The terms Casting Agent/Casting Director are generally considered to have the same function and I use them interchangeably. These are the folks who decide who gets the role, or at least whittle the choices down to a very few before the director and producers weigh in if the role is a big one.
Typically when your child auditions, they step into the room with the Casting Agent/Director and their assistant, and the audition is filmed for later review. Casting Agents are typically freelancers who may work on multiple projects at once, both film and TV. One of the major reasons to be in Los Angeles if your child is pursuing an acting career is being physically available to audition in front of casting directors.
After your child has been auditioning for a while, you will begin to notice that they are going in front of some of the same people repeatedly, for different projects. This can be good for a number of reasons: your kid is likely to become more comfortable and turn in a better audition if they are familiar with the casting office; and frankly, if a Casting Director is familiar with your child they may even request that they come in to audition for a certain role!
If your child develops a good relationship with a casting director before getting an agent, that CD may be able to make the coveted recommendation that gets you a meeting with a great agent as well.
This is one of many reasons that it’s important to go out on as many auditions as possible—not only is your child getting better and more practiced with every audition, but they are becoming familiar to the people who may keep them in mind for future projects.
These are the intelligent, hardworking people who manage the gritty details of every aspect of this business. Your agent, manager, casting director, lawyer, and business manager all have assistants, and they are the secret glue of this industry.
From the moment you walk into a waiting room to the moment you leave, you make an impression on these guys and it is important to understand that how you treat them and what they observe are part of the process. It’s just common sense that someone who is difficult when they don’t believe they are talking to someone “important” will be difficult on set. Which is another way to say that YOU are auditioning too, and generally for the assistants, who report back.
So be smart, and be kind. Many assistants will be running their own agencies and firms some day.
NEXT: Part 4: Lawyers, Business Managers, and Public Relations
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Or book an hour consulting with me to come up with an individualized plan that takes your own unique needs into account. For about the cost of an hour with a professional acting coach, you can get your questions answered and a road map to help you move forward toward your dream.
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