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    October 4, 2009
  • Straddling the footlights

    Simon Greiff is a jobbing actor with major West End and film credits. He holds a unique position in the London Casting scene, writes Knight Hooson.

    Straddling the footlights
    Simon Greiff
    “You shouldn't be the judge of your own talent. You should be an open vessel – turning up, having self-belief and having done your homework – but let them judge you, don't judge yourself. The hardest part of this industry is the casting process.”
    These words come from Simon Greiff, and if anyone should know about the casting process, it's him. Simon holds a unique position in the London casting scene. A jobbing actor himself (with major West End and film credits) he also moonlights as a ‘reader' and casting assistant to such heavyweight casting directors as Pippa Ailion. Simon is the man they turn to when they want to give auditionees a real actor to read opposite, rather than a casting assistant. In this capacity, he has sat through numerous auditions and seen both the good and the bad. In his opinion, auditions are all about preparation.
    “As long as you are prepared, you've learned the material and have done as much research as you can, that's all that you can do. You can only turn up as a blank canvas and hope that you are the person they are looking for.” Ultimately though, Greiff says, it comes down to your look. “If your look doesn't fit, then you are going to have to go a long way to convince the director that you are right. I have seen so many talented people coming in, and they think it's because they aren't talented enough that they aren't getting the job, and it's really because they aren't tall enough, or the wrong ethnicity.”

    “You shouldn't be the judge of your own talent. You should be an open vessel – turning up, having self-belief and having done your homework – but let them judge you, don't judge yourself. The hardest part of this industry is the casting process.”

    These words come from Simon Greiff, and if anyone should know about the casting process, it's him. Simon holds a unique position in the London casting scene. A jobbing actor himself (with major West End and film credits) he also moonlights as a ‘reader' and casting assistant to such heavyweight casting directors as Pippa Ailion.

    Simon is the man they turn to when they want to give auditionees a real actor to read opposite, rather than a casting assistant. In this capacity, he has sat through numerous auditions and seen both the good and the bad. In his opinion, auditions are all about preparation.

    “As long as you are prepared, you've learned the material and have done as much research as you can, that's all that you can do. You can only turn up as a blank canvas and hope that you are the person they are looking for.”

    Ultimately though, Greiff says, it comes down to your look. “If your look doesn't fit, then you are going to have to go a long way to convince the director that you are right. I have seen so many talented people coming in, and they think it's because they aren't talented enough that they aren't getting the job, and it's really because they aren't tall enough, or the wrong ethnicity.”

    To read full article, subscribe to The Drama Student magazine.

    Published on October 4, 2009 · Filed under: Articles, Current Issue, Highlights, Magazine Content;

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