Advice for Performers
As a Casting Director, it is Richard's job, when working on a production, to shortlist and bring in the best performers to audition for the roles specified in the casting brief. To ensure his work is always spot on and on the same wavelength as the creative team, he will normally only bring in those performers whose work he is familiar with or has met personally - usually both. The only exception to this is when the requirements are so specific that there only a very small pool of artists from which to choose. To ensure his knowledge of artists and their capabilities is always up to date, he visits the theatre (including drama and theatre school showcases and shows, actors' showcases and understudy runs) several times a week and watches copious amounts of television and film.
If you would like to be considered for castings in the future, it is well worth inviting Richard, and other casting personnel to see you in action when you are working, whether live or broadcast. Here are some factors to consider that will increase your chances of being seen when inviting potential work-givers to see you in action.
Firstly, while email is a very easy and cheap way of circulating information to many people at once, we now receive hundreds of emails every day, as do our colleagues, and once read – if indeed they even are – they disappear from view on the screen very quickly. Sending an invitation by post, however, requires more effort to open and read and a hard copy remains in the recipients’ offices long after an email has disappeared off a computer screen. By posting invitations, you will be in the minority these days and will certainly stand out from the crowd.
Timing is also important, as if invitations are sent too far ahead they will get forgotten and people will invariably already be booked up if not enough notice is given. The ideal time for them to arrive to make the maximum impact, is 2 weeks before your first performance in the case of theatre shows or film screenings in a venue and 2 days before transmission for television appearances
Always offer complimentary tickets to casting personnel, even if you have to pay for them yourself. They are an excellent career investment, especially if they lead to auditions and further work, and are tax deductible against your earnings. Lastly, please remember that we are based in London and, while we do sometimes go to see theatre shows out of town, and even internationally, travel and accommodation are expensive, so most of the theatre we see is in London. However, it is always worth asking people to see your show out of London, in case they happen to be in the area during your run – it is a long shot, but does happen sometimes… and whether people come or not, you’ll be bringing your face and the fact that you’re working to their attention. It’s also well worth targeting companies and casting people who are based locally or within a reasonable travelling distance.
There are many more ideas for making your invitations stand out in chapter 3 of Richard’s book, AUDITIONS: THE COMPLETE GUIDE, and you’ll also find a wealth of useful advice, tips and resources on the book’s website, www.auditionsthecompleteguide.com.
Hope this has given you some inspiration. Good luck!