I try to be as helpful as possible. I try to give everyone the same opportunities I have. We are all in this battle together, right? So, why did I have a mini freak out the other day when a girl said she was going to crash my audition? I guess I should give you a lil more background…
I was recording a voice over audition at the SAG voiceover lab and while I was there I got another audition for the next day and I was just kinda reading the email to myself when this other girl started asking questions about it. She wanted to see the sides, she wanted to know who the casting director was, and wanted to know the time of my audition. She was going to crash my audition!
I had never myself really crashed an audition so, this was a completely new concept to me… kinda. I mean I had heard all these fantasy stories of famous actors that booked a huge jobs because they crashed the audition, but people really did that?
Ok, so there was this one time I was on set with a friend of mine and we had drove together and she had an audition right after and asked me to come with her and I went in with her and they said I could audition too. But that wasn’t really crashing, right? Yes… it was! But it was acceptable crashing cause this was innocent. This was my close friend and I was with her, it wasn’t a stranger getting all the details of the audition my agent worked hard to pitch me for.
Ok, let’s get some audition facts straight here – so you know all the things that were swarming through my head. If we have a good agent they do more than just push buttons on their keyboards. They work hard to get us in that audition room. Every acting job has thousands of submissions from every agent and manager and they narrow it down to 30-40 people they want to bring in to audition. They narrow it down mostly because agents they know and trust push their clients by pitching them to the casting office. So, if you are crashing an audition you are saying you are more important than the system of all of that hard work that has taken place. Not to say that you aren’t perfect for the role – you just need to realize that you are kinda undermining the system. You are going into a party you were not sent an invitation to.
Cut back to my situation of this girl who was now telling me she was unrepresented and wanted to say she was repped by my agent if she crashed the audition. I told her that wasn’t a good idea. I was thinking about how much trouble I would be in as she was explaining how she was going to make my agent a bunch of money when we both book it. I don’t know how I got the lucky break that she finally decided to call the casting agency and asked if she could come —- relieving me of the stress of this whole situation. They told her no, it was a closed audition and they were not taking any more pitches. Phew. As happy as I was that this situation was over it had made me think about audition crashing, I couldn’t really stop thinking about it. The very next day I walked into my audition and I killed it but, I looked across the room and saw another audition were all the girls going in were my type. I couldn’t help but wonder why I wasn’t called in and I started to contemplate crashing it. So, I immediately emailed my agent I told her the name of the client, the time frame they were auditioning till, the name of the part, name of the casting agent and asked what she thought I should do… giving her all the info so she could call over if she needed to and I immediately got a response, she told me not to sign in that she had already pitched me and they hadn’t called me in… she did however say if they asked me to come in by all means- go in. So, I stood around the doorway I read the sides for about 5 minutes straight waiting for someone to see me with my doe eyes and ask me into the promised land. After 5 minutes I gave up.
I talked to a lot of people about it, about this situation and about their experiences and hear more and more stories about people that crash and book roles or get callbacks. I also heard stories of people getting blacklisted by certain casting directors.
Why do we think people book or get called back to auditions they have crashed? Well let’s assume you are the actor more like me – the one that is crashing because you were there for something else not the actor that got the details from their friend or a complete stranger — so that means that you haven’t had time to stress out about the audition you can just relax and be in the moment.
So, after all this thinking, reading, asking, and listening here is what I have really learned :
1) Know your type!
2) Be Perfect and Right for the role!
3) Be Polite – if they say no… that you can’t audition – say thank you, don’t leave your headshot! Don’t leave a trail!
4) Know how to read what’s going on in the waiting room – if the session runner looks like they are running behind and stressed out – don’t ask, because you already know the answer.
5) Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint – don’t make lasting bad impressions only good ones.
So, am I anti-crashing? No, however you won’t find me doing it anytime soon. Maybe I’m a goody two-shoes but I would prefer to follow the rules and trust that my agent is working hard for me. Hopefully you will remember this article and think carefully next time you find yourself tempted to sign in to an audition.