In this case, CD stands for casting director, and is what we call the people who cast projects in the acting industry. They send out breakdowns, pour over submissions, and decide who gets to come in for an audition. Depending on the project, they will often either read with the actor or run the audition, then give suggestions or actually decide who gets to play the part.
I have had it on my list for a long time to audition for an actual Casting Director, as opposed to simply someone in charge of casting a student or independent film. Not to dismiss the work they do, or that every audition isn’t nerve wracking and exciting in its own right, but being put in front of someone who actually casts projects for a living was a sign for me that I had made it to a higher level, where people don’t just do this for fun because they love it, they also do it because it is their job. The level of professionals 🙂
Although I keep submitting myself for the projects that I can, auditioning for a real casting director was something I assumed would only happen once I was either a member of ACTRA, or had an agent who could get me into the room. Instead, I was lucky enough for a CD to contact me personally. This is really exciting and a victory in itself, not because they came to me rather than waiting for me to have an agent, but because I did not submit myself for the project. I was just getting back from London, getting adjusted and updating my materials when I got an email, from a Casting Director, asking me to come and audition for the next day. The role was also union, so she would have to get me a permit if I got the part. Let me just say the pressure was on.
They sent me mock sides rather than a script, but I did find a character breakdown, so I let that help me discover who I was and what I wanted in the mock scene. One thing about CD auditions, at least until I am absolutely amazing at them, is that I want to go see my acting coach before them, so that I am confident that I am giving them my best work, rather than something I just put together by myself. So, last Friday morning, I drove to Suzanna’s for some audition coaching. I hadn’t seen her since I left for London, so there was a bit of catching up before and after, but we also worked a lot on the scene, reassuring me about the things I was worried about, and helping me discover the triggers to get to where I needed to. We also did a few improvisations in character, because that is something they apparently do sometimes. I left feeling much more confident than when I got there 😉
After the coaching, I had a few hours to kill before the audition, but I tried not to obsessively go over it, just to look it over every once in a while, and remember the important things, like who I am talking to or about, my emotional journey and who I am.
When I went into the casting office (yay!) I waited for another person to finish auditioning, and for them to reset, before it was my turn. The women explained the character to me, then let me do the scene. Even right after I got out, this part of the audition was kind of a blur, but I think it went well and I did it pretty much the way Suzanna and I had worked on. A solid take.
Next, the woman running the audition asked me to do it angrier, because I am angry at everyone, but not to do it one level. I am usually really good at taking direction. It is the note I most get back from audition workshops and classes, but in this case, I don’t think I took the time to breathe and take the note in. My head registered angry and not one level, so I used sarcasm, a little bit of angry, and a chunk of talking louder in an angry way because that is what she told me to do. It was definitely a different take from my first one, and I think there were some nice moments, but I did not find the triggers or let myself feel the pain and anger, I just said a lot of lines in a kind of angry way without justification. Definitely not my best take.
I waited to share this because I wanted to know how it went, but they are filming next week and I have not heard anything, so I am assuming they went with one of the other girls. It is sad, because of everything this part could have meant for me, but at the same time, this was an incredible win for me. I was contacted by a CD and offered an audition without ever submitting myself. I was brought in for a union project even though I am neither in the union, nor do I have an agent. And, I got to audition for a Casting Director. I am also choosing to see it as a learning experience, to know what I need to work on for future auditions. Exciting things are happening, and I can’t wait for my next adventure 🙂
“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”