There are many excellent actors who perform poorly at castings. Why? I spend the entire book answering this question. In this article, I can offer three tips to start with.
The first reason that actors struggle is fairly simple. Many actors love performing, and it follows that they do it well; but they hate auditioning, and it follows that they do it poorly. The first step in improving audition technique lies in making friends with the casting process.
When I was casting Dune for the Science Fiction Channel, I met one talented actress, Anna Rust, for the role of Alia. We called her back to read with us a few times. In the end we decided that she was a little too young for the role (she was only four at the time). When I told her father that unfortunately we had not chosen Anna, he said, “It doesn't matter. She thinks she already did the film.”
In a sense Anna was right. She did have the role. For those few minutes when she came in for her initial meetings, she was playing Alia in front of camera, for an audience of three; myself, my assistant, and the camera operator. We then showed it to the producer and the director. The casting was a film in itself. She played Alia in a mini-film.
To read full article, subscribe to The Drama Student magazine.