What Casting Director’s Want From You

Do you gamble Grasshopper? What if you could go to the casino and have the dealer tell you exactly which cards to play to beat the house? 

Would you do it then? 

With that kind of insider info, it wouldn’t really be a gamble anymore. 

A few days ago, I sat down with someone who has this kind of access to the industry and she is here to tell us which cards to play. 

Something that not a lot of actors realize is that the industry is changing right before our eyes. It is an incredible time to be an actor. For the first time ever there is a shortage of talent available! 

If that comes as a shock to you, then this just might be the most important thing you read all year, if not ever. 

If you are going on auditions and find yourself in a room of 50 people and think that what I just stated can’t possibly be true, that doesn’t mean it’s not true…it’s simply not true for you. 

Here’s what I mean. 

There will always be thousands more actors than there are roles available, but the shortage of talent that exists right now is in the type of actors needed. 

Stick with me for a minute. 

When I spoke with Cheryl, a world renowned and highly respected Casting Director with several blockbusters under her belt, this is exactly what she shared with me. 

“I see actors everyday that have no clue what we [CDs] really want. They just go out and audition for roles and get new agents every now and then and never stop to think about who it is that holds the key to their future…It’s the people they are reading for.” 

I knew where she was going, but her expertise is so incredible that she was able to explain it better than I ever could. 

She went on to say “all these actors try to leap frog us trying to get ahead. That is like trying to get to the second floor of a building by jumping. Why not take the stairs? We are the staircase and until actors realize that, they will keep wondering why it is that they are not getting ahead.” 

We’ll come back to that in a moment. First, ask yourself how you are trying to get in front of Casting Directors and how you are behaving when you do get in front of them. 

Some actors have been in the industry for a decade and have never auditioned for a CD. Most of the time, you are reading for an assistant. What do you do then? 

Here’s what Cheryl had to say about that.

“I’m much too busy to sit and watch dozens of actors read. I almost always have someone else sort through everyone and call me in only when it’s worth it. However, I do review everyone’s headshot and resume before they come in and I pick only a couple that I do not want to miss. 

Truthfully, anyone can force me to cancel whatever it is I am doing and watch them read…” 

Grasshopper if you are not doing this, then your career will stay in a perpetual state of limbo. 

Go out and try this, immediately after you read this release and you will get confirmation of what Cheryl is about to say. 

Go to the grocery store, or the mall at a time when it’s pretty busy. Stare at the ceiling for about a minute. Don’t say anything to anyone, don’t point, just stare. 

As people notice you, where do you think their eyes will go? 

Concerted attention begets attention so they will start to look where you are looking too. 

This is how you force a Casting Director to attend your audition and pay attention to you. 

In Cheryl’s words “If someone has a buzz around them, I can’t help but see what the hell is so interesting about them. If I see someone with a big YouTube channel or big social media then something in me forces me into the room to see what the big deal is. Not enough people put this on their resumes and I do not understand that. Sometimes I don’t even want to go, but I can’t help myself when I see this.” 

How many times have you been laying in bed at night, staring at the ceiling thinking “if I could just get in the room with this person or if I could just have that person watch my reel?… 

“When I see the numbers I always poke around their pages and see what these people are all about. I’m a people person, I love people and so do the other Casting Directors. Which means that we like actors with dimension and personality. I want to cast someone that I can have dinner with and talk about their grandparent’s farm where they spent summers as a kid, or about the time they crossed over into Rosarito in high school and woke up terrified in a Mexican jail…” 

So don’t be afraid to show who you really are. Peel the onion and tell your story. Here’s how to jumpstart that process.

Here’s what she had to say about IMDb. 

“Only pay attention to it if you care about your career and want to get to the next level. Every casting team scans IMDb as part of the culling process when we get submissions. It is time consuming for us to do it, but there is a very clear correlation between actors that have a good ranking and the ones that we end up casting. IMDb does not tell us whether you are a good actor or not but it does give some insight as to whether you have that X factor we’re looking for.” 

There is so much more that Cheryl and I talked about and I will doing a full series on this down the road. For now I wanted to bring you the most important parts because they are things that you can do right now to force the industry to give you the attention you deserve.

So what will you do next?

Let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email. I read and respond to every one that comes through. 

Whatever you decide to do, don’t leave it for later. Studies show that if you leave something for later, you are 7X LESS LIKELY to do anything about it and just continue down the same path. 

It doesn’t even have to be a big thing, just take an action that moves you in the direction of what it is that you want to attain. 

Here’s something you can do in less than 2 minutes.

It doesn’t have to be that, just do something because my goal for you is to… 

See you at the top,