Tips for Actors from Casting Director Ashley-Lauren Elrod

Casting Director Ashley-Lauren Elrod is the newest addition to the Liz Lewis Casting Partners family! She is highly experienced in several areas of entertainment, arts, and media; ranging from acting, music, and dance to casting, directing, costuming, makeup artistry and production design. Ashley has worked alongside some of Hollywood’s most established professionals as a performer, casting director, and production designer with the likes of Paul Haggis of Crash and Million Dollar Baby, Kevin Pollack, Vince Vaughn, Kevin James and David Dastmalchian, as well on the productions Shameless, The Mob Doctor, MTV’s Underemployed, Revlon, Clorox, Buzzfeed, Rover, The Chicago Code and much more.

She hosted 1:1 coaching sessions with Mandy members. These sessions were a chance for actors to perform a commercial copy (provided by Ashley-Lauren in advance) and receive feedback and notes from our expert guest. Actors on Mandy also had the chance to have Ashley-Lauren review their materials (including headshots and reel) and answer their questions.

Here are a few tips Ashley-Lauren gave to our members:

  • Consider adopting such a thing as an ‘ah-ha’ moment in your piece - it’s akin to a moment of discovery, a brand new and fresh feeling for the character.
  • Bring your flair and personality to the audition and copy.
  • Consider creating mock commercials for your reel in case you don't have any to show.
  • Follow your instincts! Don't approach a commercial dialogue the way you ‘think’ the client wants to see you. Perform it with your own flair and personality; bring it all to the table.
  • Be yourself as a commercial actor. It is important to show the real you, your personality and allow your confidence to shine through.
  • When preparing your commercial headshot, opt for a colourful background that can help you stand out.

Our members loved the opportunity to chat with Ashley-Lauren and here are a few testimonials from them:

  • “The session was great! I was a bit nervous in the beginning but Ashley-Lauren made me feel at ease and let me read and re-read the commercial copy. I would love to do more of these, super helpful and great to meet Ashley-Lauren.” - Mikey Greenblatt
  • “It was good to meet a casting director for on-camera work. I have been focused on voice-over work and my documentary and have forgotten how fun on-camera work can be. I am ready to return. Ashley-Lauren agreed, which was a much needed positive reinforcement.” - Donna Heffernan
  • “The session went terrific! I had a wonderful time and am glad I had the opportunity to be a part of this workshop.” - Catherine Parish
  • “It was so great meeting with Ashley-Lauren! I felt like I was meeting with an old friend. It was fun and light-hearted, and there was nothing intimidating or overly-formal about it. We covered more in 15 minutes than I expected. This was a great little experience, very useful!” - Ilana Labourene
  • “The session was FANTASTIC! Ashley-Lauren is awesome with great energy and is really kind. I learned and gained so much information in such a brief time that it is so useful to my career. This makes me happy because in future castings I will be more prepared. I'm so happy and blessed that I got the opportunity to have one on one with her.” - Alexandra St. Cloud
  • “My session was terrific! Ashley-Lauren was warm, open and very friendly. She gave great re-directs and we had a lot of fun! I appreciated that she had taken the time to look at one of my clips before our appointment and we talked about that before we ‘got to work’. It meant a lot that she did that. I am very grateful to Mandy for allowing me to be introduced to a CD I hadn't met yet. Per her request, I've submitted her my materials and we're both hoping to get to work together soon! Thank you so much!” - Adena Brumer

Do you want to attend the next Mandy Coaching Session?

Mandy's Coaching Sessions provide an opportunity for professionals to get free one-on-one career advice from top industry professionals in the industry. These events are run exclusively for Premium Members. Keep an eye out for the next Mandy Surgery here.