A Guide to 1-2-1 Casting Director Meetings
[Image desc: a laptop sat on a table displaying the WeAudition homepage, there is a notepad, pen and a hot drink]
Casting directors will normally list the kind of performers they want to see during their one to ones. These may be general, or more commonly are specific; e.g:
- Performers aged 18-25
- Performers aged 30+
- Trans Actors (or other minority communities)
- Opera Singers (or specific skillsets)
Please make sure that you are a member of the community they wish to see. Nothing makes a worse impression than turning up, getting a slot, and not being from the targeted community. If you feel that your community has not had an opportunity with a certain CD, please tweet @weaudition with your ideas.
Similarly, please be mindful of what you wish to get out of the meeting. Take the time to do your research, as you would with any general meeting or audition. This doesn’t have to be set in stone, but does help ensure a productive outcome for all involved.
Check in generally opens one hour prior to the start of the call: if a CD has said they will be online at 2pm, check in opens at 1pm. You need to be quick off the mark, have the window open in Chrome (via the link the CD has provided) and be ready to enter the room. Ideally have checked your camera and audio beforehand for a quick set up.
Once you have checked in, you will be on the waiting list, visible in the first tab. If you have a WeAudition profile then your picture will appear alongside your name and place in the queue. You will see yourself on video, but rest assured that you are the only one able to see this at this time!
You are also able to view information about the session, and a general chat tab. Please be aware that anything you write in the chat window will be visible to everyone else in the queue, therefore be polite and keep your chat on topic. If you have a question, please look through the chat to see if it has already been answered. Occasionally WeAudition staff or casting directors will use the chat to send important info, which we don’t want to get lost among general conversation. It’s great to connect with other actors, but this may not be the best forum for a long discussion.
Realistically, a one-hour slot will fit 4-6 people, sometimes up to 12. Some casting directors go down the list in order of check in, while others will pick from the list at random. Don’t give up hope completely if you’re further down the list!
If you are picked, then you will be invited to start a session with an onscreen prompt and doorbell sound. Once you accept this, you will appear straight away, so make sure you are ready.
You don’t need studio quality lighting and a lapel mic for a general, but you do need to be seen and heard. Think of it as a self tape: you want the room to be well lit, so maybe bring a desk lamp if it is quite dim. Shut your doors and windows and try to minimize outside sound, and if you’re currently self-isolating with others, warn that they should not disturb you. If you are using a phone then consider using a tripod for stability, however this is by no means essential.
If you would normally wear make up to an audition, feel free to wear some; however, there is no obligation. Just as with any meeting or audition, the most important thing is that you are clean, smart and comfortable.
Unless a casting director specifies in their information otherwise, then the time is yours to do with as you like. Some casting directors might ask for a monologue or other prepared work; some may prefer more of a Q&A-type chat; some may consider it a ‘general meeting’. If the CD has invited guests, or are known for casting a specific type of work (voice work, motion capture, etc) then it is generally best to utilize the time to ask topic-specific questions.
If you are uncertain about what you want to do, don’t panic! Sometimes a clear introduction, brief overview of you as a performer and a nice chat can be all that is needed to form a good impression. As always, you do not want to be remembered for the wrong reasons. Casting directors are humans too, so try to relax and enjoy your conversation.
Ideas for what to do in the meeting:
- Speak to them about their work, what they like, and which of their previous projects have resonated with you
- Ask any questions you have that they may have insight on
- Ask for an opinion on your headshot/showreel (keep in mind you may need to have a link ready and not all CDs will look at them, this can be time dependent)
- Perform a short piece of text/song etc
- Have a nice chat about who you are as a performer and where you see your career going
- You don’t have to keep it all career-focused – sometimes great relationships are made over your commonalities. Perhaps you went to the same university, are both parents or love the same breed of dog!
After the Meeting
Once the meeting is over, you will no longer have access to the waiting room/chat. Take a moment to chill, maybe take some notes over a cup of tea and enjoy the moment. If you’ve had a great time, please do tweet us to let us know or tag us in an Instagram story.
- Be polite. We understand that it can be stressful and disappointing to not be seen; however, it is not ok to take out that frustration on others. Casting directors are giving up their time for free and that is an amazing thing, they won’t be able to see everyone and a lot of this comes down to luck. Please remain respectful, we are all in this together.
- Don’t panic. Take a moment before your call to collect yourself, visualize how you want the conversation to go, prepare some notes and control your breathing. You want to be the best version of you today that you can be, so try not to panic about how the meeting will go. We are living in extraordinary times and it is ok not to be perfect.
- If you don’t get seen, please do not email the casting director / message on twitter regarding this unless they have stated otherwise.
- Be mindful of others. These meetings are opportunities for everybody involved, and it can be very tempting to leap on opportunities, especially in the current climate – but, if you already have met or seen a casting director – be it during these sessions or more broadly – consider whether it is necessary to take a slot. Sometimes it remains absolutely appropriate, while other times, it may be more respectful – both to the casting director and your fellow performers – to let them meet new people.
- Have a notepad / recording app handy to make notes in a way that suits you. If you don’t want to take notes during the session, it can be good to do so immediately after so you don’t forget anything.