Abuse in Casting

badauditionAn interesting question was raised by a fellow director recently. Apparently, he has received rather nasty comments from actors who were not offered a part in a Community Theatre production. I would like to point out that I use Community Theatre in order to differentiate the scenario from paid/professional theatre, not to denigrate the community.

My personal experiences having cast for both Community and Professional theatre has, on the whole, been usually acceptable. There has been the odd occasion where an audtionee has gotten a little bent about not getting a role. I have even lost a friendship over such a casting decision.

While I have yet to get the racist, sexist, type slurs that some other directors I know have had, dealing with an aggressively defensive applicant is not fun. The process is not unlike a job application, of which I also supervised as a manager in a Government capacity.

The main difference between a job interview and a casting for theatre/film, is that a job interview is all about skill and personality. Actors will also be judged on looks, and charisma. Not only should you have the required skill, you will also be completing with people who may look more the part than you do.

So in the casting process, when you are presented with a number of strong set of candidates, you have little choice but to get picky about what you want. After all, there can only be one for each role. I agonise over choices like this because I hate letting people down, but this is going to be a given, and someone is going to get let down.

So to have someone turn around and slander you for your choice is a slap in the face. In a way, it reveals something about the person you may have not learnt before, how they handle rejection. This may say more about the person than allowing them to perform in person.

So, to all the casting directors, I have a suggestion. As a final test for your chosen cast members, you should reject them first and see how they respond. If they are humble, thankful, or general mature about it, then flip it one them and say “Congratulations. That was the final test. When can you start?”

For those that reject your rejection, well, you know where they can go; a list that then gets shared with agents and casting directors alike.

The Hard Road Part 2 – Big Plans

After switching my degree from a pure Computing Science degree, to allow me more freedom with selecting electives, I did a year of Theatre Arts. That year, something shook loose inside. I discovered a different side to myself, a side I rather liked. It was playful, confident, unashamed, and funny. The inner clown was released.

After uni however, it was “face reality” scenario. A strict dogma of accepting the fact that you need to get a job, and earn money. Voices not my own telling about what the real world was about. So here I was, with a BSc in Computing Science, struggling to find a job. All the big talk about how a degree helps you get a job was a flat-out lie. All the jobs I wanted to do said I was over qualified. Depressing.

I eventually found work through a retail trainee-ship scheme through the Perth TAFE. A retail trainee-ship where I was expected to attend a Retail Skills workshop, and work part-time with a retail employer. They, the employer, would get $1000 as a part of the program, and it would last a year. While a little demoralising, I actually enjoyed the work somewhat. I soon learned that with the exception of the managers and one senior staff member, we were all retail trainee-ship employees. I smelt a rat, and sure enough, at the end of the year, I was again looking for a job.

I eventually found employment with a PC Building company as a sales rep.I used my computing knowledge to redesign their sales and quotation process, shaving a process which could take up to two hours down to seconds. We were able to incorporate the quotation process into the sales discussions with clients making it almost seamless. Then the company went into liquidation, apparently deliberately.

This time, I made a big decision. I was going to the UK. During this time (about 2 years), I became more and more involved with the Community Theatre scene. Bouncing around between various groups, doing up to five shows a year. It was wonderful, and my passion seemed to know no bounds. I Auditioned for WAAPA. Three times for Dramatic Arts, and twice for Musical, but was knocked back each time.

I eventually had the gumption to ask why, and was told, and I quote, “I was too trained.” In WAAPA, as with most (not all) dramatic arts schools, they want students that have somewhere to go with their training. They don’t want the untalented, nor the overly experienced. They wanted untrained talent with lots of potential. Apparently, I was not one of these.

I considered NIDA, but a bigger idea formed in my mind; RADA in the UK. I had family in the UK. I didn’t have a family (that I was overly familiar with) in Victoria (Australia) which made NIDA less appealing.

So with the end of my second job out of uni, I packed my bags and heading to London. Ambitious, hopeful, and a little starry-eyed. And perhaps a whole lot naive. For a while it was great. I took sometime to visit family spread out across Cornwall, and they were all so accommodating. I did a little travelling , and started a little job hunting. I submitted an application to RADA, and visited some local theatre groups in and around Penzance. I was actually happy, and enjoying life. Then things took a decidedly odd turn.

Find the entire Hard Road series here.

Nailing the Audition does not mean You get the Job

I recently auditioned for a rather lucrative acting job. My agent put me forward for a key role, which was a rather nice stroke to the ego, let me tell you. So off I trot to strut my stuff and try my luck. I crossed paths with a number of actors with whom I have either worked with, or had some interaction with.

There is always a large number of people who are sent/attend these auditions, so even before you walk in the door, you should know that there is a big numbers game working against you, and one which you can’t really do much about. Getting concerned about others in the room who you begin to think may look more the part than you, or getting involved in the mental game of what-do-they-have, will serve well in detracting from your audition.

This is simply the nature of the audition process. It will always be you against a host of others, particularly for paid jobs. Well, mostly always, so you need to throw away any thoughts of competition, rivalry, and judgement. You are there to show the people who make the decision what you can offer the role.

And there rests another complication.

baby-nailed-itI get called in and meet the one behind the camera who will be taking the video, and directing my audition. It is highly unlikely that this person will be the final decision maker. More often they are a contractor working for a secondary client, and while they may have their personal favourites, ultimately it will not be their call who gets the job. The same goes for film and TV work. The person running the auditions is not likely to be the decision maker, but a consultant who can make recommendations.

So you do the audition, and the audition director does not feel the need to direct you, and delivers a number of rather ego boosting like compliments, and you walk out with a feeling of having nailed it. It’s a great feeling, and I don’t deny myself the relish in pulling a great performance.

However, nailing an audition DOES NOT MEAN you get the job. They, the director and clients, will then review your perfect audition and look for things that you can’t even begin to predict; a certain look, delivery, sound of the voice, appearance on film… the range is uncertain, and as the list of candidates gets smaller and smaller, the things considered get more and more specific.

Having sat on the other end of an audition process for both film and theatre, I know very well how picky a director can be, and in fact, has to be.

Here is my point. You nailed the audition. Well done. Celebrate your little victory. Go have a drink or two knowing that the best you gave was indeed your very best. However, do not fool yourself into thinking that you have guaranteed yourself the job. You have maximised your chances, sure, but getting the job will be decision you have no further control over.

Don’t audition for the job. Audition for yourself. Have fun. You never know where it might lead… maybe a call back for another job.

Stage vs Screen

20140228_0010Frequently, all too frequently, I see discussions around the difference between Film and Theatre, or should I be more accurate in saying Camera and Live Audience. So much emphasis is put on the differences between the two styles, and it scares many actors looking to make the transition from one to the other. Let me say right here and now, of course there is a difference, just as there is a difference between comedy and Shakespeare, or drama and musicals. I do not believe it is the great chasm that many propose it to be, and I believe many people do propose it to be a chasm.

First, I want to look at what the key differences are between live and filmed performances, which may or may not surprise you, because much of it is to do with the approach rather than any specific technique.

The Audience

CameraIn theatre, the Audience is always in the same place, there, beyond what is commonly termed the fourth wall, the wall no-one can see. There is no ability to get closer to the action, unless you physically get up, and get on stage, which would probably get you into a lot of trouble. It also means that the actor(s) are presenting a scene to the audience and need to be mindful of not blocking them through physical stance and placement. This causes issues with sight lines, masking, and upstaging that a theatre actor needs to be aware of.

In film, the Audience is the Camera, and they are sometimes fixed, often moving. The advantage with a camera is the Audience can get very close to the actor(s), see their facial expressions and dermatitis. The actor still needs to be aware of where the camera is, but due to the ability to change view-points and distance, there is less cause for concern over sight lines, masking and upstaging, but only less cause. Some of this will be covered by various angles, but an actor’s performance can be hampered by poor positioning and masking, so it is still important to block things carefully, and ensure your physical performance is suitable.

The Scope of Performance

FromtheWingssmBy the Scope of the Performance, I am referring specifically to the space the actor has for a performance, or the physical projection they require. Here I feel the only difference between the two mediums is in the extremes that one can go. In theatre, the scope will never get more personal as someone physically standing, and never so far away as the back of a theatre. Film obviously can get much closer, and conversely, substantially further away. Yet the basic principle of an actor(s) physical performance really is no different. The closer an audience is, the less need there is grandiose physical enactments, and the more opportunity there is for an actor to perform those aspects of their character that are subtle.

I think this is one aspect that some Theatrically trained actors may struggle with. Most will rarely ever experiment with the more subtle levels of performance, those that involve just the eyes, facial muscles and mouth. Many may be more comfortable using their hands and posture to help convey emotion. However, after working with a number of fellow actors, I believe that the transition can be simplified by simply being aware of how close your audience is. Consider the intimacy conveyed by two people, who are physically very close, and where all their expression is? When two people love each other, or are challenging each other, face to face, almost nose to nose, where is all the expression? Bring this level of awareness to a Theatrically trained actor’s performance can enable them to focus their energies in a manner appropriate for film.

Some of the best theatrical performances I have seen have been highly contained, tension filled, and still, with the actor, on-stage, barely moving, yet the emotion in their words, the feelings in their tone, convey far more than their bodies ever could. The character is being truly felt, and experienced, by the actor. You don’t even need to see them, although the stillness of their presence adds to the tension and emotion. This same performance translates brilliantly to film, and may even be improved by it, as you get to see the finer details of their expressions. So the two mediums are really not that different.

Performance Duration

Don Adriano de Armado

Don Adriano de Armado

Now many people would state that a play is done all in one go, and a film is done in pieces. Technically this is true, in most cases. Yet when rehearsing a theatrical production, you can spend a considerable amount of time stopping and starting, redoing scenes, doing scenes out of order, and so forth. In film, you have the opportunity to rehearse something very specific, then film it, in some cases on the same day. In this regard, I see the theatrical rehearsal period as the same process employed during filming. Where filming captures that “finished” moment during the rehearsal period, theatre tries to recreate that same moment. In addition, film will require hardware changes, such as moving the camera to get different shots, changing lighting

The question here is, is it really that different for the actor? I would say not really. The process is the same technically, baring some extra rehearsal periods in filming while they re-strike the set for the next take. You rehearse your part until the director is happy, then you play the scene through, then you move on. The cuts are then edited together in film, or the cast reconvene to recreate the magic on-stage. Either way, I find comfort in the similarities.

Audio Levels

Reading Lines

Reading Lines

Now this will very likely catch out actors moving between the two forms of performance, audio levels. A Theatrical actor is very used to speaking slightly louder then they normally would in private. Because nearly all theatre requires vocal projection, it becomes a habit of a theatrical actor to use their ‘On-Stage’ voice when performing. Of course the reverse occurs when a Film actor performs on-stage, as they are used to having their voices picked up by microphones or recorded later in ADR. The need to project in film is very rare.

In my experience, this is the biggest issue for actors to overcome, and it was certainly the main thing I stumbled over. I found myself naturally projecting without thinking about while filming a short film, or in a sound booth, and I know full well others have had similar experiences. Then again, as a stage director, I have worked with film actors who found it an effort to get their voices to carry to the back of the auditorium. So I may be willing to concede on this point, that there is a significant difference between film and theatre, if it wasn’t for one thing; with a little, and I mean a little, training, it can be easily dealt with.

The Similarities

ManuThe above differences I would term technical issues as that are focussed on the different aspects of the medium, but these technical differences are not really that different to the differences in the various theatrical styles, or cinematic techniques. To my mind, the stigma around going from theatre to film, and vice-versa film to theatre, is over stated. People place far too much importance on the fact that theatre and film are so unlike each other.

Sure there are some fundamental differences logistically, but do these differences place one so far apart from the other as people say? It requires an awareness of the key differences, but beyond that, it is all very much the same. Character development is still very much the same. Each actor has their own particular approach, something that works for them, and that is not going to change. You will still have a director who has a lot to worry about beyond what the actor is doing, and may either be a hands-on director, or a let-them-get-on-with-it director. You get them on both sides of the pond. There is a lot of technical aspects of both theatre and film including lighting, props, costume, etc where it is very much the same.

I guess my point is that the differences are really not that extreme, and for an actor to focus on them too much may actually hinder their efforts. It’s a bit like hearing tales about another city of the other side of river, where the river is wide, deep and dangerous, which makes you ponder to point of even going there. When you finally do make it there, with your third-hand impressions and artificially grown expectations, you are taken aback somewhat when you realise that you actually crossed the river some time back. Well, I was at least.

So if you are a theatrical actor considering trying your hand at film, then my advice would be to go for it, because you are most of the way there. For those doing film and wanting to try theatre, learn to speak with projection, and to always face the audience, otherwise, keep doing what you are doing.

Acknowledge the fear and do it anyway

It has been a while between blogs. To be honest, coming up with topic ideas is difficult for me, so here is another stream of consciousness diatribe from the chaotic grey matter of an aging Ham actor.

The Audition

There are two things that can really unnerve me; public speaking and interviews. Within interviews, I include auditions, radio and TV interviews, as well as the common place job interviews. These things are almost certain to start the butterflies and knots in my stomach, and even give me the sweats. It doesn’t help much when you get an audition that is in less than 48 hours, and one that comes with a question mark. I think I may need to explain that a little more.

I am a freelance actor (at this time) which means I have not signed up with an agent and tend to try and find my own work. It is harder as you are often without the extensive network that an agent may have access. None-the-less, through various connections and specific grape vines, you often can find out about various opportunities. One such grape vine is a web site called StarNow.

StarNowThis is a brilliant web concept providing actors, photographers, crew, models and other creative types the ability to promote themselves independently, and to hear about possible opportunities. It is not the place to come if you are looking for just paid Professional work, although occasionally you do see professional opportunities being advertised. Most of the material is non-paid, profit share, or deferred payment arrangements. For those looking to build experience, and develop a collection of work samples, it can be a very useful service. It is occasionally used by more unscrupulous types, and these guys turn up everywhere anyway, so you often have to exercise a degree of caution when applying for anything, especially when they offer some large payments options, or incredible promises.

So when I saw an email alert showing the latest casting calls that matched my rather general search criteria, which included an opening offering a rather large fee, I was dubious and curious at the same time. It seemed a little too good to be true. Rather than brand the post as a hoax and leave it be, I decided to do a little research. The post had some basic information related to the organisation doing the casting, so I decided to look them up. Very easily I found a web page which displayed a rather extensive portfolio of work, and seemed to indicate a degree of professionalism. I supposed that the StarNow posting could have been placed by an impostor, so I posted an email to the contact address on the website asking about the StarNow posting. It was replied to that evening with a “confirmation” that the posting was official.

At this point, everything seemed very legit, and yet I still felt I should approach cautiously. However, there was really only one thing left to do; take the audition. Like a job interview, an audition is not only an opportunity to get a job. It is a chance to see what it is all about, get a feel for what is going on. Which meant, facing my fear of auditions.FearIt may seem a little funny that an actor’s biggest fears are associated with his biggest passions, yet that is the very reason these things are my biggest fear. A job interview, an audition, or speaking in a public forum; it’s about you. You are selling yourself for something that is important to you, and if you don’t do it, you won’t get it, or with a less than flattering reputation. I’m sure this is the same for many others. Some of our biggest fears are connected to our dreams and sense of identity. For an actor, being able to market yourself, socialise, and take on interviews, is a rather important part of their career. If you don’t do it, you may not miss every opportunity, but it will be harder to get what you want.

Back to the audition, there were two things I wanted; to know a bit more about the job and the casting company, and to have a chance at getting the gig if it turned out to be legit. Motivation enough to simply take the chance.

So there I was, walking streets with my wife, doing a little distraction shopping, yet feeling the churning inside. In moments like these, I am glad of my years of Ju-Jitsu training. Not only did I learn about self-defence and putting people in painful restraining holds, I also learnt about emotional control. Mind you, I didn’t really master that until many years after leaving training… The fear I felt bubbling inside was an indication that what I was about to do had some significance to it. Like a warning beacon. I had no idea what the audition might be for, what was expected, and had nothing prepared, although I carry around a couple of monologues I can drag out at a moments notice, from memory. I was going in blind so to speak, which doesn’t do much ease the nerves.

After leaving the wife, who continued with some book searching, I went to the audition, and without going into much detail, found more reason to believe the authenticity of the job, and also managed to do an audition that I was actually quite happy with. Now it is just a matter of time to see if I am the right choice for the part, and that is another issue. I also found no reason for my fears. The session was very casual, friendly and I had a good old chat with the manager/producer. Fears unrealised.

The New Career

While we are talking about fear (Well, I am talking about fear, not we necessarily), I have been struggling with another fear; the fear of change. I mentioned in my last blog post about an opportunity too good to refuse. Well, I have been in a partial transition over the past few weeks, taking a few days of from my stable job in order to get some experience in the new career. I have two or three weeks left before I make a full transition, and I have to say that nerves are setting in. Again, this change is a rather big deal to me, and I don’t want to… muck it up. While my rational mind likes to remind me that I am making a profitable move, both financially and emotionally, my emotional mind seems to want to contemplate the worst case scenarios.

When I think about it, what it is I really fear about this move, it dawned on me that my fear was about losing the opportunity somehow. Not through my actions or abilities, but through external events beyond my control. The rational truth is that these events could affect me even in a stable job. The concerns are irrational, as fears often are, and there would be nothing I could do to stop them if they did happen. Once upon a time, these irrational fears would have stopped me dead. Rather than risk the rather slim chance that one of these, shall we say, deal-breaker fears will occur, you stop, and do nothing.

This is the problem with fears. Too much import is put into the fear, and not into the why behind the fear. Hmmm, I think I did another blog about the Why. By focussing on the fear, we freeze, panic, get emotional, and stop thinking, and when we then combine that concept that our worst fears are often associated with a biggest desires, then it is a wonder people achieve anything.

HighHorseWell I have been ready to move on for a while and have bided my time waiting, searching, and trying to create an opportunity to do just that. Now I have that opportunity, and I find my fears have come after the choice has been made, rather than before. As a younger man, I may have conceded defeat and ran back to the “safety” of the familiar and stayed put. Sadly, I’ve learnt too much and that is no longer an option. So I am going to get up on my high horse and stick to my guns. Time for change has past, and I need to take full advantage of the opportunities that are coming my way. I can no longer allow fears to redirect my pursuit, yet I don’t want to ignore them completely.

So I redefine fear into something I can use. As I said above, fear is often associated with desires (or so I find anyway) and importance. When reviewed with moderation, a fear is your insecurities just asking you to be careful. Don’t get too carried away with the excitement, or lost in the illusions of dreams. Just remember to stop every now and then and look around, get your bearings, and ensure you are still on track.

I am not immune to fear, and I doubt many people are. I just need to acknowledge it, and do it anyway.


WARNING: This may sound like a bit of a whinge, and it is. It is also a very important message about attitude.

In all professions, there is a certain expectation in terms of skill, attitude and respect that everyone needs to at least be aware of, if they plan to make their chosen career their life. Even if it is not your chosen career, just the one that is going to help you get to your preferred one, you still need to present yourself as a respectable professional. I was always taught this in no uncertain terms both by my parents, and my school teachers. Yet there appears to be a troubling lack of this awareness with today’s work force. Note I do not say youth (as many other commentators tend to), because even though it is more prevalent with the younger generations, it is not isolated to them. professionalism

Too much am I seeing an indefinable attitude that a commitment is not that important. You make an arrangement to meet, be it a job interview, audition, business meeting, etc, yet to not see the importance of keeping this arrangement, or at the very least, relaying some sort of message if circumstances change making your presence difficult if not impossible. What is with this? Where is your sense of personal and professional pride? Do you not care that such a regardless mind-set may actually prove to be detrimental to your future prospects? Or perhaps you are not aware?

In two very different capacities, I have sat on both sides of the fence. Both as the Applicant for a job interview, or casting audition, and as the interviewer or casting director. Now, I would not dream of skipping on an audition without at least calling to see if I can make other arrangements, or to at least give an explanation. However, based on previous experience, I would appear to be in a diminishing minority on that front. Let me relay a specific example, without revealing specifics.

I recently sat on the panel for the casting a local, Professional, Paid, theatrical production. The auditions were promoted through a casting agency, a casting website, through various theatrically/film related Facebook groups, and even direct emails. We had a rather large application pool which was rather encouraging. We ended up having to spread our sessions across five days which included a couple of weekends. In all, around 36 people applied, and confirmed a booking time. A few people missed out as we filled our books, due to the large number of confirmations. Everything looked rather positive in that regards.

Across the five sessions, a total of 12 people actually turned with a few giving their apologies or pulling out just before hand. I have no issue with these people. They demonstrated good professional etiquette by either keeping their appointments, or by contacting us. As for the remaining around 20 individuals… where were you? What happened? There were up to four people hanging around waiting for you to show, and the last day was a complete no-show! How is it that so many people thought it would be absolutely OK to simply vanish in to the mists?calendardate

I feel a little twinge of sympathy for these people (just a little) as their names are now on a shared record with other local agents. It is something I didn’t realise myself until going through this particular casting process; agents share something called a “shit-list”. It could cover all manner of things like poor attitudes, ability to work with, and attendance records.

In the not-for-profit theatrical groups, not attending an audition would probably not really affect your that much, unless you made a habit of it and word slowly spread. In professional theatre, well let’s just say it is less forgiving and can seriously affect your career choices.

So here is an example where my life has taught me important lessons that have benefited my acting life, and I am thankful for it. I think back and recall times where I made a call to a local Independent (not profesional) theatre making my deepest apologies for not being able to attend, or calling ahead to say I was running a little late, but was on the way. The people I spoke to usually were extremely appreciative, and occasionally surprised that I went to the trouble. I found that odd. To me it is simple good manners, nothing special.

After talking with various industry professionals, I find I am not alone in my concerns. There appears to be a troubling apathy in the talent pool to develop what is simply a respect for yourself, and those you have made a promise to. After all, it was your choice to apply, no-one forced you, which means it’s your professional reputation on the line.

When to say “No”

Lee Sheppard suggested that I write a post on “When to say ‘No’.

Based on another suggestion for a blog post, I address the matter of when to say no. As Lee was not specific in his suggestion, I will take it as saying no to a show, or a role.

Image from sharpmindmarketing.com

Now, why should this be important? Because it is all too easy to fall into the trap of accepting everything that comes your way, getting over involved in too many things, stressing out about being able to fulfil all your commitments and basically running yourself into the ground. Let alone the reputation you may gather by doing so.

Interestingly enough, and maybe a little counter-intuitive, you get less respect by being a “yes” man, than by having a few standards. This is true in life also. You need to respect yourself as much as, if not more so, than those around you. What does happen to the yes man, is people become complacent towards you because you always say ‘yes’. You make it easy for everyone and quite without meaning to, they will often take this as a given, which is not much different to taking you for granted.

Side Note: I actually see a difference between the two, seen as a given or taken for granted; one is borne of familiarity and not intention, and the later is more intention and expectation.

So when should you say ‘No’? It’s really quite easy. When saying ‘Yes’ makes you feeling uncomfortable, not happy, that’s when you say ‘No’.

If I may recount a personal experience. I auditioned for a play which I deeply desired to do. I learnt that the director was looking for a certain cast demographic that would most likely have excluded me from some of the roles I wanted, but I auditioned anyway. And so I should. So should you.

I once saw auditions as making a commitment, which was the ‘Yes’ man in me. By auditioning for a show, I was making a promise to do the show if cast. Right there, that is a perspective to be changed. By auditioning, you are showing an interest in the show not a commitment, not yet. You are saying, I would be prepared to commit sure, but you haven’t committed yet. That was one of my earlier mistakes.

Back to the example. I was offered a role. Several in fact. Minor roles, but a lot of them. Now there once was a time where I would have jumped at the opportunity to test my skill at playing various roles. I actually love that stuff. In this case, I tried to picture myself playing the roles, watching others play the roles I ached for, trying not to be critical or envious, and I couldn’t. The thought made me very uncomfortable. I knew that I would not be able to give my best performance if I was constantly being distracted in this way, so I turned the offer down.

Then you have to the other extreme; saying ‘No’ when perhaps you shouldn’t have. Don’t let pride and arrogance blind you to the opportunities that are out there. When you narrow your standards too much, you reduce your options also. I have done this also.

Another play which I would love to be in one day, and I auditioned for only the lead role. I determined before hand that I would accept nothing less. I stuck to my guns, walked away feeling quite proud about it, and didn’t get a role. However, had I opened my sights a bit better, I would have been first choice for another role, which I realised, after the fact of course, that I would have loved to play.

Then and only then, did I recognise what I had done. I had smothered all my feelings with an intellectual motive to demand the best. This is simply sheer arrogance, or naivety. In my case, a bit of both. Had I listened at all to my heart, I would have acknowledged the discomfort I was feeling with my choice. Had I listened to that feeling, I would have had another play on my CV.

So again, with a little embellishment, when should you say ‘No’? When saying ‘Yes’ makes you feel uncomfortable, and after some time to reflect. Don’t make your choice too hastily. Allow yourself sometime to consider all your choices, and be realistic about them. Don’t be afraid to say “Can I think about it for a day?” The Director/Casting Director will either say, “Sure” or “I need a decision now”, so at the very least, you know where you stand.