Powerhouse CD Shares Secrets

  • Admin |
  • March 30, 2018 |
  • 3:28 p.m.

We all want to know what’s going on in the heads of those who sit on the other side of the table at our auditions.  The Casting Directors, producers, directors...even the readers.

And we often don’t have a clue.

That’s one of the INSITES we learn from Casting Director Jen Rudin.  She has lots of experience as both an actor and CD, and has gone to great lengths to reveal insider secrets about the casting process, even writing a book about it, Confessions of a Casting Director.

She is on the Actors Insite panel of INDUSTRY PROS this month, where she is eager to watch your demo reel or self-tape and tell you what she thinks about it.

Actors Insite owner, Brad Holbrook, recently posted a few questions to Jen in this exclusive AI interview.

Q. In your experience as a casting director, are there any particular misunderstandings that actors have about the casting process? 

Yes.  The casting process is not just about the actual role you’re auditioning for, it’s about your relationship with the casting director.  So try to remember that even if you don’t 100% connect to the role we’re having you audition for, it’s about your relationship with us, and a relationship between an actor and a casting director can go on for years and years, so every single time you come in to the audition room you are making sure that your relationship with the casting director is in good standing.  Make sure you know that we’re thinking about you all the time for all kinds of roles, not just for this role today, and you want to make a good impression every time.  And that comes from preparation.  Really, really, really important to be prepared.  Every audition is a job interview, and you have one chance to make a good first impression. 

Q. When you are casting a role, what do you look for in a demo reel or self tape?

I’m watching to see how good you look on camera, I’m listening to your voice, I definitely want it to be professional quality, and the audio should be great.  There are people that help make demo reels and you should try to have a professional demo reel if you’re going to call yourself a professional actor.

Q. When you are auditioning actors in the room, what ways do some actors stand out above the rest and how do other actors sabotage themselves?

People sabotage themselves in so many ways.  That’s actually why I decided to write Confessions of a Casting Director because I was seeing everybody come in to the audition room and make mistakes and not even know it.  The first one is to come in and say “Oh my god, I just got this script this morning and I didn’t even have time to read the full script.”  So then you’ve come in and insulted the writer the director the casting director.  We’re all busy people, and if you get 13-pages of audition sides at 9:30 the night before the audition you really have to go out of your way to make sure you have canceled your plans and spent the evening learning those lines.One of the main things that happens is that people come in and immediately start making excuses for themselves.  That’s a really quick way that people sabotage themselves.The other thing is to come in with all your drama, and start talking about the subway or the traffic because we all had to drive or take the subway…we’ve all been there, and we don’t care.  So you just want to come in with your life in order and be able to do the audition and leave the room.Actors stand out above the rest when they are prepared, when they come in they’re prepared, they know their lines, they give a good audition, and then they say thank you and then they leave.

Q. In what ways has the “style of acting" for film/tv changed in the years you’ve been in the business? 

I started as a child actor in the 1980’s so things have really changed.  Things are very real now in film and tv.  Back in the ’80’s it was a lot more multi-cam sitcom and so we were going much more for obvious laughs.  Now everything’s a bit more subtle, a bit more real, almost documentary style, like a show like Transparent where it doesn’t even seem like they’re acting.  It seems like we’re just visiting them and watching their behavior.

Q. Give us an example of a “secret” that usually only people on your side of the table know about.

The “secret” is that we want you to be great.  We want to cast the role.  We actually really really want to cast the role, and be done and move on to the next role, the next movie, the next project.  I think that people think that casting directors just want to be in auditions all the time.  We really want to solve the problem, we want to be able to find the right actor for the role, and we want to be able to endorse you for the project and send you to the set and know that you’re going to do a great job.  We are on your side.  But we can only be on your side if you do your job and are prepared.

Be sure to check out all of the November Industry Pros and find out for yourself what they think about your demo reel or self tape!  
Actors Insite, the best source of insight for actors.