ‘Here's your key sir,’ you don’t want to make it too interesting because then you’re distracting from the story. Your aim is to be honest so if it’s simple, keep it simple and learn from that.”
Additionally, Cranston acknowledges that so much of what ultimately leads to booking work is not in the actor’s control. But for that very reason, it is immeasurably important to serve that which is in your control.
“Be on time, have a good attitude, deliver your job, be responsible, and try to make friends of those people who may hire you,” he says. “Send a personalized note to the casting director and say, ‘I just want to say thank you. I appreciate it.’ It matters, it makes sense. You should manage whatever you are in control of: your audition, your thank yous, your personal contacts, your keeping up with people. You need to manage that and manage it well. You are your business—and you need to tend to your business.”
What say you, actors? Are you tending to your business?
Inspired? Apply to casting calls on Backstage!