Q&A with casting director & top agent

After today’s rehearsal at Talawa Theatre the cast and I had a Q&A talk with Shaheen Baig (casting director) and Kat Oliver (actor’s agent at Conway van Gelder Grant). They answered a number of questions on many topics including the merits of drama school, getting representation, auditioning, and so. As they shared so much information, I decided to share some of their most useful and relevant advice. Here goes!Shaheen Baig Casting


  1. Don’t be desperate:

You are an actor and a human being, after all. Acting desperate in front of a potential agent or even a casting director doesn’t win you any points. In fact, behaving in such a way takes away from your conversation because you don’t seem real or genuine.


2. Rejection is part of the job:

Quite simply, what will be will be. If you are right for the part you will get it, there’s no doubt about it. However, if you don’t get the part it doesn’t mean that you’re not a good actor. All it really means is that someone else is better-suited to the role (and by better-suited I don’t mean more talented!). Accept the rejection and focus your attention on the next audition.


3. You get a recall because the director likes your work.

You get a recall because the director can visualise you in the role that you’ve auditioned for. And even if everyone at the recall looks almost identical to you, you have to remember that your interpretation of the character will be completely different to everyone else’s because you are a unique actor and a unique individual. Essentially, what you bring to the table cannot be replaced or replicated.


4. You need an agent to work as an actor (in the long run):

This isn’t necessarily obvious to everyone, but this is still very important. Yes, you can get work without an agent, but to get bigger roles (on TV, film, radio and so on) you need an agent because actors cannot access the top jobs or the biggest casting directors on spotlight without one. Plus, an agent deals with fees, contracts, they liaise on your behalf, and they put in a lot of work so that you, their client, can focus on preparing a role and delivering great performances.


5. Drama school isn’t necessary for everyone.

Some people need the training to get better and for the experience of working for months and months on only acting. Others, however, don’t need to study at a drama school at all to improve their skills; there are many routes into the industry!

The decision to study acting should solely depend on what is right for you in your current situation, and only you can make that decision. So don’t be influenced by what your actor friends are doing or what this or that person has suggested. Do what is best for YOU!


I hope you guys have found this advice useful. If so, make sure you share the post and like it too.


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Copyright © 2017 Akuc Bol


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