For years, casting veteran James Levine has greeted every auditioning actor with the words, “Bring it.” What exactly does that mean? In episode 23 of Casting Frontier’s Bring It! series, Levine and session director/actor Charles Carpenter define the “Bring It” frame of mind that makes all the difference in the audition room. 

When Levine is tasked with finding an actor to fill a particular spot, he roots for every performer that comes his way. Closely observing who will best capture the essence of the character, he says, “What I’m hoping is that you will be the one. I brought you in because I hope you’re the one. I’m on your side, I’m behind you, I want you to be awesome. I want every actor who comes in to be awesome so I look like an awesome casting director who brings in nothing but awesome people.”

Actors who take the time to prepare for a given role, who demonstrate what the character has at stake, and who remain in the moment and really listen to others instead of predicting what they’ll say—they bring it. As Carpenter states succinctly: “Strong choices, solid commitments to the character, understanding of the writing, your skill sets, your magic—that’s what ‘bring it’ means. Bring that best you into the room.” It’s important to regard the audition room as a place to let loose, a place to show people all you’ve got. So, take all of your experiences with performing, all the classes you’ve attended, your life experiences and special skills, and share it with the world. Levine says, “Your moment here is a culmination of everything you’ve done to prepare for this. And I expect you to bring all of that stuff with you.” 

Now, sometimes life happens and your coffee ends up on your shirt, or the long wait time in the lobby threatens to make you late for your next audition across town. Whatever the circumstances, leave your troubles behind when you enter the audition room. “I expect you to not bring your personal baggage and the traffic and every other reason that you’re not going to do well in this. Leave everything else at the door,” Levine says. “You are so good at this that you’re undeniable. That will increase your value—actually, your dollar sign next to your name—exponentially. Eventually, they’ll ask for you; you’ll be at the director’s request because we know we can count on you. We know you can fulfill things.”

Levine believes every performer has the ability to get swept up in a performance and bring a character to life in the audition room. “You want to be that person,” he says. “You can be. We believe in you. We’re behind you.” And Carpenter adds, “You believe in you; we’ll believe in you.”

Determined to help actors cut through the mystery associated with the casting process, James Levine authored an enlightening book entitled 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. 

He insists, “My purpose, in these episodes and this book, and anything that I teach, is to make people fulfill a piece of material, a piece of content—whatever it is that you’ve been brought in to do, you bring it to its full realization.”

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