Part 1 in a Continuing Series:
Auditioning for Hesperidian Productions
-by Kyle Thomas, President and Director of the Film Department of Hesperidian Productions
Actors, we love you!
Since Hesperidian Productions’ inception, we’ve worked with extremely talented actors. As we begin to cast our next film, a feature-length romantic comedy, we’d like to pass along some tips that resonate with us and, we think, with most film production companies:
When presenting your monologue, please:
- Know whom your character is addressing. Without imagining a listener, you’re more likely to sound like you’re reciting a piece rather than living it.
- Use the eyeline we give you as the focal point for the person your character is addressing in your monologue. Turning to the side or looking behind you as you deliver your lines means we won’t be able to see your performance.
- Never look the Director or Producers in the eye when you’re performing your monologue.
- Ground yourself and stay focused. If you forget a line, take a moment to gather your thoughts before continuing.
- Take your time. You have our willing and full attention during your audition. Use this opportunity wisely.
- We’re looking for acting, not caricature. Caricatures are never good acting. They can pass on the stage, but they don’t work on film. Become the character. Live in their skin. Allow us to believe you.
- If a director asks you to try a monologue a certain way, take a moment to process the suggestion. If you don’t, you’re likely to perform your monologue the same way again, leaving the director to question whether you’re inexperienced, too controlling and/or afraid to take a risk.
- If you don’t understand a note, always ask for clarification. Asking questions shows that you know how to work with a director — and that factor will make a director eager to work with you.
- Nervous energy channeled into your performance can be dynamic. All emotions are energy. Use your energy productively.
- Stop SCREAMING. (Oops, pardon us for our outburst.) Screaming doesn’t show us that you’re “feeling something” or “being intense.” There is always a stronger choice you can make to transmit intensity, anger, menace or fear.
- Film acting is about being authentic, natural, and simple. Acting that is exaggerated will look even bigger on the screen. If you’re trying to transition from theatre to film, be conscious of the need for training and for toning down your approach. Use a mirror as you rehearse and remember: subtlety is key.
Know that we want you to succeed. We want you to do an amazing job. We are not here to intimidate you. We want you to deliver a performance that is memorable, authentic, and elemental. Breathe.