7 Tips for How to Impress your Casting Director

7 Tips to impress a Casting Director as an Actor and book your next role!

7 Tips to Impress a casting director with director in image

#1 Be different from your competition.

Sounds simple, right? According to many C.D.’s (Casting Directors), it’s not. 99% of the Actors that come in to audition will do the same exact thing. However, there is that 1%—those one or two actors who will do something a little different from the other 99%—and those slight actions make their auditions stand out.Add small, personal touches to the material to convey emotions that go beyond the words on the page. One time, one of our Actors was auditioning for the role of a grieving woman who cries throughout a scene.  The Actor did just that, but then she decided to add a sad little laugh at the end. It worked within the context of the scene, and the laugh didn’t change the writer’s intention.This is where improv skills come in handy, as long as what you’re doing makes sense for the scene. Introduce yourself, deliver your lines, and be brave.  Move in unexpected ways—which sometimes, can just mean not standing still. The majority of Actors will stand and stay on the mark from the slate through the copy.  Be brave, YOU are who they are looking for!

#2 Confidence is key.

Remember that they asked you to audition, act as though you already nailed your audition and let your confidence shine!

#3 Always come prepared.

Do what is requested, bring what is listed – if you aren’t prepared in your presentation they will dock points for whatever they can find in high-density castings, especially if it’s between you and another actor for a role. It’s all in the details and coming prepared is a very important detail!

#4 Learn how to take direction.

This is so key in showcasing your willingness to work as a team. Casting Directors see red flags when an actor isn’t collaborative or excited to work in partnership to develop a character. Taking direction will help your entire audition flourish with potential, and it could earn you a seat at the table.

#5 Don’t overstay your welcome.

There’s a beautiful balance between overstaying your welcome and rushing to leave. Know that they want to see you and get a taste of you who you are. You are there to take up space and show your brilliant acting skills, you are all there for a collaborative reason. But also remember they are seeing tens, sometimes hundreds, of actors in a day. Don’t feel the need to chit chat and tell them about what you ate for lunch; be there for your audition and audition efficiently, enjoy it and their company, and then leave when appropriate.

#6 Practice strong communication skills.

Know how to properly correspond with a Casting Director   Being mindful of a CD’s time—especially when it comes to communication—is a great way to get noticed.As with any human interaction, one should observe etiquette and respect boundaries. We’re all in this together, and there are not us versus them divisions; it’s always better to err on the side of restraint and a lack of presumption.Here are some best practices for communicating with a Casting Director:

  • Never email a CD on the weekend.
  • When you do email them, double check that you’ve spelled their name correctly.  Do your research – learn about them
  • Follow directions. For example, if a Casting Director requests that you send your self-tape with a specific file name format and via a certain delivery method, send it exactly as they’ve asked.
  • If you see a Casting Director in a social setting, never say anything like, “You didn’t call me back for the last project I saw you on.”
  • If you don’t know a CD personally, keep your hellos professional—handshakes over hugs!
  • Don’t bombard them; keep your correspondences infrequent.
  • In conversation, don’t only talk about yourself and your career.
  • Never ask a Casting Director you barely know for advice on how to get an Agent.
  • And remember: A simple thank-you letter can go a long way.

#7 Be mindful of the casting director’s role.

Actors and Casting Directors are essentially team players in the entertainment business. It’s important to remember that C.D.s don’t make the final decision on who gets the gig; it’s ultimately in the hands of the Client. Many Actors think that people in their field have more power than they actually possess; but really, C.D.s and Actors are on equal ground. It’s not up to a Casting Director whether you book the job or not. 

If you look and do good in an audition, then the Casting Director looks good to the Clients. Just be real. They like that. It’s that simple.