How to Hold an Audition

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hey I'm Katherine Barrington Garcia and

I'm going to talk to you about how do

you set up a casting call and hold an

audition so when you're preparing to

host an audition read the script several


really familiarize yourself story note

all of the characters understand the

world of the story so that you know who

you're looking for ask a lot of

questions the director the producers the

writers who whomever you have access to

do research about the the world of the

story when I was casting video game high

school season two I made a little vocab

list I didn't know what week meant I

didn't know what pwned was so I took

that all home from a husband who defined

all these terms for me so I could know

what somebody who is going to be pwned

looked like so to let people know about

your audition you're gonna make a

casting breakdown or a casting notice

you would want to include all the

specific information that you can about

the production the title the production

type Union status filming location that

in Montreal is it on the moon is it in

LA we'll go through this formatting

again in a different video so don't

worry about it being perfect but here's

the information for you so after you've

listed all the specific information

about the production in your casting

breakdown you're going to want to list

all the specific information about the

story and the characters that you're

casting each character's name their age

their sex you can put their ethnicity

but I only like to do that if it's

specifically required by the script do

they need to dance do they need really

good improv skills does this somebody

who needs to have fighting experience

cast a wide net for who you're looking

for you can use online resources like

actors access casting frontier use

Facebook or Instagram or any of your

social sites to get people that you

already know pulling your friends who

are talented that's completely


organizing and replying to your

submissions can be by far the most

time-consuming element of casting

especially if you're doing it for

somebody else because you want to give

them a wide variety of choices give

yourself an organized spreadsheet of who

you've replied to whose confirmed their

audition time for replying to casting

submissions I always set up a separate

casting email that way people don't have

my personal contact information and I

can keep all of the casting replies in a

single place it's really easy to review

that way and keeps yourself a little bit

protected also I don't like to include

the audition address in my initial

casting breakdown when you reply to

people that you're interested in seeing

I like supplying that information if you

give it up front you might have people

just drop by who you're not interested

in seeing which can interrupt your day I

like scheduling people in Windows so

that they arrive in ways that are easy

for me to see them about 10 to 15

minutes per person usually calling five

people for a half an hour block that way

they're not waiting too long and if

somebody doesn't show I'm not waiting

too long and I would say with a small

project no matter how hard you try to

confirm everybody you're going to have

about a five to ten percent no-show rate

so figure that out when you're booking

enough people yeah creating the

environment for your audition people get

really nervous about what's the perfect

space to have an audition what I think

is the most important thing is creating

an atmosphere where an actor can show

you their best so setting up an

atmosphere where everybody can be

comfortable together where everything is

well labeled and really efficient is is

the most important thing in order to

create that your waiting room or the

area where the actors are all going to

hang out until they're ready for their

specific audition needs to be

semi-private you need to have seating

available have a sign-in sheet so that

people who get there aren't confused

about who's next people really take

comfort and being able to write down

their name and saying Sarah's first I'm


Becky's third everything that you do to

make things less confusing is just going

to result in a better performance from

your actors an easier happier day for

you and overall a better production for

the audition room itself

that's a little bit different you're

gonna want an atmosphere that's pretty

blank so that they act er is the thing

on focus you're gonna want a table for

all the casting people to which they can

sit with all of the pictures and all the

things they need to write on and chairs

for enough people in the room I always

recommend on the first round of

auditions that you have as few people in

the room as possible you don't need the

producer and the director three casting

assistants and you and know you want

private comfortable space for the actors

who come in for the first time meet you

and handle their business well when you

have an audition you have to have a side

or a piece of the script that an actor

can use to come in and audition for the

role you want to use something

specifically from the script if at all

possible to give you the best look and

how that person is going to fit into the

show for a lead I would suggest

something about a page and a half per

emotion so no more than three pages for

a beat for a smaller role I'd suggest

about a page and a half it doesn't have

to be as contrasting as the leads but

again anything that you can give an

actor that they can really sink their

teeth into skills that they have is

great also be able to answer questions

about the scene if an actor comes in and

so they don't really understand why

they're so angry you've read the script

several times so you should be able to

answer that question and help guide them

through the audition I would suggest

having a reader a reader is somebody who

can come in and read the other

characters on the side with the actor

somebody with whom they can engage a

reader can also help you maintain focus

on the actors as opposed to trying to

read and focus on them as well having an

audition in front of you is one

experience and seeing it on camera is

another you're not going to be able to

remember the specifics of every single

person that come in through that comes

in throughout the day you're going to

want to review their performance on tape

you can record that on your phone on an

iPad on a camera on a tripod whatever it

is it doesn't have to be an amazing

video it just has to be a great

reference so that you can either review

performances yourself or show them to

the director and producers they can

accurately see who they want to call

back in for callbacks when you're

setting up the filming of that

performance you want to have a good

frame about chest a head not a

tremendous amount of extra headspace

think too wide a good focus to make the

actor look as good as possible there's

nothing worse than having somebody give

you an amazing performance and they look

like garbage on them on the tape that

you made and you can't accurately show a

director how amazing that person was

really notice things from the moment an

actor enters do they look like their


do they look prepared are they late make

sure that the person is reading the

situation professionally especially with

small productions you're going to get a

wide variety of people with a wide

variety of experience you're going to

need to weed people out and assessing

them as they enter the room is an

important part of that if an actor comes

in and they're really in character and

they're really focused don't bother with

a lot of small talk get started and

allow them to stay in that that mental

headspace so their performance is

uninterrupted if an actor comes in and

they seem really nervous take a minute

with them have some small talk chat

you've scheduled your day it's

completely fine you've got time for that

allow that actor to calm down for a

second give yourself and them time to

get settled so they're able to give you

the best performance possible it's

really okay and really encouraged to

experiment with actors in the room with

you play around with that person they're

excited to come in and act for you so

take some time and work through it with

them especially if you think somebody is

really close to what you want in the

same way once you think the performance

is finished and you've seen everything

that person has to offer don't give any

notes this is a professional experience

not an acting class when the audition is

over and you'd like the actor to leave

the room say something really positive

and really final thank you so much for

coming in I really appreciate it we'll

be letting people know shortly or thank

you so much I've seen everything that I

need to and will be contacting everyone

in the next week that way you're not

promising anything the actor feels good

about the experience and they know it's

over if you had a really strong feeling

about an actor and a director producer

isn't really seeing it fight for that

person if

had an amazing presence in the room and

an amazing performance on the day and

you think that they could be shaped into

something that would really fit the

story a really help of the production

show the director what you saw in that

performance and and take the time to

explain why you think it was so good

don't be afraid to present your opinions

it's a really wonderful tribute to an

actor to have a casting director who

believes in them and fights for them

even though a director or producer might

not see it initially we hope that this

information that you can take will

really help you find actors who are

going to help you through all of your

filmmaking make friends with these

people start talking to them start

making a catalog of actors that you want

to work with even if you don't hire

somebody for this production hold on to

their information they might be amazing

for the next thing that you do we hope

that you can take all this very

technical information make the

experience your own and put together

some really amazing films