Saturday, 10.06.2018, 11:32 PM
By Lori S. Wyman, CSA
I’ve been casting for over 3 decades and I have seen a lot of examples of insecure actors. I am bringing up this topic today, because there are things you can do to help boost your self-esteem when you are in the casting room or on a set.
When an actor goes to an actual casting they walk into the waiting room. This is equivalent to walking into a shark tank. All of the actors are talking and oftentimes bragging about what they have been doing. Now you, as an unsuspecting actor, walk into this room and you hear all of this and you think to yourself, ‘why aren’t I working?’
Little do you know that some of this talk is nothing but made up nonsense to throw everyone off who is in the room.
One day, during a casting in my office, I heard this actress telling everyone how busy she was. The other actresses started feeling very insecure. When that particular actress came into my casting room, I asked her what she had been working on. THEN she got honest with me. Well, she was “working on” cleaning out her closets, packing up and moving apartments, and that sort of thing. NOTHING to do with the film business, but she led everyone in the waiting room to believe that she was SO BUSY as an actress.
An actor came into my office to audition for a big film role. He decided to look at the sign in sheet to see who else had auditioned for that same role. This is NOT a good idea. He saw 1 name on the list and had a small meltdown. He took me aside and asked to speak to me. He told me that he knew that one actor in particular and that actor was REALLY GOOD and that he couldn’t compete with that person, so he wanted to go home without trying out for the role. I stopped him. Without telling him the details of the other, BETTER, actor, I begged him to try and audition. What he didn’t know was that other actor had gotten ill with a disease that prevented him for speaking clearly and performing well. What he didn’t know was that HE was much better than his competition, because his competition wasn’t as good as he used to be.
Several years ago I taught one of my on camera classes that had several women in it who normally compete against one another on castings. When I teach my on camera class every actor gets the opportunity to prepare sides and perform them on camera. We all watch the mock audition back and then I critique. Three of the ladies were friends and the fourth lady was their competition. Or so they thought. Every time they would walk into a casting and see this other woman they would feel like they had no chance at the job. Well, once they watched this fourth woman on camera in class, they realized she was not any better than they were. You know what she had? CONFIDENCE!!! She exuded a lot of confidence and would walk into the room knowing that she was the best and oftentimes, this confident attitude would win her the role.
Another thing that insecurity can cause is a false perception of a particular situation.
I will be honest, I do not like shaking hands with actors when they come into my casting room. Actually, a director taught me not to shake hands many years ago. He explained that when you see dozens of people in any given day, a few of them might be sick. If you shake the hand of an actor who might have the flu, then rub your own nose, VOILA! You wake up with a sore throat the next day. I cannot tell you how many times that has happened to me over the years. So I took this director’s advice and stopped shaking hands. THEN I stopped getting sick after a big casting. So, back to the insecurity issue. One day an actor came into my office for a casting. I did not shake his hand. I use to say that I had a cold and I didn’t want to get anyone sick, but then one day an actor told me he was sick, too, and he didn’t care. THAT’S when I just decided to say I just don’t shake hands. I told this particular actor that I don’t shake hands and he created this whole insecure internal dialog in his head over it. He determined that I didn’t like him, that I felt he was beneath me, and that I thought he was dirty. Furthermore, he created such inner turmoil in his brain that he decided to post all of these, unfounded, thoughts on social media calling me all kinds of names. I didn’t want him in my office again, understandably so. All because he was insecure and thought I was singling him out. I just wanted to stay healthy and he had a whole, personal, agenda around it.
I was in my local Whole Foods one day. Apparently, an actor was in the store at the same time as I was. He looked over at me and smiled. I did not smile back. What he didn’t know was that I never saw him. He didn’t know that and presumed I didn’t like him and that I ignored him. Again, he was hurt, lashed out at me on social media and created negative feelings when there were none in the first place.
I decided to share this with you today because so often we create our own turmoil all because of our insecurities.
“Nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities,” is a quote I found when I Googled quotes on insecurities. There were pages of them. Clearly, it is an issue that pertains to many people. Don’t let your own insecurity about someone put you on the defensive so much so that you create an enemy over it.
Several years ago Facebook, NOT I, unfriended an agent that I used to work with. I had no problem with him, whatsoever. When he saw that he was unfriended, he created this huge rift between us. I told him that I had not done it, but that it was done by the site itself. He refused to believe me and has refused to work with me ever since. Not only has he refused to work with me, he has turned many of his actors against me. I feel so badly for those actors. I have cast many television shows and feature films since that happened and all of those people were left out of potential bookings.
Being insecure can cause all kinds of problems. Don’t take everything so personally. It is not always about you. Take a deep breath, believe that you are good, and move forward. You will get much further in life if you do.
If you are interested in taking your auditioning skills to the next level, please look at www.theorganicactor.com at the calendar page to see the upcoming classes that Lori Wyman offers.
you are interested in adding to your resume, please look at www.theorganicactor.com
at the calendar page to see the upcoming classes that Lori Wyman offers.
Lori has been in casting in Florida since 1979. She has been nominated for 5 Artios Awards for projects including “Dexter,” “Pain and Gain,” and “Bloodline,” and has 1 Emmy nomination. She is an Artios Award winner for the acclaimed HBO movie, “Recount.”
Lori's office is located in North Miami Beach, Florida, but she travels all over the Southeast for casting projects. She can e reached at email@example.com
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