5 casting directors share audition tips for actors… including don’t get naked

Casting directors wade through hundreds and hundreds of actors sometimes just for one role, and it’s safe to say they’ve seen it all when it comes to thespians trying to stand out from the crowd and land the part. When asked to share some do’s and don’ts for auditioning actors during Gold Derby’s Meet the BTL Experts: TV Casting Directors panel (watch above), Julie Harkin (“I May Destroy You” and “Industry”) had one key one. “Don’t get naked. I’ve had some self-tapes recently with people with their tops off. Don’t do that!” she exclaims.

As for what you should do, “just be natural,” she advises, with which our other panelists Kelly Valentine Hendry (“Bridgerton”), Victoria Thomas (“The Mosquito Coast”), Theo Park (“Ted Lasso”) and Michael V. Nicolo (“Young Rock”) all agreed. “I’m a big champion of being yourself and being who you are and not trying to be anybody else,” Harkin continues. “I just love meeting people and people’s tools and energy, to be spiritual about it — it’s such an important part of what we do, like that connection. I just think, just relax and be yourself. That’s all I need out of people when they come to meet me.” Also, click each name above to view individual chats with each person.

SEE Watch our Meet the Experts panels

In-person auditions were dormant in 2020 during the pandemic, but Harkin has tips for self-tapes as well. “Just the framing and the lighting. Maybe not record yourself reading the other lines,” she says. “Get someone to read with you, which I know has not been easy during COVID.”

And while it may sound obvious, one should also always be prepared. “Be prepared and listen,” Nicolo adds. “Be willing to take in anything that’s thrown at you, but also, don’t force anything, especially with the comedy and you kind of have to let the words do their job as well. … Bring yourself to it. Make it your own.”

“There’s a lot to think about – these poor actors!” Park quips. “I would also say, just serve the material. Sometimes you’ve only god sides, which I know is difficult if you can’t read a whole script, but try to get as much information about the project if you can’t read the whole thing and imagine how that would be as a finished product and then serve it as best you can in the room.”

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UPLOADED May 28, 2021 12:40 pm