To ask or not to ask..That is the question..

  • Alan Suri

    Actor

    Hi fellow CCP'ers

    Ok, now I know many of you guys probably ask yourself the question, but I really wanted to hear your views on asking a Casting Director/or Director if "Can I do that again?", in an audition, especially in a recorded casting.

    I recently went for a commercial, and despite only doing the lines once, the casting director asked the director if he wanted to see me do it again/change anything. His response was a half hearted "no", but as the buyout was a four figure sum, I can't help but kick myself for not asking to do it again, for my own piece of mind! What do fellow CCP people do in this situation/think?

    Thanks guys!

    • 12th Feb 2012
    • 4757
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  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    110% yes!! You are an actor....nobody can get it dead right on first take at an "audition"

    How would you know exactly what they want or would wish to develope. The director would respect you for wanting to make an improvement…and or work with him/her to get it right.

    Of course if it's because you did not know the lines or whatever….then they might not want to keep seeing you struggling with the script…..but to develop the characterisation and show the Dir how flexible and producible you are……without any shadow of a doubt. ASK! They can only say no!

    • 28th Oct 2011
    • 1
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    If the director's response to being asked by the CD was a half hearted "no" then no amount of asking will get you the role! 4 figure job or not, he's already made up his mind and, to be honest for commercials, a lot of the time they've made up their mind before they've even see you do your thing! The audition starts from the moment you turn up and interact with the assistant taking names at reception!

    Every audition is a learning opportunity!

    Onwards and upwards!

    ForbesKB

    • 28th Oct 2011
    • 2
  • Kevin Patrick Buxton

    Actor

    Have to agree with forbes on this one, I fear the directors mind had already been made, to be honest a lot of these commercial posts are singled out for a small minority, the rest just go along to make it look fair to the blikered eye,

    thats the game we are in, one day youl be the favoured one, maybe ?

    • 1st Nov 2011
    • 3
  • Alan Suri

    Actor

    Thanks for the responses guys. Don't know why, but I didnt get the alerts to my email that I had replies.

    As far as the audition goes, there were only a few lines, so no struggling there, a friend went in before me and was given the same response, so it was the attitude of the director.

    As far as the audition starting from the moment you arrive, and decisions being made beforehand, etc are concerned, i'm aware of these, however I just thought many times where I feel trying it a different was, shows your skills etc. I think i'll go with the asking, like you say they can only say "no"!!

    • 2nd Nov 2011
    • 4
  • Alan Suri

    Actor

    that was mean't to read as trying it a different way, shows your skills!!

    • 2nd Nov 2011
    • 5
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    I think, to be honest, there are times and auditions when it's acceptable to make another attempt at things, and times when it isn't - because, occasionally, we do make far more of a hash of things and we know we can do better - but you should be empathetic enough as an actor to judge those in the audition room.

    Certain types of audition are far more amenable to you taking your time and exploring material several different ways, anyway - many theatre auditioners are not in a particular hurry to see you deliver, and happily spend upwards of fifteen or twenty minutes with you, on occasion, seeing you interpret material several different ways. They are often keen to see you show imagination and versatility by trying different things. They are partly looking for those who will gel well with others in the rehearsal room, listen to direction, and prove themselves able to explore a wide range of possible options within a rehearsal period, long before anything is set in stone.

    Screen casters tend to want to see more solid, decisive delivery from the word go (because there is no time in screen terms for actors who can't make good choices on set and make them count with minimum rehearsal), but I agree with Mark: there is no screen director worth his/her salt who feels that one take is all that's needed to elicit a fine performance. Therefore, if you slip or misdeliver in a screen test, you should behave just as if you were on set, and ask, profesionally, if you can pick up or start over. Most will accede to this, because it's what is done on the set. I am not so convinced that you should ask if you can do the whole thing over again *once you've finished*, as that would just waste time, but while you are still engaged in the moment, sure.

    For commercials, though, I honestly think decisions are made as soon as you walk through the door, you do what is asked of you, good or bad, and you let it go. 9 times out of 10 you don't book the commercial unless you are *exactly* the type that is being looked for, anyway, and I have never known *any* commercials casting that took longer than five minutes at the initial stage of casting. In the world of commercials, time is money and they make casting decisions at the drop of a hat. It's perhaps interesting that the casting director initiated the request as to whether you should perform the piece again (as, often, they wouldn't bother to do that), but it's impossible to know the motive: it could, very likely, simply have been intended as a courtesy question addressed to the director, and, in that sense, this conversation would have been considered 'none of your business', anyway: The CD asked the director a question in order to help the director (and/or make the CD look more efficient), the director dismissed the need to see anything further, and that, I'm afraid, is that. The point I would always maintain, however, is that, asking to do something again when no-one has confirmed/denied whether they would accept that or otherwise, but *you* feel you would like to have another go, is one thing (they can only politely dissuade you or take you up on it), but pushing your case when someone in charge has definitively said 'no' to seeing more is quite another. Do not do it - it will only ever be seen as you trying to square up to the director and suggesting you know better than them, regardless of how honourable your motives might be.

    • 2nd Nov 2011
    • 6
  • Emma Wyverne

    Actor

    One of the best pieces of advice my drama school director told me was to take the lead:

    1) If you screw up, forget your lines, burble, etc, just shake yourself out, say, "I'll start again," and do so. Professionals screw up all the time - watch All Right On The Night for proof! Don't ask, because that's giving them control and they might say no. It's much harder for them to say no if you don't ask, so they probably won't.

    2) When you've finished, give them a moment to say 'thank you' or whatever, then ask if that was the sort of thing they were looking for or would they like you to try it a different way if they had something different in mind? That says to them "You might like it the way I did it, but if you didn't I'm capable of doing it other ways and taking direction."

    Loads of actors just go in, do the piece and leave without any of that, but by taking control by doing that, it shows you're confident, versatile and they're likely to remember you which can sometimes be the most important thing to come out of the whole process.

    Hope that helps :)

    • 12th Feb 2012
    • 7
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Very good advice Emma. I think actors forget it's "our" audition... It's our chance to show the director... Cd. What we could or might do with the role.

    If you cock up some lines...start again.

    You are never auditioned on memory... You are auditioned on your type, suitability, ability and almost most important.... Will you get on with the director.

    Why on earth would you not ask to do that again. If they say no ... Then say thanks and leave. However it might be you were getting the wrong end of the stick.... And you will need to re-do your audition.

    Be braver....after all they want you to be brilliant.

    A commercial casting can be different and they may well make up their minds in a few seconds of the ident. I've asked to re- do commercial auditions...and usually it's been fine.

    To attend a casting with the notion of leaving it asap is nuts!

    • 12th Feb 2012
    • 8