While it’s always a plus to “walk the character into a room,” there are limits. A few years back, there was a call for a child actor wheelchair user. Able-bodied kids and kids with disabilities showed up (including one of my students, who uses a wheelchair and a service dog.)
The casting team got very excited about one actor in a chair until, at the end of the audition, the boy stood up. He confessed that he didn’t have a disability and that the chair was rented.
The casting director was floored. The team felt duped. It was a huge slap in the face to the actors there who had real disabilities. The CD was not amused and the actor was dismissed. Luckily, the next to be auditioned was the very talented Brock Waidmann, who went on to land the role.
What was meant to be a bold audition choice became an epic failure because the actor didn’t follow The Bold Audition Rules:
I can not stress this enough! Don’t go so far out of the norm that you insult the production team. Remember, these are hard-working people who are giving you their time and energy. Respect it.
2) Justification in the script.
You have to be able to justify your choices. They need to be grounded in the facts of the show or the script. Remember that your choices should also be grounded in the text and not just randomly wacky for the sake of being bold.
3) Don’t be gimmicky. Be authentic.
Casting Directors can spot a gimmick a mile away. They can tell when you’re trying too hard and it won’t get you the role. Don’t overreach, keep it authentic.
Go boldly…but go smart.
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