AUDITION WITH CONFIDENCE: Interview with Montreal Casting Director Nadia Rona
The New Year offers the opportunity to turn a new leaf, start fresh with a clean slate; whether it’s health, relationships or career. For actors, this includes performing better at auditions. We went straight to the source to uncover the most important elements casting directors seek from actors during auditions. We’ve interviewed prolific Montreal based casting director Nadia Rona from Elite Casting.
An audition is essentially a job interview, first impression is key, it can make or break an audition. As soon as you enter that room you have to be professional and most importantly confident.
“The most important thing is confidence and being sure of yourself. I can mostly tell if an actor has what it takes as soon as they walk in the room. When you come to an audition you have to walk in very confident and don’t fumble,” Nadia states.
BE PREPARED TO BE CONFIDENT
The best thing you can do to increase your confidence level is preparation.
“If at all possible, get your materials at least a day in advance and be well prepared. When you do the audition you should not have to think about your next line, it should be drilled into your mind. Sometimes people don’t listen to the reader because they are only thinking about their next line,” continues Nadia.
READ BETWEEN THE LINES
It’s imperative to know your lines without the use of the script or sides during the audition, the only time that reading from a piece of paper is acceptable is if you are asked to read for another role on the spot. When this happens, “you only have a few minutes to prepare and we can’t expect you to know everything by heart, but we just want to be confident that you can do it,” says Nadia.
Nadia advises actors to get the material in advance and to go over the scene at least 100 times before the audition, but in reality actors will often get the materials just a few hours beforehand. Keep in mind that when this does occur it’s not the casting director’s problem and they don’t want to hear about it.
“I never want to hear the word ‘I’m sorry’. Do not say you’re sorry for anything. If you forget a line or if you just need to stop for a second, just say (with confidence) ‘give me a moment and can I redo it’. One of the things that I really don’t appreciate is excuses, being sorry or saying ‘I only got the sides an hour ago’ I don’t want to hear that. What advantage does it give the actor to give that information? Don’t ever be sorry or come in and make excuses about the reason you are not prepared.”
BE THE MICHAEL PHELPS OF ACTING
Being an actor is hard work and requires training (classes and workshops) just like any other skill.
“When I look at a resume I always look at the training. Nobody can wing being an actor. You need the basic talent yes, but that’s not enough. Training is very important no matter how good you are. There are so many techniques involved in acting, for example, the differences between theatre and television and how to be available to the camera, there are so many things to know.”
Besides training, acting takes practice. Nadia says to go to as many auditions as possible, “It takes patience, perseverance, strong will and determination. Like an athlete you have to keep training for the Olympics. You have to practice every single day, 360 days a year, even when you are on vacation or travelling,” says Nadia.
DON’T GIVE UP!
In conclusion Nadia offers these words to actors, “We all know that being an actor is a very difficult career and very competitive. I always say if you really think you have what it takes you have to keep at it. Never give up hope, follow your dreams and potentially it will pay off. It may take a while, but you have to keep at it.”