Do Actors Really Need to Follow the Casting Facility Rules?

December 10, 2012

You come in to audition at a busy casting facility and, moments later, step outside to smoke a ciggy just three feet from the entryway; but there’s a sign that prohibits smoking within fifteen feet of a business entrance. The casting director is not there to see you, so it doesn’t matter, does it?

Traffic has put you behind schedule for a callback. You had time to pick up the character wardrobe, and figure you’ll put it on once you’ve arrived at the casting facility. But there’s a wait for the dressing room, so you dress in the bathroom even though a sign is posted that reads, “Please Do Not Use the Bathroom to Dress.” What does it really matter anyway?

These are two examples of many decisions actors are faced with when they go out to audition. For most actors, following the facility rules is a no brainer, but for some, this can be a challenge. While it’s easy to focus on impressing the casting director, and have the wherewithal to be polite and friendly with casting assistants, it’s just as important to be respectful of facility rules. Casting directors, after all, as often as not have offices on the premises, and their workplace is sacred to them. If they hear back from a facility employee that one of their actors is not complying with parking rules or are giving the staff a hard time concerning the vending machine, they will feel less compelled to bring you back in to audition. There are a lot of TV characters and personalities whose brand is based on causing trouble and wreaking havoc, and they seem to be rewarded for their misconduct. Take Puck, the infamous prankster from Real World San Francisco, or Charlie Sheen–he of the “winning” ways and “Adonis genes.” These characters can be intriguing and a lot of fun, but in the commercial casting world, those who are conscientious are invited back.

Actors who manage to become fans of casting directors and their assistants are the ones who reap the most opportunities and rewards. Casting directors remember reasons why the talent gets noticed. Was an actor patient on a grueling day of casting? Did he or she barge into their office trying to stand out with an awe-inspiring greeting, but instead were really interfering with a producer’s conference? Make sure you’re getting noticed for your positive behavior as well as your brilliant talent! You’ll gladly be invited back for auditions time and again.