Acting Audition advice from Casting Director Aisha Walters

Aisha Walters, a freelance Casting Director has worked for Shaheen Baig Casting since 2008 she has assisted Shaheen on numerous projects as an Associate including The Impossible (starring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor) Starred Up (starring Jack O'Connell) Locke (starring Tom Hardy) and Black Mirror (Written by Charlie Brooker) and multiple award nominated TV series including The Unloved, Five Daughters, Southcliffe, Marvellous and the hit BBC series Peaky Blinders (starring Cillian Murphy). As a Casting Director she has jointly cast numerous projects including My Brother The Devil with Shaheen. In the last year she has started to work independently and cast feature film The Possibilities Are Endless and TV series Blackout, Youngers, UKIP: The First 100 Days and Cyberbully (starring Maisie Williams).

Aisha Walters Top Tips

In the Audition

  • Research what the casting director has cast, so you can get an idea of their taste.
  • Don’t feel that you have to do too much in the audition - you don’t have to show them everything you can do.
  • Work out what the scene is saying and find a journey in the scene.
  • You don’t have to make every line count, choose the important lines and throw the rest away.
  • TV auditions need to be really pared back, so drop the heightened intensity you would adopt in a theatre audition.
  • Play the moment, not the whole scene.
  • Ask to start again if you need to - it’s your time.
  • Focus on showing two aspects of the character - you don’t need to show everything.
  • Check if they want you to be off book.
  • Don’t be scared to ask questions.
  • Get control of your nerves or you will not be able to do your best work.
  • And remember the casting director is on your side!

Headshots

  • Have 3 or 4 headshots showing different sides of your personality.
  • Avoid using production shots.

Profile

  • Don’t overcrowd your CV - take off weaker credits that the CD won’t have heard of.

Showreels

  • Aim for 3 to 3.5 minutes in length.
  • It’s is better to have a short showreel than fill it with footage that doesn’t show you at your best.
  • Avoid montages
  • Make sure the focus is on you in the scene.
  • Have a separate acting and commercial showreel.

Contacting Casting Directors

  • Email casting directors when you have something new to show - headshots, footage etc
  • Include a link to profile/headshot in emails - don’t attach large files.
  • Contact casting directors every 3 or 4 months.
  • Don’t be deterred if you have no luck with a certain casting director - not all will like your style.
  • Keep emails short and to the point.
  • Research casting directors who cast actors like you and target them.

Attendee Feedback

‘Informative, honest and to the point. Aisha was lovely and very approachable. I’m very grateful!’ Hannah Timms

‘I found it very valuable to learn how I could make my profile more professional.’ Hakan Silahsiz

‘Very informative. Lots of useful tips and things I can instantly take away and act on. Thank you CCP - I’m very grateful for the opportunity!’ Gabriella Montrose

‘It was hugely useful. I got lots of great tips about my showreel, CV and auditions in general. So great to get a top casting director’s insight.’ Gigi Burgdorf

‘Very informative, friendly and welcoming. Thank you!’ Rob Oldfield

‘Brilliant, informative, friendly and useful. Thank you!’ Helen Bang

‘Great session - really informative and enjoyable. I’d definitely do it again!’ Andrew Troy

'Very informative, friendly and authentic. Aisha gave practical advice that I can put into practise immediately.’ Paul Christian Rogers