Mandy Crew USA

Tips from the video game casting director: Truth & Behaviour

This is a continuation from Part 1, not surprisingly.

On average I cast 4 productions a month and will see thousands of actors in a year. With every casting session it is unfortunate that actors will shoot themselves in the foot. This is for actors, to help better equip them for not blowing their foot off.

Different casting directors are different so this isn’t a definitive guide, it’s just a glimpse into the way I work with my team. So a very good tip is to do some research on who is casting you.

FYI I don’t accept requests to link-in from actors. Follow me on twitter.

With every casting we always bring in actors who we know will be good for the role but we also cast wide and will bring in actors who are recommended, who send in their details cold and those who we see in shows etc. The productions we cast are frequently massive, we are populating worlds with hundreds of roles and we need a big and talented talent pool to draw on. We also consider it vital to find and nurture new talent which is one of the reasons behind running master-classes with students at RADA and the UAL Drama Centre and open sessions via utterbrilliance.com.

Truth and Behaviour

Both actors and Agents, especially in the US 'big it up'. The Brits are more adverse to the big sell and are therefore statistically better at being honest. Bigging it up is simply over selling the talent. Guess what, if you or your Agent says you can do something you'll be tested. It's simple.

Be truthful about your experience, your ability and your perfect accents.

A Resume will be looked at in stage one of filtering down for the casting call and will be used in casting for testing the actor if they are new to us. In casting I'm not seeking gods all I'm doing is seeking the right voice for the role. An impressive Resume doesn't mean anything once the actor is in the studio apart from being a guide for testing truthfulness.

Voice casting is a complex process; it's not just about individual voices it is about the relationships between the voices. In effect we're selecting an orchestra for a symphony, we are looking how the voices compliment, contrast and conflict. The selection is about the whole and how the individual fits in. One role cast will influence the selection of the others in relation to it.

Once I’m in the studio for casting I actively shut out who the actor is in front of me; my focus is the character I'm casting for. Take note, this is a tough, intense and focussed process. It's not about the actor but what the actor brings. So, as an actor coming in, keep being social to after a casting session when it is obvious that everyone is relaxed and take your lead from the casting director.

You wouldn't interrupt someone racing the 800 meters with social niceties. Don’t do it in the casting session. Don’t come into the studio wanting everyone’s names and go shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries, keep that to the waiting room. Come in like an expert to do a job, focussed on the job, being efficient, business-like and focussed gets noticed positively everything else will work against you.

Part 3 will be more about behaviour and about momentum.

Learn more about the work Mark directs on OM's website.

Go to Part I: FOLLOW THE BRIEF!...