So, here we are at my second post of the New Year and I would like to say sorry to all the actors that were part of a large callback I recently did. Before I get to that, I would like to talk a bit about managers.
I still struggle with the involvement of managers because when we have last minute changes and agents are not allowed to talk to their actors directly, they are at the mercy of the manager. It is a step that makes the process slower. I understand that managers know the actors schedules but I believe the actor should also know their own schedule.
I wonder how often a manager changes an actor’s first refusals when a legit project comes along. I know that they do not verbally communicate with the agents. They send vague e-mails at night with reasons that are not always fair regarding an obligation they had accepted. Do managers get to make all choices? Lack of communication ruins relationships. Agents work hard. They cannot make money unless they book actors. I am not sure why any of this is ok. If an actor’s priority is legit work, then make that clear to the agent and give them a secondary.
I really wonder how often the actor is involved and if they realize that if this happens enough, the casting director will back off and not schedule them anymore. I understand that you do not become an actor to do commercials but they are great vehicles and the process needs to be respected. If you are booking lot of episodic, then take yourself out of commercials for a while and leave room for the actors that need and want those auditions.
As I said before, I want to apologize to the actors that were part of a large callback. It was a great spot – SAG and national network. These are the breakdowns that I love doing and I would think the actors love to do as well.
I schedule callbacks so that all actors get a fair shot without having to wait too long. I really want the audition experience at Beth Melsky Casting to be a good one. I had a director who was very nice, but very jetlagged at the callback. I was asked to tighten up the callback because he was moving quickly, so I did. After one round of time changes, I was asked to do it again. Three sets of time changes and we had moved the callback up by four hours. Some actors had to miss the audition and many others were rushed in and out so fast.
At one point, someone came out of the room and said to hurry up and make it like an assembly line. I was so embarrassed and I felt terrible. Respect and responsibility from both sides are so important.
I ask all actors to do exactly what I was not able to do. You need to keep your agents informed at all times and be responsible and honest. Things like time changes and last minute auditions happen all the time now. It is so much easier if an agent can call you direct.
I recently cast two Verizon spots. I got the job last Monday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), did a double session on Tuesday, and callbacks on Wednesday. Casting spec changed and I re-cast on Thursday. They shot on Friday. We are prepared to work that fast and you have get used to being available at the drop of a hat. It is a changing business every single day.
Again I am sorry if I made anyone feel bad. We work hard to hold up our end of the bargain.
6 thoughts on “I’m Sorry, Actors”
Most actors don’t get the stresses you are under. Hopefully this will give them the insights they need.But I also appreciate the humility to apologize for they way those clients treated those actors. I have stories for days about those unconscious comments in front of actors and we mostly try to ignore them and go on, but subliminally it often undermines worth and the value of what we do. Thank you for giving us back a bit of dignity in the commercial rat race where casting has become a speed event and you are caught in a terrible middle. Roll on Beth and keep writing.
Sent from the iPad of caryn CARYN WEST TEACHER/ COACH/ DIRECTOR / ACTOR http://www.carynwest.com
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Thank you and well said.
“I understand that you do not become an actor to do commercials but they are great vehicles and the process needs to be respected. If you are booking lot of episodic, then take yourself out of commercials for a while and leave room for the actors that need and want those auditions.”
Couldn’t agree more (except that some actors DO get into this biz for VO/commercial work, and I’m one of them.)
Thank you for the insight to your side! As an actor sometimes it’s difficult to see things from the other side. This opens up our eyes and helps us understand its not always the casting directors decision to make constant changes. Love your perspective! Thanks!
Thank you for the info.