site
stats

BEWARE OF THE INTERNET

tumblr_lwqxz8Vrav1qdxo33

By Marci Liroff

Lately, I’m seeing a lot of your self-taped auditions, monologues, and self-produced content on public sites on the Internet. I’m all for empowering yourselves as artists by generating content, but please make sure it’s professionally made. We’re living in a time where you can easily create content and clips for your reel, but I’d truly rather see nothing than see badly crafted films and scenes. Just because you have a camera doesn’t mean you should use it. Your projects have to look just as good as the footage I’m seeing on network and film projects. Think about it for a moment. If you’re sending me clips of your homemade short film and it looks like your uncle shot it, the sound and lighting is bad and the writing is horrible— how do you think that makes you look?

In my Audition Bootcamp class the other night one of my students told a story of how she had pitched a short film to the site Funny Or Die and they were very interested. She and her crew shot the short film and when all was said and done, she pulled the plug. It wasn’t funny enough. It didn’t meet her expectations. This is a young actor and writer who is just starting out and had the wherewithal to not post her film because she didn’t think it was good enough. How brave. How smart.

When I’m casting a project I get a lot of self-taped auditions sent to me in many different forms. They come to me through Cast It Talent, YouTube, Vimeo, HighTail (formerly YouSendIt), Actor’s Access, and links to the actor’s personal website. The Internet has made it very easy to self-tape your audition from a distant location, upload it to one of the many sites available and send it to me quickly. I love that I can view so many auditions from all over the world with ease.

But, please take heed. Your auditions for my project should not be available for public consumption. They should only be viewed by me and my filmmaking team, the network, and the studio. The material (the script and audition scenes) is not meant to be viewed by the public at this pre-production stage, or frankly, ever – UNLESS approved by everyone involved on the project. You’ve heard of spoilers right? If I’m casting a project that has a top-secret script it would be extremely detrimental to the project if there were auditions popping up all over the internet which would reveal the storyline. On my last project, the producer found 3 actors who had posted their auditions for our film on YouTube and berated me because I didn’t control this better.

If you’re going to post your auditions online at these various sites that aren’t secure (such as YouTube and Vimeo) please make sure they’re password protected. It’s a very simple and easy process and only the person who’s intended to see it will be able to access it.

I always say, “You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube”.  Make sure you’re putting content out there that represents you in the best light. (literally and figuratively)!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this situation. Has this ever happened to you? It’s always good to share with the community. Leave a comment, share this blog with a friend!
Glad you’re here!
Marci

 

 

THIS ADVICE WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

By Marci Liroff
I want you to re-frame the way you’ve been thinking about meetings and auditions.
 
I’ve been reading a lot of comments to my articles and blogs using the phrase “the other side of the table” when referring to the Casting Director or the other people you’re auditioning for. 
 
Stop it! Here’s the new thinking: What if you thought of the whole auditioning process as a collaboration between filmmakers? What if you included yourself in that group? After all, you are one of the filmmakers too. We desperately need you in this process.
 
When I’m casting my projects, teaching my classes, and coaching actors I wake up and have that Christmas-morning feeling in my stomach—the happy feeling filled with anticipation. I get so excited to work with wonderful actors and filmmakers. 
 
Websters dictionary defines EXCITEMENT as:
Noun
  1. A feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness.
  2. Something that arouses such a feeling; an exciting incident.
It occurred to me—that is exactly the feeling you should have when you come in to audition. Think about it. As an actor, how often do you actually get to act? Probably not as often as you would like. What if you thought of your audition as an opportunity to show us your stuff? What if you woke up on the day you had an audition and thought, “Yay! I get to act today and show them what I’ve been studying, prepping, and researching. I get to come in and play with the other filmmakers. I get to help them solve their problem. I get to be of service to the project and bring in my own special and very specific piece of the puzzle that they’re tirelessly putting together.”
 
You’ve got to stop this deadly “me against them” loop that’s going on in your head. Delete the word “gatekeepers” from your brain and anything else that you think is standing in your way. Replace it with this mantra: “I am a filmmaker! I am a collaborator!” We are all working together to bring the project to fruition.
 
When you’re truly prepared for your audition—you know the character and you’ve prepped and researched properly—you should feel like you can’t wait to get into the audition room. You should be excited to engage as a participant, as one of the filmmakers. After casting for the last century or so, I’ve come to realize that SO much of it is in your head. Once the preparation has been done, it’s all about perspective—and this is the good news. YOU are in control of how you view the audition process. It’s all up to you. 
 
Now go out there and remember that we’re all in this together.
 
I’d love to hear how this article made you feel.  It’s always good to share with the community. Leave a comment, share this blog with a friend.

Glad you’re here!  
 
Marci

 

I GET NERVOUS TOO!

By Marci Liroff

I’ve been casting movies and television for over 30 years. I’ve cast some of the most iconic and successful movies around and worked with some of the best directors, producers and screenwriters. Yet, every time I start a project I still get nervous and anxious. Every. Single. Time.

There is a very short window of time to do the “happy dance” once I get chosen to cast a movie. “Yay! I got the job!” Then comes the part where the producer or business affairs person calls my agent to make the deal, which is usually excruciating for me. Like I said, you have those nanoseconds to be happy you were picked, and then they pound you with the deal. Each year it gets harder. Seems that even after working all these years and creating a respectable “quote” (the salary I’m paid for each job), no one seems to pay attention to this anymore. They all want to get a “deal” for my services.
During the time in which they negotiate my deal I go into my usual loop of anxiousness. The damn voices in my head start chanting in chorus, “I have no idea how to cast this. They’re all going to find out I don’t know what I’m doing! How will I find all these actors?!”
Then the first day of work comes and I’m getting set up in my new offices (I move in to the production office for all the projects I do). I’m in my element. The calls start going out and rolling in. The email starts to explode. My staff and I are brainstorming. Ideas are flowing. It’s all coming together and I realize, “I got this.” It’s as simple as that. Once I start the process, all the anxiety and doubt quiets down and I realize I do indeed know what I’m doing and I’m actually quite good at it!
The wonderful actor and acting teacher Jack Plotnick describes it so eloquently to his class: “The physical sensation of what some people call ‘nervous’—i.e., your heart racing and butterflies in your stomach—is the exact same physical sensation as ‘excitement’.”

I’ve been coaching and teaching actors for the last several years. I recently let them in on this secret of mine. I realized that we all go through this when we’re waiting for our event to begin. For actors, it’s the audition or stepping on stage or in front of the camera.
I think that silly dance I do makes me humble, sharper and better at my job. Maybe next time I can teach the chanting chorus to do three-part harmony!

I’d love to hear your stories about your experiences with nervousness/anxiousness and how this article made you feel.  It’s always good to share with the community.
Glad you’re here!

Marci

« 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 »