At Casting Frontier, we’ve helped hundreds of actors apply for online auditions, casting calls, and acting job opportunities. Suffice it to say that we’ve seen a lot of auditions, both good and bad, and we’ve heard even more questions from actors looking for useful insights into the casting process. Often, actors wonder if there’s one thing that casting directors look for more than anything else when casting a role. And if you have the same question, we’d like to put it to rest, once and for all. 


What Casting Directors Look For

Casting directors consider countless factors when choosing an actor for a role: physical type, acting style, versatility, originality, creative spirit, ability to listen – you name it, and chances are the casting director is thinking about it. But of all these ephemeral criteria, is there one that stands out above the rest? 

It turns out, there is. But chances are, it’s not the one you’re thinking of. 

All too often, actors approach an audition by trying to game out what the casting director is looking for, then manicuring their performance to fit that expectation. At first blush, this sounds like a smart move. But guess what? Nearly every other actor in the room is doing the same thing. That means approaching an audition like this is almost guaranteed to make you seem just like everyone else, or in other words, forgettable. But this approach has an even worse effect on your audition: it neuters the potency of your acting. 

Instead of starting with what you think the casting director is looking for and working backwards, start with your intuition and experience of the role and work from there, ignoring your perception of the casting director. Doing it this way not only helps you deliver a more original and more memorable performance, but it will inherently boost the quality of your acting. If you’re following your instincts and trusting your impulses, you’ll deliver a performance that’s more real, more lively, more nuanced, and more believable. In other words, you’ll act better. Plain and simple.

This may seem counterintuitive, but the truth is it’s anything but. Because guess what? More often than not, the casting director doesn’t really know what they’re looking for until they see it. Even if they think they know, the right performance in an audition could completely reshape their thinking on the character. So if you want to know what the most important thing is that a casting director is looking for, the answer is easy: they’re looking for something honest, something real, and something true. 

They’re looking for you. 


Find Online Casting Calls in LA and NYC

This approach to auditions will serve you well, and if you’re currently on the hunt for your next acting job, Casting Frontier can help. Our online casting platform makes it effortless to connect with real casting directors and audition for dozens of roles online, all at the touch of a button. Take the next step in your acting career: find an audition online today!