Thursday, March 25, 2010

BAD AUDITION, part 1

Thanks Terri Freedman for her - so bad it's good- BAD AUDITION VIDEO.


video

Thanks Terri, for demonstrating one of the no-no's at a casting; she makes excuses in advance for her upcoming bad audition. She uses the excuse that casters hate most of all. "I just got the sides." Well if you just got them, then so did everyone else probably. Deal with it.

When she introduces herself, I kind of like her saying that she'll be the best one. It's cute, and I'll remember her.

Even if you just got the sides, please take a breath, and use your sight reading strategies. Put your thumb on the page, read the line, then give it to the reader with your eyes. She's got her eyes (her best tool as a screen actor) buried in the script.

The biggest mistake after that is making the caster start again. Please wait until we say cut. This audition will never be seen by the director- if not for any other reason, it will be a pain to edit.

Thanks so much Terri for showing us how NOT to audition. You'll see from her IMDB site that she's done plenty of good auditions: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1667405/

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Call for Actor Submissions on Fun Educational Video for Actors

AUDTION BLOOPER PROJECT


In my master classes I often show actors examples of successful auditions. We examine what worked-- what got them the role. Sometimes someone will say, “but I want to see the ones who didn’t get cast.” I can’t show the unsuccessful auditions of course because it would be quite disrespectful to the actors who attend my casting sessions. No one would ever trust me again!

So I’ve decided to start a project called “Audition Bloopers” and I’d like to invite actors to voluntarily audition badly so that I can share the “how not to audition” videos to my classes. The results will be shared on my blog, and a collection will be made for educational purposes for my classes.

So I invite you, to find an audition piece, and send in your deliberately bad audition. It would be followed by a corrected “good” audition.

The following is a list of casting mistakes that I’d like to cover; so it would be great if actors could choose to make these mistakes

THE POOR INTRODUCTION PROBLEM

Actors sometimes trip up in this section of the interview. They’re asked to introduce themselves, or the director simply says, “tell me something about you.” Here is a top ten of what NOT to do:

- undersell yourself (“I haven’t had any good or interesting roles before”)

- mention your day job (“I’d love a break from my office work.”)

- tell us you’re not very interesting (“I just stayed in and did housework all week-end”)

- tell us you haven’t worked in a long time

- act unfriendly and hostile about having to introduce yourself

- mention that you didn’t get along well with the director on the last project you worked on

- act like a piece of cardboard with no personality

- ramble on for too long

- repeat several times how nervous you are

- make a million excuses for why your audition will be bad

THE EYE LINE PROBLEM

Not knowing where to look. Mistakes include:

- looking at camera

- looking down too much into the script

- not focusing, and therefore looking everywhere

- looking at the Casting Director at the end of shot as if to ask, “Was that OK?”

THE AUTO-PILOT PROBLEM

Actors often have difficulty listening to directions and following them. The director or casiting director gives very specific notes for adjustment, but the actor ends up doing the scene over and over again the same way each time, thus not demonstrating that they can work with a director.

THE OVER-ACTING PROBLEM

I find that over-acting occurs when actors judge a character. For example, they will come in thinking, ‘this guy is a bastard.’ Then instead of playing a living, breathing character with an objective, they end up playing adjectives that cause them to over-act. They end up with a clichéd, mustache-twirling performance, instead of an honest one.

THE OVER-EMOTING PROBLEM

Actors sometimes think that their job at a casting is to prove that they can act. They thus end up throwing themselves on the floor in tantrums, instead of concentrating on an honest performance.

THE DEADFACE PROBLEM

This is the opposite problem and it often occurs with theatre actors who are afraid to overact in front of camera. Instead they do nothing, taking no risks, and their performance is flat and boring.

THE WONKY ACCENT PROBLEM

Usually accents need to be learned under instruction. Make sure you have your accent checked out by a professional or native speaker, before you come to the audition.

THE DISAGREEMENT WITH THE DIRECTOR PROBLEM

I’ve seen actors loose the job because they thought they should sell their own ideas about the role, rather than following the director’s lead.

THE ODD CHOICES THAT DON’T FIT WITH THE SCRIPT PROBLEM

Interesting choices are great, but they need to correspond somehow with the writer’s intentions. If you come in with the random idea that the character should wear roller skates and carry a cabbage, it won’t fly.

THE LISTENING PROBLEM

Not only is it important to listen to directions, but it’s important to listen and respond in the moment to the reading scene partner. There are actors who display great animation while reciting their own lines, but turn into zombies reading the script, during the scene partners’ lines.

THE READ STAGE DIRECTIONS ALOUD PROBLEM

The stage directions are for reading silently. We’ve read them; you don’t have to read them to us. Your lines are the indented ones. If it says you’re on a horse, you don’t have to simulate this. We know it already.

THE CONFUSION OVER THE WHOLE PROCESS PROBLEM

When I say the lines, that means I’m reading the other character.

THE NO PREPRATION PROBLEM

It is clear sometimes that the actor has made no effort at all to prepare and they are flying by the seats of their pants. If you’re given the script to read, by all means read it. Read the scene and figure out the “W” questions (Who am I?, Where am I?, Who am I talking about?, What do I want?”)

THE BADLY DRESSED FOR AUDITION PROBLEM

Bad dress choices:

- wearing stripes

- wearing loud colors

- wearing t-shirt with writing on them

- wearing white (it reflects the light)

- trying too hard with a costume

- over-sexing yourself (unless the role calls for it)

- wearing baggy clothes that don’t show your figure

THE MAKE US EDIT YOUR AUDITION PROBLEM

Part of what we are testing is your ability to concentrate and stay in character. Please don’t make us go back and start over again every time you flub up a line.

THE I KNOW I KNOW THE LINES (BUT REALLY DON’T) PROBLEM

There is nothing less interesting than watching an actor trying to remember lines.

The audition is not simply a memory test. I always tell actors to learn the lines as well as possible, but to hold the script in their hands. I’d rather have you peek, and remind us that it’s a reading, rather than a final performance.

THE OBSEQUEOUS, KISS UP TO THE DIRECTOR PROBLEM. Don’t lick the director’s shoes. If you want the job too badly, it reads. It’s OK to express enthusiasm, but not desperation.

Technical specifications: I’m looking for video clips that are 30 seconds to about one minute long. If you’d like, you can send two-- the one that is deliberately bad, and then the improved one, when you correct the mistake. Please send them via yousendit or a similar file share program that I can download to application@nancybishopcasting.com. Choose any audition material you like. I will not share all of them; but the ones that I feel best demonstrate the points.

Thanks a lot for your help. I’m hoping the project will be fun.

Nancy

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NYU presents Kafka's THE TRIAL

WHAT: adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Trial


WHO: NYU students from New York campus


WHEN: Tuesday, March 16th – 21:30pm


Wednesday, March 17th – 16:30pm


(running time is aprox. 70 minutes)


WHERE: Theatre Na zábradlí (Havel’s former theater)


Anenské náměstí 5


115 33 Praha 1


COST: 120 Kc for general public


Asian Actress wanted.

FROM HELEN RAW AT RAW TALENT PRODUCTIONS:

"A producer friend of mine is looking for a fresh faced Asian actress! Theyare currently casting in NYC and are struggling so will consider UK actress if the suggestions are good. Please send me your spotlight links and showreels links with contact info if you meet is description below. Please forward this to anyone you feel might fit the description. Please note there hasn't been a break down notifying casting in the UK yet, it was just afriend of a friend asking as they knew that I ran The Actors' Society andhad access to fresh talent! Description: Beautiful, strong actress able to show versatility withconfidence. Ethnicity:AsianAge: 18-30Nationality: British Based Preferred (but if outstanding, will consider anyregion as long as their English is PERFECT) Please email me: on gracemeka@yahoo.co.uk with your ideas "

Saturday, March 6, 2010

SECRETS FROM THE CASTING COUCH IN THE US

SECRETS FROM THE CASTING COUCH will be released in the US on 1 April. But you can order it now on Amazon.
http://www.acblack.com/Books/Details.aspx?isbn=9781408113271