Banterist

From New York, original humor writing & commentary by Brian Sack. Subject to all the flexible quality standards of internet self-publishing.

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Helpful Tips For Actors

Make sure to criticize the writing of the commercial. Even better if someone associated with the advertising agency or client is present. This lets them know that you’re a serious, intelligent actor who knows a bad commercial when they see it. Pass your feelings on to fellow actors and the casting director as much as possible.
If the casting director takes a Polaroid of you, make sure to ask if you can see it. Keep asking until they show you, then make sure it’s the most exquisite Polaroid photo of you ever. If not, ask if they can take another one. Keep repeating this until you have the best Polaroid shot in history to staple to your information card.
Don’t bother to read the ‘additional’ information tacked on to the script. The paragraph explaining what the director is looking for could be too confusing for you to have to deal with. It’s much better to go into the audition unprepared and ask the casting director what exactly it was they wanted you to read.
When you don’t quite get a script, tell everyone in the room. Keep saying ‘I don’t get this!’ or ‘What the hell is this about?’ until people are well aware that you don’t get the script.
An audition is a good time to let people know of your political beliefs. Since 100% of people must feel the same way you do, make sure to launch high-decibel vocal attacks on the President, holidays, Iraq, religion, Republicans, tax cuts, Medicare and Fox News.
Feel free to change the script any way you see fit. Add your own spin on to what the ad agency’s writer was trying to say. Writers love when actors add unsolicited ad libs. If you have a scene partner, try improvising and surprise them with a new line that’s not on the script. See what kind of face your partner makes. Usually it’s a funny ‘confused’ face.
If the casting director mispronounces the name of the product, make sure to point the correct pronunciation out to them in front of the other actors so everyone knows how smart you are.
If you’re been at the audition for more than six minutes: time to start huffing and puffing.
Remember: There is no such thing as subtle. If the casting director asks for a ‘subtle’ glance, they probably mean you should look off camera with an expression that would indicate Michael Jackson being gang-sodomized by vengeful parents.
If you have a bad audition, blame your scene partner. If you didn’t have a scene partner, blame the casting director for making you nervous. If that doesn’t work, blame the script. If you’re still not convinced, remember it was a crappy commercial and you didn’t want it anyway.
When the casting director compliments your performance, make sure and question their judgment by saying, ‘Really? Are you sure?’ That way they know you think you could have done better.
When walking back into the lobby after an audition, tell all the other actors ‘You can all go home now, ha ha.’ They have never heard this before.
If you are running late, make sure it becomes something for everyone else to deal with. Let the other actors know that you are late and have something important to get to. They most likely don’t and will happily spend more time there to accommodate you.
If you make a mistake when 98% through the audition simply stop, look at the camera and say, ‘I’m sorry, can we do that again?’
The time before an audition is a great time to reminisce with friends and acquaintances you run into in the hallway. Folks who don’t want to bother concentrating on the script or preparing for the audition would much rather hear you and the girl from some play you did four years ago talk about the play you did four years ago and what happened to Brad from the play you did four years ago. Make sure the conversation is loud enough that the casting director in the other room gets brought in on the action so they remember you.
If you are reading with a partner, deliver your lines in the most stilted, unnatural way possible. This will cause your partner to try desperately to make up the imbalance of talent, resulting in a better audition for you with minimal effort on your part.
Most acting coaches will tell you that you should leave a ‘signature moment’ on your videotaped audition. For most actors this means saying your name loudly with a smarmy grin. Be different. Say your name loudly with a smarmy grin and point at the camera like the bartender Isaac from Love Boat.
When told to appear in ‘business attire’ for an American Express commercial, it’s okay to show up in t-shirts and shorts because some businesses are probably run that way.
You want the casting director to remember you, so get in a catfight with them. They’ll remember you.


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