Brian Timoney, is a leading authority on method acting and the business of acting. He reveals the truth about the acting industry (warts and all) and how to develop your acting muscles to win at the acting game.
To get a transcript of the shows and free access to Brian Timoney’s online method acting course go to www.worldofacting.com
Performing at your best is all in the mind. On this podcast, we discuss the subtle art of performance psychology.
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Few more thoughts
Having been both sides of the casting divide a number of times it's good to hear a heads up like this. Contains a lot of information which would normally take you a good few years to accumulate yourself.
A couple of things I think you could add.
Brian is right, if in doubt, ask. An actor showing an interest in the project and the process is always welcome. When it comes to "who do I talk to?", normally the last person who talked to you is a good idea. Don't presume to introduce yourself to some shady character in the background. Whatever you do, no flattery - nothing is more annoying than someone blowing smoke up your bottom. Like any sale, once you've sold yourself, stop talking - don't prattle on, don't compare this film to others you have worked on and if you have to tell stories - always make them positive ones. No one likes a snake...
Height is an issue, unless you are Mr Average it can be a real challenge to find parts in commercial film and theatre. I'm not sure what the average size of a male actor is out there but they are not big guys. Working on The Bill the entire cast topped out at around 6 feet and most were considerably shorter - if you are in a shot with one of these guys and your 6'4" and not being a terminator, it's a real headache for the cameraman or cinematographer - not much you can do about that.
Being relaxed and not afraid to try a few things out is the #1 tip though. As the guys in this blog say, if your terrified it's very hard to show your range and how intelligent you are. The one audition I felt I absolutely cracked was one where I felt I didn't have a hope in hell, so played it for everything I could get out of it (more for myself than them really) - got the part and got paid
In the end, good actors have to be smart people, both emotionally intelligent and generally clever. The art is demonstrating both in an audition without coming across as smug or stubborn. You have to do what the casting director asks... even if it seems odd or at odds with your analysis of the character or script, remember they know more about the project than you - trust them.
Listen. Like an examine "read the question". Take a beat to think about what they're asking you to do, no one expects you to fly into your next excercise and the worst auditions I've ever seen are ones where the actor just keeps repeating what they did on take one.
One final thing, try and make sure your agent only puts you up for things you have at least a fighting chance of landing i.e. if they want a 5ft blond body builder and you are a 6ft bald chess player you shouldn't be going - agents will often say the casting people might change their mind, but this does annoy many Directors and if you're the fifth one in an afternoon you might even get shouted at.
On the agent front, also try to have the agents back a little in the audition. I've had a couple where they expected you to have seen the script the night before but the agent had never been given one - don't blame the agent just let it pass. If you're agent gets a bad name your auditions will begin to dry up - apart from the independants the world of casting (at least in London) is a pretty small world. If you get a lot of auditions you start to see the same people again and again. Eventually these people will form a picture of you and, if you've impressed, they'll know to invite you again - the opposite also applies. Though most will give you a second chance somewhere down the line.