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Acting Career FAQ - Getting Past The "Doorkeepers"

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  • bobfraser@youmustact.com
    Getting Past The Door-Keepers by Bob Fraser Despite what you may have heard about “door-keepers” there are many people on the “other side of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2006
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      Getting Past The "Door-Keepers"
      Bob Fraser

      Despite what you may have heard about “door-keepers”
      there are many people on the “other side of the desk”
      who are really on your side. One of the tragic mistakes
      many actors make, is to assume that casting directors
      and assistants are there to make things difficult.

      In point of fact, actors are the only ones who can help
      them do their jobs properly - and having a good business
      relationship with a casting director can shorten your
      climb to the top ... dramatically.

      A casting director (sometimes called a casting agent)
      is usually someone who enjoys and respects actors
      and good acting. I’ve worked closely with over 100
      casting directors and have never met one who wasn’t
      a fan of good actors and good acting.

      Actors often ask me this 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: “Casting
      directors 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 point of view.

      First off, let me make reality perfectly clear ...


      The casting director’s actual job is to find actors who
      are then suggested to the producers for consideration.


      When a producer assigns a casting director to a project,
      the producer enters into that particular relationship
      with certain expectations. Whether it is TV, film or
      theatre – a producer operates under the assumption
      that the casting director will bring in a selection
      of “good actors” to choose from.

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

      These are the assurances that producers routinely expect
      from the casting director - with regard to every actor
      being brought in for consideration. These essentially
      comprise a casting directors’ marching orders and the
      casting director will only ignore these dictums ...
      at the peril of his or her own job.

      These are the components of a producer’s definition of
      “good actor” ...

      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 accepts) advice.

      This actor treats everyone like they are special.

      This actor wants to serve the needs of the

      This actor wants me to be successful and make a

      This actor demonstrates that s/he deserves to be

      This actor is intelligent and always uses good
      common sense.

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

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

      This actor demonstrates integrity, loyalty and
      honesty – consistently.

      This actor personally guarantees his or her
      contractual agreement with me.

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

      You probably noticed that talent and training were
      not mentioned. That’s because, at the professional
      level, talent and training are expected.

      Most producers will assume that if you meet these
      other critical qualifications - you’ll probably be
      a capable professional actor. They’ll be right 99%
      of the time.

      Since casting directors know perfectly well what
      their duties actually are - often some very talented
      and well-trained actors ... who are late, or complain,
      who disparage the show, or don’t play well with
      others, who don’t listen, or 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 - talent

      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. Which is why most of them hesitate to
      deviate from their “marching orders” ... because,
      frankly, they want to keep their jobs.

      So, now you know why the same actors get hired over
      and over again. Because they are actors who exemplify
      those qualities, habits and traits that define a
      “good actor” - the things that producers are really
      looking for in a collaborator.

      If you become an actor who possesses the “good actor”
      traits mentioned above - you will book more work ...
      no matter what the level of your talent or training
      happens to be.

      Because if that’s the sort of actor you are ... you
      will get in to see the producers a lot more often.

      You can take that to the bank.

      (From You Must Act! The Acting Career Course)

      Bob Fraser is an actor, writer, producer, director
      and author of You Must Act! The Acting Career Course
      On Your Computer & Headshot Secrets Revealed.

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