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Good Actors Wanted

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  • Bob Fraser
    Good Actors Wanted by Bob Fraser Actors often ask me this kind of question: How can I get a casting director to hire me? Or sometimes they ll make this sort
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 16, 2007
      Good Actors Wanted
      Bob Fraser

      Actors often ask me this kind of question:

      "How can I get a casting director to hire me?"

      Or sometimes they'll make this sort of statement:

      "I'm a trained actor, but the casting directors
      won't hire me. They only hire their friends."

      Once in awhile I'll hear this complaint:

      "This is a terrible town. Casting directors don't
      care if you're talented. They hire the same people
      over and over. A new actor - no matter how talented
      - hasn't got a chance."

      Okay, in an effort to clear the air between actors
      and casting directors – I'm going to tell you the
      absolute truth ... from a producer's perspective.

      First off, casting directors don't do the hiring
      (unless we're talking about background work). The
      casting director's actual job is to find actors who
      will be sent to the producers for consideration.

      They work for the producers.

      The producers do the hiring.

      Now, when the producers assign a casting director
      to a project, they enter into that relationship
      with certain expectations. Whether it is television
      (where the producers are mostly writers), or film
      (where the producers are generally trying to serve
      the vision of the director - who will usually make
      the final decision) – the producers operate under
      the assumption that the casting director will “bring
      in” GOOD actors to choose from.

      What follows is a list of implicit (and sometimes
      explicit) expectations of most producers, when they
      send the casting director off to find their cast.

      These are the assurances that producers routinely
      expect from the casting director – with regard to
      every actor being brought in for consideration.

      These comprise the casting directors' marching orders
      and the casting director only ignore these dictums
      at the peril of his or her own job.

      This is the producer's definition of GOOD:

      This actor is sincere.

      This actor is reliable.

      This actor is a learner.

      This actor is punctual.

      This actor is collaborative.

      This actor values our time.

      This actor is an encourager.

      This actor has clarity and focus.

      This actor is peaceful, calm, and kind.

      This actor appreciates and takes advice.

      This actor treats everyone like they are special.

      This actor wants to serve the needs of the

      This actor wants us to be successful and make a

      This actor demonstrates that s/he deserves to be

      This actor is intelligent and demonstrates good
      common sense.

      This actor has the same value system and work ethic
      as we do.

      This actor demonstrates integrity, loyalty and honesty
      – consistently.

      This actor wants to work as hard as we do – to
      achieve excellence.

      This actor possesses and demonstrates mental and
      physical well-being.

      This actor personally guarantees his/her contractual
      agreement with us.

      You probably noticed that talent and training weren't
      mentioned. That's because, at the professional level,
      talent and training are expected. Most producers will
      assume that if you meet these other qualifications,
      you will probably be a professional actor.

      They'll be right 99% of the time.

      Since casting directors know perfectly well what
      their duties really are - often some very talented
      and well-trained actors ... who are late, who complain,
      who disparage the show, who don't play well with others,
      who don't listen, who don't care about the outcome of
      the project, who demonstrate a lack of integrity,
      loyalty and honesty, etc. ... will find it hard to
      get past the casting director.

      Bluntly? Life is too short.

      Believe me, most casting directors aren't so high up
      on the food chain, that they can't be fired for one
      lousy mistake.

      The same actors get hired repeatedly because they
      exemplify these qualities, habits and traits – the
      things that producers are really looking for – and
      casting directors, frankly, want to keep their jobs.

      Become an actor who possesses the things mentioned
      above and you will book more work - no matter the
      level of your talent or training.

      Because if that's the kind of actor you are ... your
      "friend," the casting director, will "bring you in"
      to the producers a lot more often.

      And you can take that to the bank.

      * * * *

      Bob Fraser is a retired actor, writer, director
      and producer on such series as Full House, Benson,
      The Love Boat, Condo, Phyl & Mikhy, and many more.

      He is also a regular columnist for Now Casting,
      Actors Life, Acting Magazine, FABactor, and been
      a lecturer at AFI, SAG Conservatory, Equity Library
      Theatre, UCLA, USC, Denver University, Film Industry
      Network, Women In Film, Actors Creative Network,
      Actors Site and others.

      Bob's work has been written upin The New York Times,
      Variety, Hollywood Reporter,Backstage, The London
      Times, The Reader's Digest, and dozens of other

      You can subscribe to his FREE Monthly Newsletter –
      by going here:


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