CASTING DIRECTOR BLOG

10 Reasons Why Some Actors Get All The Best Jobs

31 Jul 2016, Posted by Nicci in Casting Tips

I have been casting everything from commercials to feature films for almost 20 years, and one thing that actors often ask me is “Why do some actors get all the best jobs?”

After sitting in thousands of casting sessions and looking at countless submissions there are some obvious trends that I thought I would share with you.  In no particular order here are some of my casting tips…

 

1 – They make sure that they actually look like their headshot.

actors tips #1This may be a controversial opinion, but if a director and casting director have a particular look in mind and select you based upon your headshot, hey they kinda do expect who turns up to look like that.

They are unlikely to take one look at you and say, “What the hell, those extra 10 years or 10lbs (up or down) don’t matter.”

 

 

2 – They sleep with the director…

actors-tips-#2

No only joking. The actors who get the best jobs don’t flirt outrageously, they behave with professionalism, integrity and have a genuine enthusiasm for the part. They respect themselves because if they don’t why would others?

 

3 – They don’t lie about their previous work.

actors tips #3As an FYI CV does not stand for Create a Very-misleading-document. Listen, people know people. If your CV lists the work you did with Leo and Keira and the campaign for Porsche, it won’t be long before you’re found out – unless of course you were in that product placement scene with the Porsche Cayenne in “Bend It Like The Revenant.”

Trust me, deceit is a fast track way to ensure you’re not even “what they’re looking for” when they’re casting that role for a guy wearing a chicken suit in the web commercial for the Slough branch of “Chick-u-Like.”
actors-tips-#4

4 – They don’t lie about their age.

Makes sure you look your playing age – it’s important not to lie about your age if you are casting for a financial services commercial or an alcohol commercial or both if it’s for a Pay Day Vodka Company.

 

5 – They actually can do accents.

actors-tips-#5 Achtung listen up y’all. Åré Yøü TalkÎn’ Tö Me? Une actor avec talent will do the research and PRACTICE, this way they can sprechen like ein proper native. There are so many great resources on You Tube and other places that there is no excuse.

And please avoid stereotypes: remember not all German’s speak like the an SS General in Colditz and not all French people speak like Rene in ‘Allo “Allo.

 

 

6- They keep their ear to the ground…

actors-tips-#6…or even to the internet. And what better way of doing that than by being a slick networker.

Try and build your connections and get yourself in the middle of conversations about projects that are happening or might be happening.

And by “in the middle of” I don’t mean following Steven Speilberg on Twitter – be part of the solution not part of the problem!

 

7- They don’t act like a Diva.

actors-tips-#7In fact they go out of their way to treat people with respect and work as a team. They collaborate willingly, they try things out they may not initially agree with, they come up with fresh intelligent ideas and they have a positive attitde and wear a smile. They understand that they are just ONE part of a creative machine.

EGO ALERT! Be gracious when taking criticism, and be aware that not everybody will agree with your Mum that you are a indeed a little princess, just waiting for all these IDIOTs to recognize your talent.

 

actors-tips-#88 – They have at least two testimonials.

Everybody is looking for ways to mitigate risk and without a Trip Advisor.com for actors insider knowledge from their industry peers that you are easy to work with, diligent and responsive to suggestions will go a long  way to helping directors and casting directors convert that great casting session into a part.

 

9- They remember to Hi-Five other actors on the way up the ladder.

actors-tips-#9They are generous both in acting process and with their advice and help.

Today’s nervous wannabe on their first job could be tomorrow’s Olivia Colman and you too may fall from grace and have to make ends meet at the aforementioned Slough branch of Chick-U-Like and be on the outside looking in once again.

Anyhow the better their performance the better you all look. And remember we all started somewhere.

 

10 – They remember every casting director they meet.

actors-tips-#10They build relationships and make themselves memorable for all the right reasons.

Although you might not be right for this role a strong relationship with a casting director could make you top of the list for the next one.

And remember no stalking on Twitter now! Be respectful they are not looking for a new BFF just strong professional relationships.

 

 

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  • Jules

    You’ve neglected to mention that the best jobs are sent out to a very limited number of agents via Spotlight. Not all subscribers get to hear about all jobs. Its a cartel that not just anyone can join.

    Reply
  • D J Bailey

    Great advice… and memorable because of the witty writing. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Nicci

      Thanks. Really glad it made you smile.

      Reply
  • Honest Mum

    Love this so much and it absolutely applies to so many industries too. Fab tips x

    Reply
    • Nicci

      Thanks Babe. x

      Reply
  • Andrea

    Really interesting and informative . Enjoyed reading it!

    Reply
    • Nicci

      Great thanks Andrea! Glad you enjoyed it. Nicci x

      Reply
  • Adam Thomas Wright

    Hi. I have read that your number of followers on social media can be very crucial to getting a role, regardless of your skills. Do you think this is true?

    I like your blog.

    Thanks, best regards, Adam

    Reply
    • Nicci

      Hi Adam, it’s always ultimately about the acting, however some producers find it helpful if you do have a profile and a following or are a rising star as it sometimes helps finance. Nicci x

      Reply
  • Christine Barton-Brown

    Thanks for those 10 tips Nicci, so useful for actors to have access to the ‘inside story’ I will share all this with my amazing fellow actors at FTMG Talent Manchester.. I will continue and look forward,to reading your blogs.

    Reply
    • Nicci

      Hi Christine, thanks for your great feedback really glad it was useful. Nicci x

      Reply
  • Mary Fogg

    Great advice Nicci! Thanks so much for sharing, and like Christine, a fellow FTMG Talent actor it’s really useful to get a true understanding of the process – happy casting! Best wishes Mary x

    Reply
    • Nicci

      Thanks Mary. It’s a pleasure. Please let me know any areas you’d like me to cover going forward that might help you and your FTMG colleagues. Pondering on a Facebook Live or other online event at some point if that might be useful? x

      Reply
      • Mary Fogg

        Hi again! A FB live broadcast would be fabulous – I know myself and many others would get SO much out of that. Also specifically to the Manchester actors at FTMG, and of course appreciating your very busy schedule, but I’m sure Jamie Lomas and Myles Keogh would jump at the opportunity from a little visit from yourself to share your wise words at our class one evening, they know many in ‘the biz’ and I know you are VERY highly regarded 😉 Shall be back here again soon, your advice is top notch! x

        Reply
        • Nicci

          Great will get our heads around doing a FB live going forward. I’ll drop Jamie or Myles a line and see what we can hatch! Thanks for the vote of confidence.

          Reply
  • Holly Greenaway-Happy Feet Management

    Hi Nicci, Great blog and useful tips thanks, these all apply to my little ones as well as adults, we are always trying to educate them to be professional in every way at castings and jobs. Thanks Holly-Happy Feet Management

    Reply
    • Nicci

      Thanks Holly. You’ve inspired me! I think a post about our younger actors could be a good idea anyhow! Watch this space. Have a great weekend.

      Reply
  • Angela Peters

    Brilliant post Nicci!! So honest and detailed. Every actor should read this!
    * off to stalk you on Twitter 🙂

    Reply
    • Nicci

      Thank you. So glad you found it useful. 🙂 x

      Reply
  • Pontus

    Great article, again! Please keep them coming 😉

    Reply
  • Hai® (BSc Hons) (@ManhHaiLe)

    Very insightful, brutally honest, and something I will lock in my memory for future. If and when you have time of course, I would love to pick your brains on current trends, what actors can do to stand out from a crowd of thousands.. What 5 things would you say you’d give major importance to so that you can become a successful actor.

    Thank you for your time.

    Hai

    Reply
  • Anonymous

    Another great read Nicci. I try to apply your tips as a mum whose little one wants to be an actor. Hope you can write some tips on how to get kids chosen or seen for a casting as that seems so hard to break into and wonder if it’s just pot luck who is invited in. Once they get that casting all your tips apply whether adult or child . Thankyou x

    Reply
  • Bill Blackwood

    Very witty as always but full of sound advice. Thank you

    Reply

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