It's the constant question actors have on their mind. You may know what makes you different and unique for a specific role and you may have a clear understanding or relationship with a character, but how do you convey this to a casting director? How do you stand out?
First, and probably most important, make sure you're enjoying yourself; appreciate the challenges of committing to your character. So much of filmmaking or theater work is about problem-solving and this extends to the actors that make the productions possible. Allow the challenge of interacting with this character, and bringing him or her to life, help you to thrive. When you enjoy the difficulties of embodying a script you avoid bringing frustration into your body language or attitude. Appreciating what makes this job so difficult can even make the aspects you enjoy that much easier. The more you enjoy the work, the more engaging your performance and the more attractive your personality will appear to casting directors.
At the same time, it is important to understand your weaknesses. What do you find difficult about the role? If, for instance, you have trouble adopting different mannerisms for a character, learn to integrate your own to make the character that much more unique. You can combat certain weaknesses by incorporating your individuality. Not only will this make your performance different, but can help put you at ease in an audition by allowing your full attention to remain with the character rather than faults you're worried the casting directors may notice.
Furthermore, keep the role in perspective. What we mean here is don't place too much importance on one specific production. If you stay committed and put explicit effort into a character and maintain a positive attitude with others, there will always be other opportunities. The loss of one role is not the loss of a career. This is not to say that you should act blasé or uninterested in the audition, merely that explicit anxiety about landing a role, as important and genuinely passionate as it may be, may affect your performance negatively.
It is important to consider how your mind affects your body. The more comfortable you are with the context in which you are asked to create characters, the more focus you can give to those characters and the easier the performance will be. Memorable performances make viewers marvel at the ease with which an actor can transform a character. Understanding how best to employ your passion for the craft will therefore give you an edge. While perfecting talent may seem crucial to landing that role, quick thinking and making a performance appear quintessentially natural are essential to standing out, making you more confident, and making you the kind of actor casting directors can't forget.
What do you do make your performances memorable? Leave a comment or tweet us @MJBHomeEnt !
-The City Headshots Team