Sophie Kingston Smith is a Casting Associate to Rose Wicksteed who’s cast films such as Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ and ‘Room 8′ as well as horrors ‘The Conjuring 2’ and ‘The Nun’ which is now in post-production.
A couple of weeks ago we chatted with Sophie about what it’s like to work in the casting room and what actors can do to get noticed. But, this week, we catch up with her to find out her top 5 pet-hates…
“It sounds like rudimentary, obvious advice but finding yourself running to the casting late, breathless and apologetic, means you’ll automatically be flustered and on the back foot, whereas strolling in casually after your appointment time signals to the casting director you don’t really care about the job. Do yourself a favour and arrive a little bit early.”
2. Not listening.
“It’s frustrating when you tape someone, spend time giving notes and specific advice and then the actor does the exact same take again. Make sure to really listen to what the casting director is advising and apply it to your next take.”
“We appreciate you are busy actors, with lots of projects to prep for alongside juggling your own lives, but coming in to the room having not even looked at the material is a real no-no. If you’re not off-book, flag it with us early and give us a reason, but make sure you have at least gone over it a few times so the dialogue is familiar. I’ve read with people before whose read was clearly the first time they’d looked at it, and it was really disappointing.”
4. Taking up too much time.
“This is most relevant to commercial castings when you’ll be expected to demonstrate that you can hit your marks and give them everything they need in a short space of time. It’s great to have enthusiasm and we always welcome questions relevant to the material, but try and be aware of the fact that most auditions are scheduled so they’re back-to-back, and we don’t often have much more time than is needed to tape the scenes a couple of times and provide direction.”
5. Expecting to always meet the casting director.
“This isn’t a faux pas necessarily, but don’t be put off if you find yourself taping with an assistant or associate. They have been entrusted with the job by the CD and know what they’re doing, so listen to their advice and be open to their suggestions.”