Wanted to share this article by casting director Mark Sikes:
Return of the Peeves
By Mark Sikes
Want to find out what drives casting directors crazy? Keep reading. It's been over six years since we brought this topic up but I have been so swamped with casting sessions this month that a lot of these have been on my mind.
Of course the old peeves still hold true. Respect the bubble, avoid cold calling casting offices, keep your info current, your headshots need to look like you, be on time and be prepared. All things you've been hearing for years, right? Well, I've got a bunch of new ones and just like last time these are meant to help you not insult you. I never received such mail as I did when we talked about this in 2004. So if any of this rubs you the wrong way, before writing me a hasty and emotional email, take a moment and consider why you're feeling that way. If I strike a nerve there's usually a very good reason for it. Now to the peeves!
Please hold your sides during your audition. An audition is not a memory test. Every time an actor comes in and doesn't have their sides I watch as their audition inevitably crashes and burns. A long-running pet peeve of mine is when actors moan and groan about Los Angeles. The minute anyone starts complaining about Los Angeles I just tune them out. Look, if you want to work in Hollywood you're going to need to live here...permanently. It takes most actors five to ten years just to make a living as an actor. And that still doesn't mean you're a big star that doesn't need to audition.
Traffic?! I am so over people being late or having another excuse to whine about the city because of traffic. Every major American city has traffic. I used to have to drive from the west side to Sunland every morning and every afternoon in rush hour traffic. I did this for four years. I was late for work maybe twice in all that time because of major accidents. No excuses. And being late in general is another big "no-no" to me. I have no patience for people who are chronically tardy. It's rude and inconsiderate and whether it's for auditions, classes, meetings or anything else, when you are consistently late you are telling everyone that you think you are more important than them. On a professional level I hesitate to hire actors that I know are chronic "tardies" and on a personal level I have better things to do than sit around and wait for someone who can't be bothered to manage their own time.
And now that we're all electronic there's a whole new set of peeves to look forward to online. The Age of Electronic Casting should make the actor's job simpler and less expensive, but there are those who still choose to make things more complicated. My biggest e-peeve is when I ask for electronic submissions via Actors Access and Breakdowns only and I still get a steady stream of email submissions sent directly to my email account. I delete these immediately on the principle of it. Think about it. I put all my projects on Actors Access AND Breakdowns so actors will have access to my projects. I don't know how to be more considerate about this process.
Please bring your headshot with you to every audition. I know you were submitted electronically. I know we're all trying to save the trees. I still need a darn headshot at the audition. If you don't bring a headshot/resume with you then you are missing out on a crucial networking opportunity as well. I have seen so many conversations originate from something we read on your resume. I've even seen actors discover that they have met the director they're in my room with from a connection noticed on their resume. In an industry where "who you know" can be the deciding factor in the hiring process you want us to know who you know.
Another pet peeve I have is the number of actors who submit on Actors Access and then don't monitor their appointments well enough to actually show up. Any casting director like myself who wants to give the largest number of actors the opportunity to work on their projects have to contend with a much higher flake factor than those that just deal with agents and managers. If you're going to submit for professional work then please behave like a professional. Monitor your auditions and let us know when you can't make it in. I've been forced to double-book many sessions in order to get a full session and not sit around wasting my time.
I'm here every week.
I've saved a couple more pet peeves for "The Casting Corner" Facebook page so come on over this week and read all about 'em!
I'm there every day.
Original article here: http://more.showfax.com/columns/corner/archives/2011_01_31.html#001298
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