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The Casting Process - Part II

After the reading, the Casting Director thanks the actor and asks for another copy of her headshot and resume. The actor gives them to her, smiles, then walks out past all the other actors still waiting for their chance to read.

The actor goes home, not too hopeful. She has done several other auditions this week, with no response. But the next day, her agent calls and says that they want to see her again. A "callback" is the industry term for another audition for a role. For a major role or a national commercial, you may have to do several callbacks before you know if you've gotten the part.

The Casting Director has narrowed down the hopefuls to about ten, and she sees each of them again. The actor returns in the same outfit she wore the the first audition and does her performance the exact same way. The CD is pleased with the performance, but asks the actor to do the scene differently, maybe "a little lighter". She doesn't do this because she didn't like the first way, but because she wants to see if the actor can take direction well.

The second performance is even better than the first, and the Casting Director shakes the actor's hand when she's done. She's pretty sure she has found her "Lisa". That night, she shows the producers of the show a videotape of the performance. "No," they say, "We've decided that Lisa should be a blonde."

Yup, sometimes that's the way it goes. You can lose a part because you're the wrong height, hair color, or because the producer's niece wanted the job. But Casting Directors will remember a good actor...

A month later, the actor gets a call from her agent. The people from "Secret Lovers" are producing a new show called "Lovers Lane" and they want the actor to come in to read for the starring role of the new series.

This is the way careers are made. You may not get every role you try out for, but if you do your best and behave like a professional, people will remember you and want to work with you. So work hard and be the best actor you can be. You'll get your big break soon enough.

By Joshua Siegel

Read about our recommended casting call resource.