3 Things Casting Directors Look For in an Audition…

3 Things Casting Directors Look For in an Audition - Lynette McNeill Acting

Jesse and Eric with Modern Family casting director Jeff Greenberg (Modern Family would later win the award for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series at the Creative Arts Emmy Award ceremony).
Source: ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com

Casting director, Jeff Greenberg (“Modern Family”) was asked “what are the most common things that actors do in an audition that drives you crazy”… His reply was “not preparing the material and paraphrasing the text.”

What does he mean by that? He means actors who come in to read who aren’t prepared and think they can pull off a good audition by paraphrasing the text are not only hurting their chances for that part, but also for being called in to audition for him again. Why? Because it’s a waste of his time.

Now more than ever, I’ve observed in this industry, an actor has to be way out in front of the competition because the demand is so great, that only those who are prepared at a true performance level will be considered.

When he was asked about having to take acting classes in Los Angeles, as well as workshops and seminars when actors don’t have a lot of money he had this to say – “Get a job, or a second job so that you can afford acting classes! It’s so competitive that the BEST actor will get the role so you must keep training until you are the BEST. Very good is NOT good enough.”

So now that you know what you have to do be considered for a part, let’s look at 3 things that the casting director wants to see in your audition. If you’re performing a scene, you must cover these areas very well in your work.

  1. The relationship: Who is this person to me, what do I want from him and how far will I go to get it?
  2. The problem: What do I want that the other person doesn’t want me to have? How does this affect me emotionally?
  3. Importance: How important is this to me? Make an emotional choice whether the situation is big or small. Example: “I asked for cream in my coffee, not black!” It’s a small detail, but revealing of the character and how he feels about this situation.


By Lynette McNeill
Acting Coach & Director

Lynette McNeill - Acting Coach

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