This week, Casting Frontier features the fifth of nine episodes in the Bring It!  video series with casting veteran James Levine and actor and session director Charles Carpenter. The casting duo discuss the times when actors feel compelled to ask, “Can I go again?” in the audition room following a disappointing take.

Every actor knows the feeling. Perhaps you mispronounce a word, forget a line, or lose your concentration and give an awkward read. Whatever the issue is, you feel certain you could do a significantly better job if only you could have another chance. Knowing how quickly a second attempt would take, it seems reasonable to ask for another go round. So what does Action Casting’s James Levine have to say about asking to go again?

“What you’re saying, the translation for that is, ‘I don’t think that went very well, and can I have another shot at this before you kick me out?’ So don’t ask that question; it’s not a good question to ask. We’ll have you do it as many times as we think you should. And then we’ll say, ‘Cut,’ and you can go.”

However, there are exceptions. Levine says it’s acceptable to ask for another chance on occasion if you believe you’ve really blown it and you’re convinced there’s no chance of being considered unless you try it again. But in general, allow casting professionals to be the ones to judge your performance. If you’re a great fit for the role, they can certainly overlook a stutter or stumble.

Ultimately, it’s an actor’s confidence level that is on display when things aren’t going as smoothly as desired. Standing by your performance, warts and all, reflects positively on you as an actor. Casting sees all levels of acting abilities as well as every kind of mistake imaginable. They also watch actors’ skills blossom and evolve over time—and they know one performance doesn’t represent who an actor is as a whole. So it’s always better to exit the audition room on the up and up rather than apologetically ducking out.

Carpenter adds another example of when it’s okay to ask, “Can I go again?” In the callback room, when you’re on fire and you wish to deliver an additional strong, creative choice for casting’s consideration, doing the extra take can show just how versatile you are and demonstrate your value for the project at hand. And it reflects positively on your confidence level.

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

The book’s chapters correspond to the Bring It YouTube series, covering a wide array of topics including type, the importance of improv, handling nerves, and even 101 questions actors can’t ask a casting director in the audition room. “Our goal is to try to demystify and answer some of those questions so you have the answers before you get in the audition room,” Levine says.

Casting Frontier’s YouTube channel now features content designed to empower talent by providing valuable insider knowledge. The channel publishes weekly video tips, tricks, best practices, interviews with industry professionals and more. So please join us next week for the sixth episode of Bring It! and learn more audition insights from James Levine and Charles Carpenter. We hope you’ll feel better equipped to handle the pressures of the audition room.

 

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