How To Solve The Casting Director's Problem

To combat nerves, prep professionally, and ace an audition there are many techniques that work.

1. Exercising

2. Positive affirmations

3. Focusing on the character you are about to portray (i.e. Be "Blanche Dubois" on the bus or in the car driving to the audition.)

4. Meditating

5. Warming up your voice and body just before entering the room

6. Talking to all the other auditionees, the receptionist, the office assistant, etc. to connect

These techniques focus on YOU and solve your problem of handling the audition.

But the best technique of all? Understand the person for whom you are auditioning: The casting director.

Solve THEIR problem.

Sometimes when auditioning for primetime roles, you might "go to producers," all 10 or 12 of them: the coordinating, supervising, and executive producers; a string of associate producers; and the assistant producers. And, of course, you might meet with the head writer of the series, the creator or the director-creator, the showrunner, a few executives, and their assistants.

Solve THEIR problem.

If you're auditioning for a commercial, you might also see the client from the corporate office sitting in the corner- rare but possible- or in the control room watching.

Solve THEIR problem.

And WHAT are all these folks thinking? Are they thinking about your talent? Your looks? Your personality? Your audition? Sort of.

But mostly they are operating from a place of FEAR. They're thinking about how THEY are going to keep their job and make this project a HIT. "Is this actor going to be THE ONE? The one who will star in my primetime series, film, or commercial and make it soar?"

Everyone is full of fear. Casting directors definitely are on a treadmill with little time, a lot of nerves and anxiety trying to please their boss: the producer, client, or network. They have to find the RIGHT actors or not work again for that boss. The producers are nervous because if they choose the wrong talent, the show will fail and they will lose their edge at their network.

The writer is scared because whether it is their first script or twentieth, it needs to be successful so they will work again in the next few years. "You are only as good as your last credit" is absolutely true. The committee of 15 or so producers are all are vying for a position at the table. If they vote on the wrong actor, they loose status and possibly their
job, and if they choose the right actor, they gain status and the power to produce their own series.

Everyone is frightened that the wrong choice will destroy their career. Millions of dollars and and lots of jobs are at stake for a new series or a network commercial. In the midst of this angst and chaos, you arrive with your own fear, doubt and nerves. Will they like me? Am I talented enough? Did I make the right acting choice? Yes, I nailed it!"

Re-think this. Instead of making it about YOU and how well you can audition, make it about THEM. Solve their problem. Help them. Calm them. Charm them. This is where psychology outweighs talent and all the training in the world.

Alleviate the FEAR. You are the happy voice of success.

"I will solve your problem. Choose me and we BOTH will win! I will star in your series, and it will be a SUCCESS!!!

So your acting job - besides playing the script they wrote - is to play the script YOU write (well, your subtext).

"I'm going to make you successful...I will make you money...We are going to win an Emmy, Oscar, or Tony together!!!"

Become the SOLUTION to their problem not another problem. And while you are focusing on helping them, you actually will do a far more brilliant audition. Try it! It works. Trust me, I know!

As the founder and executive director of The Actors's Market, Gwyn Gilliss provides free monthly info seminars, agent/casting director interview tele-seminars, weekly marketing tips, as well as many coaching programs to help actors break into both the NY and L.A. industries. Gwyn has tremendous success with her private career coaching clients. More than 90 percent get agent representation launching their careers with performances in feature films, Broadway productions, and Emmy-award-winning primetime TV series, such as "The Good Wife," "White Collar," "Grey's Anatomy," "NCIS," "House," "Law & Order," "30 Rock," "Criminal Minds."

Email her to request a free 15-minute career session: