Know. Your. Range.
Maybe because I’m an Actor; I always try to give Actors the benefit of the doubt when I’m casting for a project.
If someone’s running late, that’s fine, as long as they can manage to come to the session before I wrap up the camera.
If someone is less than prepared (due to involvement with another show, other auditions), that’s okay. I will go through the sides with them, and give specific note on specific lines. (Technically, I don’t need to do this, unless there’s a specific reaction that my producer wants to see)
If there’s an actor who I have met in the past, and interested in another project I’m casting. I will double check with the actor to see if he/she really feels that they are suitable for the character – or be honest that I don’t feel he/she is suitable for the role. I will respond if time allows.
At the end of the day, I just want the actors do their best, and bring their own interpretation of the character (without going too far) to the audition.
This past weekend, there was an actor whom I have previously met at another casting session. Nice kid, really passionate about the craft, and has a unique quality about him. When he submitted to my most recent project, I immediately scheduled him for an audition. (I mean, physically, he looks the part.)
After the first day of the audition, I got an email for this actor. He felt he could have done better (he did his reading twice – the second time I gave him a couple adjustments to guide him closer to the character). He asked if he can come to the second day of the audition, and do the reading again.
I replied “Okay” and then in a separate email, I gave him a reference of a character from a popular Comic Book and Cartoon, who fits the “type” that the producer is looking for.
So, day two of the audition, he was right on-time; signed in and sat the waiting area until I was all set up and ready to go.
He sat down, slate, and did his reading with me.
After he’s done….
Wayne: “And the difference between this reading and yesterday’s…?”
Actor: “I feel much better.”
Wayne: “Of course, you are off book.”
Wayne: “Did you remember the notes I gave you yesterday, after your first reading?”
He looked at me, puzzled.
Wayne: “Your reading is exactly the same as your very first reading. Didn’t I tell you that this character shouldn’t react this way…..etc etc because etc etc etc and this…etc etc etc…”
And I pretty much gave him the same notes all over again.
Then he did the reading again, and it was exactly the same as yesterday’s second reading.
Wayne: “Okay, thanks for coming. I will replace yesterday’s footage with this one, because the lighting is nicer in this studio.”
And that was it.
I felt so bad that the Actress who had the first appointment had to wait almost 10 minutes in the waiting area…
Actors, unless you have a mind-blowing, completely amazing, out of this world approach when you ask for a 3rd reading (after I already feel I got what I needed) - you are risking the chance of leaving an impression to the Casting Director that you are “limited” in your range. And not to mention, wasting the Casting Director’s time.
Not all the audition footage get to be seen by the Producer. Anything can influence the outcome of an audition.