The quote from the casting director posted earlier could literally be from every single casting director in the Southeast. I’m sure they all face the same problems with actors. I know I’ve been paired with actors who are unprepared (and it’s infuriating), or simply overheard them in the waiting room confessing to not preparing. So here’s some more reality checks:
1) Get a cell phone that allows you to check e-mail. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for not checking e-mail everyday. Unless you are booked out for certain dates, and will be out of the country, there’s no reason to be unavailable. As we all know, the digital age has allowed clients to give shorter and shorter notice for auditions, so if you’re serious about this industry, you better get an e-mail enabled phone (I recommend the iPhone 🙂
2) For 30sec or 60sec commercials, memorize the script. Chances are you have under 10 sentences to commit to memory. If there’s a lot more, still attempt to memorize it, especially if you have the luxury of more than 24 hours.
3) Never blame it on the agent. If you show up to Stillwell, and Melissa asks if you got the script, and you say “no”, or “my agent didn’t send it til an hour ago”, you don’t think that will get back to Houghton? So not only are you coming across as unprepared, but you’re also damaging your relationship with Houghton.
4) Just because Houghton sends you to read Person #1, don’t be surprised if the casting associate makes you read Person #2. Don’t be adversarial and say “But my agent told me to prepare #1”, just do what they say.
5) Halloween only comes once a year. That’s the day you can wear whatever costume you want. Auditions, however, are not the place to get overly dressed up (unless instructed). Don’t mistake a hospital commercial as a chance to stop by Party City and buy a white coat and stethoscope. The safe answer to “should I dress the part?” is that you should dress towards the character with clothes you would normally wear in public. Auditioning for Army Wives as a soldier? Wear a green t-shirt, not full battle gear. It’s a judgment call, but just don’t go overboard.