Casting Director Workshops: To take them, or not to take them, that is a question and long standing debate among actors. I think they are great and I take them as often as my budget allows (there are many to choose from but I go to
ACTORS ANGLE) Here’s why:
CD workshops are a great way to establish relationships with people in the industry! It is rare to get one on one time with CD’s for major network TV shows and feature films. If you choose a handful of casting directors and repeatedly take workshops with them, they begin to know who you are. When you follow up with post cards and updates, they begin to remember you. With time and effort, fostering these relationships is one way to establish and forward your career. Sounds pretty good, right?
Unlike classes, CD workshops actually simulate the audition experience allowing actors to prepare a scene and perform it in front of a casting director. We all get nervous, I know I do. Auditioning can be a strange and unnerving situation even for the most experienced actor. Taking CD workshops regularly allows us to practice walking into a room and being relaxed in front of industry professionals so they not only see our work, but get to know us over time as people.
If you choose the right workshop there are many other benefits as well. I recently started taking workshops at Actors Angle because of some added perks they offer and I’m loving the results! Every session is put on tape and the day after my workshop I am emailed a link to watch my scene! It may be scary at first, but approaching your work with a critical eye can help you improve and grow. I am able to really see where I need work and if I am on the right track with the scene I choose. I LOVE being able to watch my scene and I am so happy to find a workshop that offers this perk.
On that note, I am not a fan of workshops that have actors do cold reads. Cold reads do not simulate a real audition where you have time to prepare, make specific choices, and be off book. Find a workshop, like Actors Angle, that allows you to perform a scene of your choice. This way you can really target market your best work.
I also think it is important to choose a workshop where you perform your scene alone in a room with just the casting director and a reader, as it most closely simulates an actual audition experience. Who needs the anxiety of a room of actors watching as you try to present your best to a CD? Not to mention, you will likely never perform an audition for film/television in front of a room of actors.
Casting Directors at Actors Angle also provide written feedback about your scene and how they see you as an actor. They may also provide feedback about your headshot and other comments to help you better market yourself. I always take note of comments that the casting director says in the room and write them down on my comment form before I leave. This way I am sure to remember the details that always seem to fade on my drive home as I obsess over my work and what I could or should have done differently. Written feedback is invaluable and I would only choose a workshop that provides it.
I have been to many workshops in town and have often been left with a bad feeling because the environment was cold and unwelcoming. Maybe it’s because as actors we often feel that we are competing with each other on some level, or maybe it’s just my own insecurities. Either way I sincerely appreciate the atmosphere at Actors Angle, where I feel incredibly supported and welcome. I also network in the lobby where the environment is friendly and professional. Also, this is the first CD workshop where I was given a time slot for my scene work so I didn’t have to sit around for hours uncomfortably waiting. If you haven’t taken CD workshops out of fear or discomfort I encourage you to keep trying to find the one that is right for you!
As always be silly and have fun (oh, and Break a Leg!)
Leave comments below if you have any questions and I’m happy to answer them. If you want to check out Actors Angle I strongly encourage it! There are hundreds of workshops to choose from and in my opinion it is the best one in town!
Love and Light,