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Sometimes, it’s the small things that matter. There are plenty of big things that you can and can’t take control of in your acting career. You can be prepared, you can arrive early, you can be in acting class regularly, and you can have all the right materials on your website.
But you can’t control if the person that went in before you wowed them. You can’t control if someone’s niece is auditioning for a part. You can’t control if you remind a director of his ex-wife. You can’t control if they just cast a red-headed child and now want a red-headed mom.
So take a step back and focus on some small things that you can control. These things may not book the job for you, but they can certainly make a small difference.
It’s important. Keep your hair in good shape. Touch up those roots, calm frizz, enhance curls, trim a beard—small hair choices add to your confidence, which in turn plays into how you enter a room. Likewise, manicured or buffed nails, hand cream on dry hands and arms, floss teeth after you eat that salad in the car before your audition. These things all make a small difference in how you come across in a casting room. Tip: keep a small “actor’s kit” in your car and fill it with the following things: toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, hand cream, nail file, neutral nail polish, root color touch up stick, face spritzer, moisturizer, hair supplies.
It’s such an obvious thing and of course you’re trying to dress the part, but one of our actors recently had an a-ha moment in this department. She was constantly going out for “mom” roles, but in her day-to-day life she was a fashion fiend whose outfits didn’t quite fit into the “mom” type wardrobe. When she started wearing solid colored shirts, khaki’s, and neutral shoes, she started booking more mom jobs. Think out what your character would wear and make appropriate wardrobe choices.
It may seem obvious: say hi to the casting director. But do you enter the room with a sense of warmth and kindness? It’s a small but important thing we have actors practice when they are doing “audition ready” work in class. We have them enter the room and greet the casting director. If it isn’t done in an effective and engaging way, we kindly ask them to leave and try it again. That first impression is profound, so make sure it’s one that speaks to your personality and is done so with kindness.