The Callback

You got called back? Great! Now what?

It’s been my experience that the most common mistake people make in the call back is in NOT CLAIMING THE PART.

What’s claiming the part? Going far enough with your choices that a real interpretation emerges. Putting your stamp on a role. Doing enough homework so that you can reach a little farther than some one else, in essence saying, “This part is mine.” Connecting enough with director, writer, producer that they know you’ll be an asset, a contributor to the production. Getting real life in you for the role and being up to whatever technical requirements the material demands.

If you’ve got this going for you, you cannot be denied.

But very often, I see actors sabotage themselves in the call back by trying to repeat what they did at the previous audition instead of ADVANCING what they did in the previous audition.

The actor is probably doing what he or she has been taught: do what you did
before and don’t change anything! This is fear-based thinking. I think people who give this advice are forgetting that the auditors’ expectations have risen, often unconsciously, during the course of casting. Look at it this way: when you’ve seen a scene over and over, either in class or performance, you come to understand the material very deeply. And no matter how terrific the actors are, no matter how much you try to give over to them completely in this moment, you know what else is possible. The auditor knows too and can’t pretend they don’t. And they don’t have the actor’s training to stay in the present and unring the bell.

So what do you do if you get called back?

  • See if you can get some notes or guidance for the next audition from the director or casting director.
  • If you can’t get that, continue in the same direction, but make your
    choices deeper, more personal and more specific.
  • Wear the same thing if it helps you, but don’t be afraid to wear something different if your interpretation has advanced. If you can’t tell, do your preparation and go to your closet. See what feels right.
  • Do the work, do the work, do the work. Being less than prepared is a good way to soothe your ego if you don’t get the part, but it’s a lousy way to build a career.
  • It’s a subjective business, so don’t take it on if you don’t get a part. Chances are, it has nothing to do with what you can control. Control the things you can: your level of preparation, your commitment and concentration.

Take the adjustment that the part is yours. And it is. For those ten minutes, it’s your baby. Make it your own.