Art of Auditioning: Techniques for Television

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A network daytime casting director highlights the difference between the craft of acting and the business of auditioning, and how those two worlds meet in television. This practical and specific guide reveals to actors in a step-by-step format how they can empower themselves as they begin to audition for television work and start mapping a career. Included are proven-effective preparation techniques, including asking the right questions, making specific acting choices, sitting versus standing, finding beats and beat changes, using spontaneity, and much more. Also included are interviews with top daytime casting directors and actors, advice on head shots and resumes, and an examination of the difference between audition preparation and theatrical preparation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581153538
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,296,263
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 5.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Decina is the Emmy-nominated casting director for the daytime drama Guiding Light. His other casting credits include the independent film, A Tale of Two Pizzas, and casting searches in New York for Dawson’s Creek, The Scorpion King, and National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. Before Guiding Light, he was the associate casting director at Warner Bros. Television in New York, where he was involved in the casting for The West Wing, Third Watch, and more than forty other primetime television pilots.
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Table of Contents

Dedication iii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
1 Auditioning and the Craft of Acting 1
Acting Is a Craft
2 An Audition is Not a Performance 3
Choose Obtainable Goals
Auditioning and Performing Are Two Different Things
3 Audition Philosophy 7
Truth in Numbers
Free Yourself by Removing Expectations
Offer Your Gift
4 Chances of Booking the Job 13
A Casting Director's Process
The Decision-Makers
The Human Element
The Role is Up for Grabs
5 First Audition 21
Type A: The Audition and Meeting
Showing Potential is the Key
Theatrical Preparation versus Audition Preparation
An Audition is Not Workshop Time
Type B
6 The Callback 27
Type 1
Type 2
Don't Change Your Choices
How to Make Progress from Potential
Your Callback Audition for a New Role
The Perception of You Changes
Callback Memorization
7 The Screen Test 33
The Business Side
The Screen Test Day
From Auditioning to Performing
Screen Test Memorization
8 On the Clock 37
9 General Audition Information and Advice 39
Make Specific Choices and Fill in All the Blanks
Asking Questions
Sit or Stand; It's Your Choice
No Blocking
No Props
No Miming
10 The Audition Technique 49
11 Beats and Beat Changes 51
Beat Changes Are in the Script
Write on Your Sides
Don't Overthink the Beat Changes
12 Major Beat Change 65
Determining the Major Beat Change
Indicating the Major Beat Change
Significance of the Major Beat Change
13 Subject Word 73
Example Subject Words
Write the Subject Words Down
A Reference Point
14 Feeling Word 79
Determining the Feeling Words
Justify Your Choices
Variations to Your Choices
No Indecisive Feelings
15 Summary (So Far) 93
Notes to the Test Are on Your Sides
16 Major Objective 95
Major Objective and Major Beat Change Are Connected
Take Action
The Major Objective is about What You Want for You
Major Objective Creates a Natural Level of Subtext
Keep It Simple
Remind Yourself of the Major Objective before You Begin
Don't Forget to Be an Actor
17 Dictate the Pace 101
Pick up Your Cues
Don't Blame the Reader
18 Think and Feel on the Lines 105
Don't Anticipate
Use the Beat Changes
19 Avoid Subtext 107
Negative Use of Subtext
Literal Sincere-Feeling Lines
20 The Right Approach, the Right Attitude 111
Three Minutes of Joy
Be Confident
21 Beginnings and Endings 113
Opening Line
Tag Line
22 High Stakes and Urgency 117
The Audition Scene Is Important
23 Spontaneity and Listening 119
24 Voice and Speech 121
Natural and Conversational Tone
Spatial Relationship
Don't Project
No Word Is More Important than Any Other Word
25 Charm, Personality, and Passion 123
Don't Fake It
26 The Acting Part 125
27 Don't Forget to Breathe! 127
How to Remind Yourself
Use Your Feeling Word
28 The On-Camera Audition 131
Do I Look at the Camera?
You Have to Pop off the Screen
What to Wear
29 The Cold Reading Audition 135
How to Break It Down
30 Under-5 and Background Work in Daytime Television 137
Take the Work and Get the Experience
You Never Know What Can Happen
Under-5 Work
You Are Protecting a Career You Do Not Have Yet
31 The Under-5 Audition 141
32 I Wouldn't Do That If I Were You 145
Get In and Get Out
Don't Forget Your Props and Stuff
33 Building a Relationship with the Casting Director 149
The Follow-Up and Staying in Touch
How to Begin That Relationship
No Tricks, Please
34 The Business of Acting and a Career 153
Learn the Craft
Talent Is a Guarantee of Nothing
The Business
35 Getting an Agent or a Manager 157
Go to School
Write to the Assistant
Get a Friend to Help You
36 Headshots and Resumes 159
Look Like Your Picture
One Shot Only, Please
37 Daytime Actor Interviews 161
Aubrey Dollar
Jordi Vilasuso
Daniel Cosgrove
38 Agent and Manager Interviews 175
Michael Bruno
Jill McGrath
Rhonda Price
39 Casting Director Interviews 183
Daytime Casting Director Interviews: Mary Clay Boland, Marnie Saitta
Primetime Casting Director Interview: Andra Reeve-Rabb
40 The Workbook 193
Make the Workbook
Write Down the Questions
Track Your Progress
Sample Workbook Submission
41 Final Advice 199
Your Obligation and Commitment
Entitled to Make a Living
The Television Audition Technique
Look Yourself in the Mirror
The Core Truth
My Casting Director Perspective
Good Luck
About the Author 203
Index 205
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2005

    Working actors need this book

    There are an overwhelming number of books out there about acting, auditioning, the business, etc. It is hard to know what to read, and what to trust. Trust this book. Rob Decina has written from his experience as a casting director, and you can tell it also comes from his experience as a compassionate person. He understands the nerves that can plague actors, the way it really feels to be sitting in the waiting room before an audition, the confusion over seemingly small decisions (such as whether to sit or stand during the audition) that can cause us to stumble. He has also seen thousands and thousands of auditions in his career. He knows what works and what doesn¿t, and most importantly he has taken the time to figure out why the choices that work do, and why the choices that don¿t work don¿t. The book outlines a specific audition technique that is designed to work with your other acting training ¿ not against it the way some techniques can when they jumble you up and get in the way of the natural choices you might make. The book also answers crucial questions like: Do I sit or stand during my audition? Do I bring my personal belongings in with me or leave them in the waiting area? Do I use props? Should I memorize or hold my script? Etc. Working actors can tell you, these logistical issues can really trip you up. It is a relief to have clear answers with thoughtful explanations to address each one. Plus I¿m a total convert to the technique in this book because I booked a job at my second audition after starting to use it. Maybe that¿s the biggest recommendation of all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2005

    Best book to come along since Michael Shurtleff's AUDITION

    Rob Decina's ART OF AUDITIONING is the best book on the subject of auditioning since Micheal Shurtleff's AUDITION. Rob offers the philosophy of viewing auditions as a chance to 'offer your gift' of talent and not to even think for one second that you're going to book the job. This takes so much of the pressure off of the actor and makes the audition experience enjoyable rather than dreadful. I've read so many books that tell you to 'visualize yourself getting the role...performing the role...becoming a big star...etc.' That's just too much pressure when you only have about 3 minutes to make a good impression and you should be using that visualization for the character choices instead. I've added this book to my 'Acting Bible' stack along with AUDITION and RESEPECT FOR ACTING. Thanks Rob!

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