Part 2 of the Notes from the Other Side series...
Actors who really prepares for an audition, and gave it 100% really excits me.
Preparation Work not only involves the audition material (sides, script, etc) - but how you condition yourself before you walk into the room.
Recently I was approached by a filmmaker friend of mine, in search of a leading actress for his short film. He didn't want to make the project public - therefore, my only option was to pull from my files.
I was lucky enough to have previously worked on two independent films that involved Asian Female characters.
So I contacted the 4 actresses who did a great reading previously, in additions to actors who I couldn't see because they were not a perfect match for the role. Plus, the actresses who have shown interests in my previous project, but couldn't audition due to schedule conflict.
And of course, I've also invited my actress friends who fits the description.
As an Actor myself - I understand that sometimes getting an audition is very tough. So any opportunity is a step up a great Acting Career.
And as a Casting Director, I really do appreciate Actors showing interest in my project.
I've managed to invite and confirmed 26 actresses to come in to auditon for the film. But with a few last minute cancellation and no shows... We've managed to see 22 of them.
As expected, the 4 actresses I've previously met... aced their audition. (One of them got the role - I'm very happy for her...)
While for others actors that I met for the first time, I now have an idea on how they look in person, and their natural quality as a person. And of course, their talent and special skills. (So if I come across a project that is suitable for them, I will invite them back for an audition!)
Later that night, the Director, Producers, Writers and Myself compare notes - I named my top 8 actresses. And gave them my feedback.
Then the director gave me his choices, and I'd comment on the ones not on my list.
Surprisingly, these are actors who I couldn't remember exactly what they did at the audition. (Now I know why so many Casting Directors ask the Actors to make Strong and Interesting Choices. Something they will remember... Something that will help them stand out among 20+ other actors.)
Oh yeah, personality also had a huge impact on my feedback.
"The best actor doesn't always get the job"
Usually people see this statement, they get the idea that the Director or the Producer would hire someone who is more physically attractive, or someone who has the 'star' power.
On the other hand, there are actors who are really good at what they do, but lack the common courtesy, manner, and professionalism. I pick up people's energy easily (I'm sure a lot of actors do too, being emotionally available is something we must do - and we have to be open to Feel and be Affected by our enviornment). So the moment an Actor walk into the room, I could pretty much get an idea on his or her professionalism. And later on, further professional (or lack of) behaviors will confirm that.
I have convinced the Director why he shouldn't consider certain actors based on their behavior in the room.
"What you see now, is what you will probably see on Set."
That's exactly what I said.
We want actors who wants to work. We want actors who really shown interest in the project, and 'show' us why they wanted it. Regardless if the actor had a horrible stressful day... Leave it out of the room. We've only got 5 minutes to get to know the actor... Please make the best out of it.
I hope within the very near future, I will have the opportunity to work on good projects (Pilots, anyone?) or even producers with budget to pay actors.... So I can give something back to the actors who really took their career seriously.