Okay, the title of this blog entry is a teensy bit misleading.
There's actually no way to guarantee nailing a casting, there are so many factors and variables involved in the decision-making process once you've left the casting room.
But there are TWO things you CAN do EVERY TIME to make sure you maximise your chances in the casting room.
That's right. Be decisive.
An EastEnders casting has a particular challenge - in order to maintain confidentiality over plotlines you only see the script once you've arrived at the casting. Actually, I love this because it
takes the pressure off "knowing" the lines and places the emphasis more on how you perform. But it does mean really minimal preparation time. You can (and should) get there in very good time, but
you will still be faced with an unfamiliar script - a character you don't yet know and a scenario you've only just discovered. How do you use the limited time you have to craft an impressive
You choose. And quickly. Read the script all the way through once and then decide on some basic truths. What does my character need from this scene and why? How did she arrive in this scene? (It doesn't matter that you don't actually know, just make a choice). What will she do after this scene? (ditto) What are two or three character traits I could be aware of in her that might be subtly applied to give her some emotional depth, even in a cold read? (Don't overplay this, just be aware of who she might be).
Now you've made your choice, read the script over with those character choices and motivations in your consciousness. Et voila! Your script-read, even with a few stumbles over the words, will have some sparkle to it.
Once you've made the choice stick with it.
Until the director gives you a note. Then you have to....
...in a heartbeat.
You made a choice and you were fantastic. Now the director wants to check you're not just a one-trick pony. Or super-precious about your delivery. Or difficult.
Learn to listen to the notes. Really listen. And then learn to lose your mindset and take on the director's (or casting director's) vision. Learn to flip an internal switch that allows you to
change your inner dynamic to align it with what the director wants. You can't just do this externally, to do it authentically you have to feel it from the inside out. You have to learn to adjust
the internal emotions of your charcter instantly when asked. You have to learn to be able to give your character a little shake-up, a re-set and then go again. Now you need to be able to give up
the lovely choice you made and take on someone else's. Because that's what you'll have to do on set.
Of course there's more...
Of course there are other things you can do to help you be your best in the room and feel positive afterwards - know that you DO deserve this chance and you ARE up to the job, know that they
ASKED for YOU to be in the room, know that whatever happens you've been SEEN and hopefully you'll be REMEMBERED.
But if you make choices and embrace change then you'll be making an impression whether you nail the part this time or next time!
Now go get 'em!