How to Treat Auditions Like Business Meetings
Actors may not often look at it this way, but the auditioning process is primarily a job interview. It’s a professional meeting where you’re being considered for a position. It’s not meant to be a place to practice getting good. The casting office is where you show that you’re already good. Don’t train on hiring ground!
I’ve been interviewing casting directors for over 20 years and I usually ask them the same question: What percentage of actors in any given audition actually make a lasting impression on you? Their answer is a surprising, across the board, less than 20 percent! It sure doesn’t sound good when you figure that more than 80 percent of actors going out on auditions shouldn’t even be leaving their homes! A bit strong? Maybe. But still true.
Let’s compare “show business” to more conventional business.
In conventional business dealings, when you have an idea for a new product that you’re interested in selling, your business plan isn’t:
Go for it
That would be financial as well as career suicide! There are standard steps taken to help ensure your success. Here I’ve listed six core ones:
NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH
Product Analysis. Have a full understanding of the product you’re bringing to market.
Market Research. Gather information about industry needs to better understand your market.
Research & Development (R&D) Continue to improve your product, keeping relevant with your existing market.
Advertising. Design attractive, quality product packaging to gain your market’s attention.
Test Marketing. Continue to work out the bugs off-line in a safe space, before going to market.
Sales & Marketing. Get your product out there and claim your piece of the market share
SHOW BUSINESS TRANSLATION
Product Analysis. Know your instrument (you, the actor) and how to play you… extremely well.
Market Research. Be knowledgeable of what’s out there. Know the shows and the casting directors for whom you’ll be reading.
Research & Development (R&D). Continue to develop and evolve in a good acting class.
Advertising. Keep your brand up to date—look, image, social media, headshots, demo reels.
Test Marketing. Continue working out in a creatively saturated acting studio, perfecting your cold reading, scene study, character development, and script analysis skills.
Sales & Marketing. Showcases, meetings, and finally… auditioning!