Saturday, April 3, 2010

Out of the Gate Running Away

Leave fast, walk slow. This is what you do at the end of an audition. I’ve also heard it put this way – don’t leave until the door closes on the person after you. Why? Because if the casting director needs to call you back for any reason – camcorder malfunction, to read for another role – you want to be within finding distance.

I auditioned for Grey’s Anatomy a few days ago and witnessed the importance of this advice firsthand. I signed in, clocked the names of the people ahead of me, checked that my sides were still current, and went outside to wait. A lovely African-American woman (who I’d just heard reading the same sides through the window) came out of the door, giving me the obligatory half-smile as our eyes met. That “I’m being polite but I hope you don’t get the job over me” look. (I’ve perfected it myself.)

Moments later, one of the casting directors came out, calling for her. He ran to the end of the sidewalk, cupped his hands around his mouth, and screamed her name. No luck. She was out of sight. He shrugged and said, “Oh well. Who’s next?”

I watched this happen two more times. These actors went in, did their audition, then high-tailed it out of there as if they were escaping federal arrest. Each time, the casting director came running out, yelling after them, but these actors were gone like the wind. All three of these people missed opportunities to read for additional roles that might have gotten them a job.

So after you finish your audition, say thank you and get out of the room fast. Then, stop and check your text messages. Better yet, send one! Put your sunglasses on your head. Find your keys. And don’t go anywhere until the next person is called in and the door is closed behind them. You’ll be glad you did.

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