As a content director, you likely have a low budget and a very limited amount of time to get the performances you need from actors – and that means you need to make the most of what little rehearsal time you have. But whether you’re producing a commercial, a piece of social media content, or an indie short, there are tried and true techniques for working with actors to get a great performance on a tight schedule. At Casting Frontier, we’ve helped hundreds of casting directors and content producers find the perfect fit for any role, and we’re here to offer a few tips on getting the best performance from your actors.

Tips for Getting the Best Performance from Actors

No matter what you’re creating, getting the right performance from your actors is critical to the final product. But that’s easier said than done. Actors are notoriously fickle beings, capable of both great genius and not-so-genius performances, and your job is to work with them to create the former. With that in mind, here are some time-tested tips on how to extract the best performance from your actors:

  • Roll During Rehearsal: This may be unconventional advice, but if you can afford the extra hard drive space, keep the cameras rolling during rehearsal. On one level, it helps the actors feel comfortable in front of the cameras, but you’ll also often catch powerful performances and moments that may make it into the final cut. Even if it’s just for a close-up or monologue, shooting the rehearsals can yield genuinely useful takes. 
  • Stay Positive with Actors: The stereotype of a furious director screaming criticisms at their actors is all too well-known, and it’s one you should try to stay far away from. Actors need to feel safe to access the vulnerability that generates great performances, and berating them is no way to achieve that. Act as a supportive coach more than a critic. If you don’t like something an actor did, don’t criticize – instead, simply tell them “let’s try it a different way.”
  • Provide Sides in Advance: This is a small trick, but a great one. Give all your actors sides a couple of days before the audition. That way, you can see not just their acting chops, but their ability to learn lines on full display at the audition. Nothing wastes rehearsal time like an actor not knowing their lines, so giving sides in advance lets you see if an actor is diligent enough to learn lines on a tight timeline. 

Apply to Casting Calls & Auditions Online

Getting the right performance from an actor is always tough when the rehearsal and shooting timeline schedule is rushed, but in the modern production world, it’s often the only option. These tips will help you make sure you get the best possible performance from your actors – and if you want help finding the right ones, we can help. Our platform lets you see the best and brightest rising acting talent from all over the country, all in one online hub. Want to give it at try? Post a casting call online and see how we can help you find the perfect actor today!

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