I would have to agree with Kazan here - in that you can't tell a Hell of a lot in Auditions - maybe some technical things - but to paraphase Kazan - what yer material is is the life experience of the actor himself. If he/she does not have the character in them you'll only be pulling teeth trying to get it out. Kazan would talk to them, take them out for coffee, meet their wives, girlfriends. Of course you can't do this with everyone - but you can do this with yer initial selects. I was casting a film last fall - that got put on hold - but I had narrowed down my choices from "actors access" Back stage, etc - wherever yer getting yer actors - and I had to cast a mother, father and a teenager. I met with 2 teens and found my teen after having coffee with them. The mother I met with 2 actresses and found my mother, the father I met with 2 actors and found my father. I can tell you that almost all the actors were a little taken by my approach. But no reading of a monologue was going to tell me what sharing a cup of cofee told me. All of them had read the script before hand and in talking to them I could tell what kind of actors/people they were.
I also act - I had three auditions recently where in all three situations my character was a husband married for many years. In all three audtions I go in and there are 2 guys there. The director and the Dp shooting video. The Dp read my wives lines in all three audtions. I cracked up in all 3 situations as soon as I walked in the room. Now what the director thought he was gonna see with me reading with his Dp? I don't know. I got call backs to 2 of the auditions - and of course I made adjustments and threw myself into the situation - but I think the director would have been better served to have a chat with me initially and see if I have the meat and bones of the character in me. My 2 cents.
Edited by kevin baggott, 26 June 2009 - 12:41 AM.