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How to prepare for a callback

Congratulations! You got the callback.  This is very, very exciting.  Your hard work has paid off, and you are on your way to another positive casting experience.  Really, a callback is a win in itself.  All too often actors get hung up on not actually booking a role — but you must know that to be called back is a true compliment.  Often, thousands of actors will submit on a project and only a dozen or so people (if that) will be invited to callbacks. At 3-2-1- Acting Classes for Kids, Teens and Young Adults in Los Angeles, we love to educate students in our acting classes on the audition and callback processes. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a callback:

  1. Celebrate!

Say yes teenAs above, celebrate the win of being called back! Call a trusted friend and share the good news.  However, I caution you not to overshare — the last thing you want is having every aunt, uncle and neighbor asking you about the same audition while you are waiting for news yourself.  You want to be able to release the audition after you go — meaning, you don’t want to be dwelling in “did I/didn’t I book it” land — so know who your trusted circle is, and share selectively.

  1. Confirm the audition ASAP.

Callbacks are much more complex than first round auditions. Casting directors are often working around the clock, calling in actors, pairing up specific people, confirming, rescheduling, pestering managers, etc. Be the actor that helps to make things simple. Simply confirm!

Of course, if you absolutely can’t make your time slot, request a reschedule.  But accept the slot that you were offered if at all possible.

  1. Take detailed notes at your first audition (work from these).

You should really keep an audition log with detailed notes from all of your auditions — who was in the room, what you wore, how you did your hair, whether or not you shaved, and any specific acting notes that the casting director gave you. Sometimes, you will be called in for a role and may not be called back for weeks.  You will want to know what you did, and how you presented yourself, in that first round of auditions. Take notes.  Write down full names — of everyone that you encounter at the audition. This will serve you in the long run as you build relationships in the industry.

  1. Wear the same thing.

Wear the same thing. This is pretty simple.  Not only will this serve as a visual and psychological trigger for the casting director — they will even more immediately associate you with your first performance — but also, you were probably called back because, on some level, casting liked what you wore to the first audition. This is especially true in commercial auditions. There are some exceptions. For example, if you find out at the first audition that a scene takes place during winter, you might bring a simple accessory, such as a scarf, to the callback. 

  1. Make similar acting choices (until directed otherwise)

You were called back because the casting director or director liked your acting choices.  While coaching is extremely valuable, unless you are given more or different material to work on, I caution you from reworking or overworking your scene.  Obviously, keep the material fresh, sharp and ready, but be sure not to change your choices too much (unless, say, you were specifically asked to come back with an accent, dialect, etc.).

  1. Be open; have fun

Go into the room as a collaborator — see yourself as someone who is going in to create a scene with like-minded artists.   You have been called back, so the director is interested in working with you.  Remind yourself of this going in —  you are going in to collaborate!  Be open to direction. And most of all, as I always say, HAVE FUN. Because that is why you are acting to begin with!

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