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Cliff Notes on Kickin' Ass at Casting Director Workshops

 

by Mia Pinchoff

You found a class with a casting director and paid for it. Boom - done!

Well, not exactly…

Paying to meet casting directors can be a great tool for actors to connect with their targeted network. It can also be a big waste of money. Nine times out of ten actors don’t take full advantage of these meetings. Time to change that! You’re spending your hard earned money-- why not get the most bang for your buck?

Let’s be honest, sometimes you sign up for these classes on a whim because it feels productive. Many things in this industry are out of your hands so it feels awesome to take back some control. You get excited and sign up without putting enough thought into it… not so awesome.

So here are some things that are important to think about before you sign up for a CD workshop…and since time is finite, I offer them to you in the Cliff’s Note Version…

1. FINANCES

Do you have the money to take classes right now? But really. Do you have the money to take classes right now? Being spontaneous can be a fantastic quality for your acting, for your friendships, relationships, but when it comes to your finances it’s just not sustainable.

If you do have the money to spend, is this particular workshop the best place to spend it? It’s not only the initial cost of the class-- do you have the time and resources to follow up with the CD after you take the class? Meeting someone once is a great start but has much less impact than connecting with them repeatedly and consistently - in a strategic way.

2. PICKING A WORKSHOP

Before selecting a workshop there are many questions to consider before you take the plunge and plunk down your hard earned cash. For example, which casting directors do you want to get in front of?Is this the best time to meet with this CD—for example: are they currently casting? Has the show you’re right for been cancelled? On Hiatus?

Sometimes you go on a site to find a CD you want to get in front of and all their classes are sold out… but you’re on the site, you’re in the groove, you have your credit card out… so you continue scrolling. Trouble! You find another casting director you’ve heard about, recognize their name, and like their bio or you’re intrigued by how many actors it says they’ve called in, so you pay for a session with them. Now you’re going in to meet “what’s her name” who casts a drama you’ve never seen on a network you’re not right for and by the way you do comedy and have been targeting sitcom casting directors –again, not the best use of your money or time.

3. AUDITION MATERIALS: SIDES/ MONOLOGUES

If you need to bring in your own material - do you have material you’re 100% pumped to do? Is it the rightlength? Is it brand centric? If not - can you trim it/tweak it or do you need to find other material?

Finding new material takes time. I wouldn’t recommend signing up for a class if you don’t have amazing material ready. There’s no rush! It can be tempting to sign up and tellyourself you’ll find something before class, but be patient and give yourself time to bring in solid work. Work that’s going to show you off in your best light.

Is your material overdone? Is it from the stock sides on the casting workshop website? If it is… you have some work to do.

Does it showcase your strengths and brand? Are you stoked to perform them? Have you had enough time to really prepare and work on them?Are you off book?If the answer is NO to any of these questions, slow your roll. You’re not ready for the workshop…yet.

4. PREPERATION

These are paid sessions. There is no excuse for not being completely-totally-one hundred percent prepared. Prepare! Too many actors self sabotage by leaving the sides to the last minute and wing it hoping for the best. If you’re not comfortable and confident with sides you’ve had for weeks what makes you think the CD will trust you to be prepared with sides they send you the night before an audition? This is your chance to do your best work and it is in your control. Don’t skimp on preparing your material!

5. OUTFIT

Do you have audition clothes that fit, that you love, and that look good on camera?Sometimes what you like doesn’t translate to the screen. Do they highlight, emphasize, and frame you in the way you want them to? ...Are they clean? Nothing worse than rushing to your CD session throwing on your favorite shirt and realizing it has a huge stain you forgot about sending you into a spiral of panic and reactive behavior.

You’ve picked an appropriate class, taught by a relevant CD, targeted from your goals, put your credit card down, got your outfits prepped and your sides locked and loaded… WAIT! You’re STILL not done!

6. MARKETING MATERIALS + SUPPLIES

Do you have all the marketing materials you need at the ready? Headshots printed? Resume updated? Sides printed and highlighted-- PLUS a HIGHLIGHTED copy for the reader?

Yes? Awesome.You’re Accelerated.

No? The it is VITAL you schedule enough time before the class to do these things (like actually put it in your calendar) so you’re not panicking the hour before your meeting. You know what that feels like, right? Eliminate that reactive behavior!!

7. SCHEDULE AND STRATEGIZE YOUR ATTACK PLAN

Sure you know to check the address of the class, but do you have a good idea of how much time you need to get there?

"Getting there" includes time for traffic, parking, peeing, breathing, and whatever else you need to do to feel calm and ready.

Now, go to yourcalendarand make sure you schedule the event with all of that accounted for. Put down the time of the class, the address, as well as when you will be out the door to arrive with plenty of time. Take care of yourself. If you don’t, who will?

Only AFTER these 7 points have been addressed are you ready. So, once you’ve used the above as a checklist, go ahead and pay for the session!

This may sound like insanity. WAY too much thought for one 15 minute meeting with a CD. Well, it’s not.Casting directors remember you - that’s part of their job! If you show up late, stressed, forget your headshot, have un-prepped sides, wearing clothes that don’t serve your brand, etc. - you sabotage that relationship--and you PAID for it!

Prepare so that you can relax and enjoy your meeting.
Prepare so you feel confident and empowered.
Prepare so you don’t throw your money away.
Prepare so that you plant a seed for a relationship and lasting connection with this casting director.

Prepare! Because you and your career deserve it!

Ballz to the Wall,
Mia Pinchoff, Accelerated Artist “Baddass” Career Coach
NYC Hustle, LA Digs.


 Have more questions about how to effectively plan for your CD meetings and your game plan    for preparation—or more importantly, your strategy to follow up? That’s what our Accelerated  Artist coaching programs are here for! We’ll hand tailor a connection strategy perfect for your  brand and goals in session, and take the overwhelm out meeting important people who will help  further your business savvy. PLUS, you’ll walk away with a formula you can replicate for the  rest of your career! Click Here to sign up for a coaching session and we’ll  get you Accelerated!

 

 

 

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