Make a Strong Choice!
What it means to make a strong choice from a casting director point of view...
For me an interesting choice is one that isn’t the “right” choice or what the actor thinks is the right choice. I feel like a lot of actors waste their time trying to please casting directors vs. investing that same time and energy into making strong character choices Often times I’m in the callback room with the director and clients so I have an advantage of hearing what their idea of an interesting, strong choice is in their world.
Here’s the top three most common things I hear:
1. They were really believable 2. I never thought of the scene going this way. I LOVE it! 3. Who is this actor? Why haven’t I seen them before. They just made this come alive on camera!
Most of the time the actors they LIKE are the ones who came in and made a strong choice based on how they felt they wanted to do the scene, not necessarily how it should go. If you have good writing then the scene is doing a lot of the work, you just have to bring some emotion to your script analysis. The downside of working like this is that you’re most likely doing the scene THE EXACT same way the last actor did it. I’m not kidding here. I can’t tell you how many times I see actors do the scene the same way. After you see 15 actors, you’re already bored.
So, how do you keep it fresh and alive?
1. Bring yourself to the work through your life experiences. 2. Write down the 3 obvious ways the scene could go or “should go” and do the scene 3 opposite ways. If you’re supposed to be super angry at someone and the scene says you’re yelling, why not try sitting on all that emotion, letting it boil and instead of yelling you quietly make your point. Anger is much more interesting when it comes as a quiet threat or from being hurt. 3. Use the environment to your advantage and let it help you stay in the scene. So often actors forget to continue the story at the end of the scene. If you’re truly in the life of the story, making interesting choices that ignite you while using the environment of the scene, we’re much more likely to believe what you’re saying.