Before the audition an actor whispers: ‘Watch out, the casting director is in a bad mood.’
She might be. And, if so, why?
It’s probably got nothing to do with you and everything to do the high pressure of the movie business.
There are a hundred reasons why she might be in a bad mood: session’s running late, clients aren’t happy, she just lost a casting job, actors can’t grasp the genre, etc.
When you have the energy and have sussed out the room you can sometimes change the tense atmosphere to a more relaxed one. You can ease the casting person’s anxiety by being sympathetic, understanding, and professional.
It’s as if you’re asking: ‘Can I help you?’ or you’re giving them a hug. You might say something like: ‘Boy, this movie business is tough on all of us, isn’t it?’. You’ll feel a sigh of relief when the casting director says: ‘Geez, you’re right.’
You’ve now changed the energy in the room to positive from negative. The new atmosphere allows you to do better work. This isn’t about sucking up so you get more auditions.
Fighting a casting director’s harsh attitude will get you nowhere. And it won’t help your acting. But you can’t ignore it, so some days you just have to take it - knowing it isn’t about you.
But on your best days you can flip it – turn the negative to positive - creating a better working atmosphere for everyone in the room.
It takes thought, practice, skill, and genuine sympathy.