Making the most interesting choice at a casting

Making the most interesting choice at a casting_550
Photo Credit: Salvatore Ciambra via cc
When you are preparing for a casting hopefully you do some script analysis and lots of character work – what I expect happens then is you make some choices on how to play the scene. Unfortunately what normally happens is you make choices which reflect the way the scene is written and these choices will be the ones that the camera finds least interesting.
Choices which only mirror what the scene is already doing will sadly be flat and one dimensional. You probably make these choices because they are what you imagine the director and casting director want to see – the truth is – they don’t.
More often than not the director will want to work with the actor who makes the interesting choices because these are the choices which will pop on camera. The only directors who will want to work with actors who make the safe choices are amateurs, students, and corporate filmmakers.
Playing the safe choice in a scene will never command the attention of the camera and will be forgettable.
Think about how many actors a director will see for a role and how many of them will have done the same script analysis as you have and made the same safe choices – none of you will stand out.
The actor who makes the interesting choice will be the one who the director can’t get out of their mind, they have brought something completely unique and fresh to the role.
Use this simple method to help you make the most interesting choice next time you attend a casting.
  • Make two columns on a sheet out paper. Do you script analysis as you normally would and note down the choices you make from your scene analysis in to the first column. That will be the right or safe way to play the scene
  • In column two write down three other choices which are still plausible for the story but are different from each other and different from what you have written in the first column
  • Play the scene using your first choice in the risky column – you will be interesting. Play the scene using the second choice in the risky column and you will be very memorable. Play the scene using the third choice in the risky column and you will be fascinating. It is vitally important that you remember these choices must be plausible for the story
In any scene the camera will always search for the the actor who is making the interesting choice and will ignore those who are only making the safe choices.
Being cinematic is all about creating choices which are interesting
Lea Michele’s Glee casting
Lea Michele’s choices at a casting are memorable and right for the character (without her even realising!)
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