(Written by Terry Berland for The Networker)
In my book Breaking Into Commercials I list seven elements that give you the competitive edge.
- Know The Technique
- Maintain a Positive Attitude
- Always Expect The Unexpected
- Expect to be Put at a Disadvantage
- Be Flexible
- Convey a Feeling of Intelligence
- Give The Feeling That You Have an Unending Well of Creativity.
- As an actor auditioning, these are common occurrences you come up against every day that you have to come to terms with.
How you deal with these everyday audition occurrences can be frustrating hard work. However, once you understand and control these elements and figure out how to eliminate the frustration, the happier you’ll be and the better you will audition. Not surprising, you will gravitate towards positive situations and opportunities.
ONE IMPORTANT QUALITY THAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT
Recently, I realized there is one trait that is the result of handling all of the above that makes an actor most impressive to me, a casting director…and that is HAVING A GOOD DISPOSITION.
The definition of “disposition” is: the predominant or prevailing tendency of one’s spirits; natural mental and emotional outlook or mood; characteristic attitude.
I expect an actor to be good at his craft and audition well. Beyond that, I recently realized the final element of an actor standing out is having a good disposition; it is the icing on the cake.
THERE ARE MANY OCCASIONS WHERE I AM IMPRESSED BY AN ACTOR WHO HAS A GOOD DISPOSITION.
- Waiting patiently in the waiting room and understanding if things are a little backed up. (Granted, I have seen waiting rooms where it is apparent whoever scheduled that casting session does not know what she/he is doing. There is no excuse for forty or fifty people waiting. Okay, that is frustrating and just wrong.)
- Feeling appreciative
- Being nice to everyone in the audition process
- Not bringing complicated “baggage” into the audition room.
In addition, I’m impressed with talent who:
- Arrive at the audition in a good mood, audition, and leave in a good mood.
- Love working out in their acting classes. I respect actors who come and study with me in my commercial acting workshop or any other workshop. I experience actors showing up to class excited, anxious to learn, hone, and improve in their craft.
- Appreciate their agents.
- Appreciate avails and bookings.
- Don’t get overly bummed out being released from an avail; letting go of disappointment in minutes.
- Participate in theatre. I go to theatre all the time and love the buzz and happiness of the actors when we all meet in the common areas after the performance.
- Believe in what they are doing and send out emails to market the plays they are in. Who market themselves with genuine conviction that their performance is good.
An appreciation for and liking what you do is attractive and appealing.
WHEN SETTING UP AN AUDITION, I go through the process of first finding an actor who looks right for the part, then assess their acting chops for the particular role. Then, when I go to click on the “yes” to move that talent into the schedule, my final thought is “good guy, good disposition.”
Look at yourself starting out the new year. Are you an actor with a good disposition?