Posted in Acting, Business, Casting, Headshots+Resumes
Answer: As I mentioned in the first article in this series, in my car, you will always find two things: a cold bottle of water and my actor’s kit. Some actors carry…. (continued in David’s answer below)
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Answer: As I mentioned in the first article in this series, in my car, you will always find two things: a cold bottle of water and my actor’s kit. Some actors carry bags, some carry backpacks, some carry portfolios. After a couple of different CDs suggested that being able to quickly get at your headshot/resume without unzipping or unbottoning or unclasping or unwinding or decloaking is a good idea, I found just the item I needed at Staples.
To review, it’s an open-ended side-loading letter size hard-backed plastic folio with a clear, attached plastic zippered pouch. Here’s what it looks like, filled with everything I need to enter the audition room with speed and confidence:
What I stock in my actor’s kit has changed over the years. And I don’t carry some of the things in my kit that a woman might carry in hers. Here’s what rounds out my kit, plus some great advice for women from an actress who’s an expert at this sort of thing:
Scripts. Obviously, I carry scripts for the auditions I am headed to, even though I use Rehearsal to electronically prepare for my sessions. But, sometimes, you’re in a position to provide a scene for a casting person, one of your own choosing. Certainly, in most casting workshops, the casting director will be bringing scripts that she will dole out to the participants, and usually those scripts are from projects she has worked on or is currently casting. But, occasionally, you’ll be asked to pick one and bring it with you – and there are a couple of scenes that really highlight various facets of my acting skill set that I love performing. I carry two sets of those scripts, one highlighted with my lines, and one highlighted with the other character’s lines for the reader or CD to use.
This is the second part of a two-article series on what to carry with you at all times to be prepared, at a moment’s notice, to audition for paid acting work. Here’s the first article in this series. There are a few more things to think about carrying in your actor’s kit – some that are universal, and some specifically for women.
Mints and gum. There is nothing more distracting when working with another actor, or talking in close quarters with a casting director, casting associate or casting assistant to experience bad breath, either theirs or yours. Carrying a flat pack of mints and gum has come in so handy, especially after a quick charge at Starbucks before the session.
CastingFrontier.com bar code. When attending a commercial casting session, I’m finding that instead of asking for headshots, casting session runners are relying on electronic means of identification in the form of CastingFrontier.com bar codes. You can usually find workstations at the major casting centers that will both allow you to register with CastingFrontier, and print out your bar code should you forget it. As your the headshot you have uploaded to CastingFrontier will pop up for the runner, make sure you check every month or so that that headshot is up to date.
Thank you notes, envelopes and postage. Another way to spend productive time while in a waiting room (once you’re completely prepared, naturally) is to send out a thank you note or two. I actually take advantage of those few minutes before casting workshops begin by not only tapping the casting director’s current address into my iPhone’s Contacts app, but by hand-addressing the envelope that will, once the workshop ends, contain a short but memorable note from me. I also add postage, and drop it in the nearest mailbox on my way home.
Alexandra Raines, whose excellent list is something you should join if you want to keep up with what’s going on, has her own take that’s more girlie than mine:
I was in a meeting with an agent when the assistant came in the room. The actor they had just sent a last minute audition (straight to producers) couldn’t go because they were hiking and had no change of clothes. After the agent rolled his eyes in disgust he told the assistant to dropped the actor immediately. From that moment on I ALWAYS keep MY PREP BOX in my car. It is our job. Here are some items I keep in my PREP BOX: the exact matching makeup I used in my headshots (foundation, concealer, lip shine, eye shadow, blush and brushes), deodorant, hair brush, hair spray, curling iron, flat iron (most places offer a bathroom if need be). For clothing: black slacks, black skirt, khakis, jeans, black low heels, clean tennis shoes, semi-casual flats, sweater set, casual top, dress top. These items are neatly stacked and folded in a box in my car. In my car I have extra headshots and resumes (already cut to 8×10, not stapled), a stapler, a pen, several highlighters, $10 roll of quarters (not for laundry), and my acting music (meditation, inspiration, contemplation). If I’m at the beach having the time of my life and I get a call for a tragic mom scene – I like something that will focus me and bring me to my center. What is in your PREP BOX?!
You might have other items that matter to you that you’ll want to add to, or items that don’t make sense that you’ll want to take away from this list. But always remember to have it with you no matter where you go, and make sure that whatever you decide to carry, you’ll have no trouble at all whipping out quickly whatever you need to make that peer or CD connection.
What’s your answer to this acting question? Let me know in the comments below.
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