In episode 26 of Casting Frontier’s Bring It! series, casting veteran James Levine and session director/actor Charles Carpenter continue discussing ways to not eliminate yourself from getting a callback. Specifically, they share four things to avoid saying to the lobby assistant if you want to book the job. 

Casting directors and their staff (and the facility’s staff for that matter) work closely together on a regular basis. They routinely observe large groups of actors in various circumstances before, during, and after their auditions. While most performers conduct themselves professionally, those who don’t really stand out—and when this happens, it’s important the casting director be made aware of any problematic behaviors. After all, it’s casting’s job to select actors who are not only a good fit for the role but who can work in a beneficial manner with other cast and crew members for an extended period of time on a set. As James says, “Part of my job is to protect my client from people who may be difficult on set, so we’re watching for your behavior.”

Here are some unfortunate but all-too-common things that actors have been known to say to lobby assistants that immediately ruin their chances of being called back. 

“Can I cut to the front of the line? I have other important things I need to do.”

If you have another audition across town in an hour and you’re anxious you’ll miss it because of the long wait in your first audition, keep in mind, each of the other actors in the lobby likely has other pressing things to do as well. Asking the lobby assistant to cut in line insinuates that your time is more valuable than others’, and your needs matter more than theirs. Is this what you do in a supermarket check-out line? And, more importantly, is this how you might act on set if you were to land the job?

“What’s your name? You guys are going to hear from my agent.”

If something occurs during an audition that makes you feel unhappy, it might be relevant to tell your agent. But make sure to assess the situation fully. In this instance, threatening to tell on a lobby assistant because he or she is simply following protocol is sure to backfire.

“Why is it taking so long? I don’t understand what the hold-up is.”

It’s true; sometimes the wait in the lobby can take a long time for any number of reasons—technical difficulties, requests from the client, the session director is working with actors, etc.. When this occurs, everyone is in the same basket, and patience is called for. It certainly isn’t the lobby assistant’s fault. So, rather than complain,  you can always leave and come back at a later time, if you prefer.

“Will you go out on a date with me?”

The lobby assistant’s job is to help each of the actors sign in and make sure everyone is given a chance to audition in an orderly fashion. The assistant is not there to flirt or to socialize. Always be respectful.

Determined to help actors cut through the mystery associated with the casting process, James Levine authored an enlightening book titled Bring It! along with Charles Carpenter and Jim Martyka, which will be released digitally in the near future. In the book, Levine shares helpful audition information from the vantage point of a casting director as it relates to commercial, film, and television acting. 

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