Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Booking the Room

A few weeks ago, I auditioned but did not book a particular project. The email notifying me was very complimentary. I bumped into the producer at an industry event a couple days ago. Learned a couple things from our conversation:

  1. The email to me was the only one to go beyond the generic "not right" note.

  2. He was definitely going to be knocking at my door if he ever had a part which was right.

I felt as great about this as I would have had I actually gotten the role. Why would I feel as great about "booking the room" as I would about "booking the job"?

  • BTR means you made a good impression. They want to work with you in the future.

  • BTR means you gave an excellent read. One does not BTR on a slightly above average read.

  • BTR means if someone they know is looking to fill a role you would be right for, they might recommend you.

So, how did I book the room? Three words: Strong Character Choice. It was my interpretation of the character which impressed him.

How do you know you booked the room?

  • Booking the job is deceiving clue. You could have been choice number five. (Highly recommend thinking of yourself as the first choice. It's better for the ego.)

  • Not booking the job is a deceiving clue. You might have given the best read and still not be right for a particular role.

  • What is said in the audition room is a very bad clue. They are not going to say "That sucked. I wouldn't cast you to play yourself in a surveillance video. You'll be notified Tuesday if you got a callback." Even if that is what they are thinking.

  • Having them tell you in a neutral setting like my case is a very good clue. There was no reason he needed to bring up my audition at the industry event.

  • Getting called in for future reads is a very good clue. It means they think you have potential and are trying to find the right fit.

Booking the job is short term. Booking the room is long term. So, book the room.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How Do You Approach Your Acting Career

There are many ways to approach your acting career. Let's look at the examples of two actors, A and B.

  • A is proactive in looking for work. B expects his agent (don't ask how he got an agent) to do all the work.

  • When A is going to be unavailable, which is the exception, he books out. When B is going to be unavailable, which is the rule, he simply doesn't show up.

  • A attends industry events in order to network and support others. B also attends industry events. Particularly those that have an open bar or showcase a project he was involved in.

  • A prepares for his auditions by reading the script, making strong character choices, etc. He also keeps his cold reading skills sharp just in case. B gets a copy of the sides when he shows up at the audition and glances over them once before going into the room. The only time he cold reads is in the audition room.

  • A looks like his headshots. B, not so much.

  • A is a pleasure to work with. He shows up on time, prepared, and is considerate of others. B is not a pleasure to work with. He shows up late, unprepared and gossips.

  • A sincerely wants the best for his fellow actors. Even the ones that are often up for the same roles as him. B does subtle things to try to sabotage other actors. (FYI, B's behavior will usually backfire for several reasons.)

  • When A posts on actor forums, it is done with the intent to help and give others another option to consider. When B posts on actor forums, it is to belittle those with differing view points.

  • Whether it's a formal class or getting together with other actors, A is constantly taking steps to better his acting skills. With the exception of CD workshops in order to "be seen", B never works on his acting skills.

  • A realizes this is a business and treats it as such. B doesn't bother with the business aspect.

So, are you an A lister or a B lister?