Young Actor: Confidence & Casting

September 21st, 2013 by Sit up a Tree

Another post in our Personal Development Tips and Skills for the Young Actor series.

Today it is all about keeping up your confidence during casting.

Photo Credit Adrian K-H Production: As You Like It  Amy K-H and Paul Cockburn

Photo by Adrian K-H    Production: As You Like It  Amy K-H and Paul Cockburn

Just today I was looking at castings and was horribly disappointed to see that the only role for my age, appearance and schedule required “a couple light sex scenes” and another that suited me required I had the ability to speak Hindi, which I most definitely cannot.

This is a constant frustration which we as actors will have to face and deal with for as long as we wish to call ourselves actors. From time to time you may doubt whether you fit any role and that can really damage your self confidence.

Stay strong! There are roles out there for you.

It is not rare for people to feel this way. It’s totally normal and you will be okay.

Here are a few things you can think about when you are stuck in this little temporary rut:

1 – What are you feeling towards the job?

This is a good way to evaluate your dedication to the job. If you are feeling resent towards acting, other actors, casting directors, directors or anyone else in the business and if you feel like you do not remember why you wanted to act, then perhaps acting is not the job for you.

I have never felt this way. My feeling when I am in this position is frustration because anyone will be frustrated to see a sea of roles and realize few of them are aimed at you. That’s a painful feeling. The other thing I feel is a bit dumb. What if I had taken the time to learn Hindi? That would have been both interesting, as knowing another language is pretty cool, and may have won me that role.

There are so many roles going in French of which I completely fit except for the detail of speaking French. That is being rectified as I am currently learning French, but until the time I can speak it with confidence those roles are still beyond me.

Remember, you will be facing this issue for as long as you are an actor and you have to be honest with yourself about whether or not you can take that. I know personally that it is worth having to sift through a lot of unfitting roles to find the good ones, but I cannot say for you whether you can or not. Be completely truthful with yourself.

​2 – Get inspired!

One of the reasons that I am currently learning French and Italian (and hopefully soon Japanese) is because they could come in handy in very handy with acting. It’s all well and good being able to speak English, there are countless good roles to be had in it and you could easily get by with just that, but knowing other languages gives you access to many other roles which you would not be able to consider otherwise.

Bringing down language barriers allows for you to not only enjoy more diverse roles, but would also make working in an English-speaking role with a non-English-speaking crew a lot easier and more enjoyable. It could be useful in so many ways.

Ever seen an actor doing something truly awesome in a film, play or TV show that just left you going ‘Oh my god, I never thought I’d need to be able to do something like that!’? I have so many times and it’s always inspired me to go off and learn similar skills.

Take the time to try build yourself a repertoire of interesting skills and tricks that may some day come in handy. You never know if you will get the opportunity to juggle, break-dance or tango for a role in the future, but having those skills means that you will fit the role if the need ever does arise.

Look into ways of making yourself as talented, unique and valuable as you possibly can – where is the harm in that?

​3- Take positive action

When I feel stuck in my job, the thing I do is look at what I am doing and see how I can improve it and what areas I am neglecting. It is so easy to overlook things, approach tasks from the wrong angle or miss a step, and times like this are always good for recognizing and correcting issues.

It may feel like self-improvement is the last thing you want to do when you feel like your job is giving you nothing back, but it is in fact the perfect time.

When conducting an experiment, the best time to change approach or methodology is when an issue comes up. It prevents something going wrong and can end up giving you better results than you could have hoped for.

Acting is a tough business to be in and it takes resilience, a clear head and the willingness to work as hard as you have to in order to make it.

Not getting any calls when you send off your resume and headshot? Perhaps it is time to check your resume to see if there is anything you can change to better reflect your skills. Maybe it is time for a new look and a new set of headshots so you can perhaps get work that you don’t currently fit?

It is all about trying to be the best bet a casting director can make and part of that is constantly evaluating yourself to check you are on the right course, as good as you possible can be and reflecting yourself in the best light.

Remember that, before you get to an audition, two pieces of paper are the only insight into who you are that a casting director initially gets and you need to make an impression!


Please feel free to leave your replies to this article and let us know if this piece has helped you on your path to success! Good luck!

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