Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Last night was my first paid Casting Director workshop out here (I have went to a few free SAG sponsored ones). Essentially how these things work is that you pay (usually $40-45), you get to ask the CD questions, then he/she pairs up actors, assigns scenes, and after 15-20 minutes of rehearsing with your partner, everybody performs. CD workshops in general are useful for a few reasons; 1) you get to practice your cold reading skills (getting no time or only a short time to look at a script before doing the scene), 2) you get to watch other actors work, and most importantly 3) getting in front of a casting director.

Of course there is no guarantee of anything ever coming from meeting a casting director, but I hear many stories of people being called in by a CD that they met at a workshop. Now, some people criticize workshops as a way of making actors pay for things that they should be getting for free. I guess that up until recently, a lot of casting offices had 'generals' - meetings with actors, not about specific roles, but just so they know you and what you can do should anything come up. I haven't heard of any offices in town having these generals anymore, so CD workshops are increasingly becoming the best (only?) way to get in front of the them. And it makes sense that an office would rather call someone in that they have met before and seen work, rather than some random person that has sent in a picture...

Last night's session was with Erica Silverman, an associate with April Webster. Erica works on the TV show Criminal Minds among other things, and the session was really insightful. She took a lot of time with each of the scenes (even though there were A LOT of actors), giving everybody a chance to go through their scenes twice making some small adjustments. It was good to watch the other actors work, and it was nice to see that Erica seems to really enjoy the whole casting process. As I said, there is no guarantee that anything will come from it, but nonetheless I did enjoy the experience.

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