Here’s a confession – In the past I sometimes saw the casting department as the people keeping me from opportunities. Of course I knew logically that this belief is ridiculous and doesn’t serve anything, especially my acting. But it can be a pervasive thought — especially for an actor trying to establish a name and reputation for himself as a capable, go-to actor. However, it’s critical to move past this delusion. Fact is, I know that casting is often thankless work. And I also know from casting director friends that the time constraints and scheduling challenges border on being impossible to accomplish. Therefore, my job as I see it is to align myself with casting offices as a trustworthy resource that they can call upon when I might be the right actor for a role.
As new & returning television programs get back into production, I’ve been thinking about my relationship to the casting departments of the shows on which I want to work. Obviously, we as actors are competing to be seen for relatively few guest-star & co-star opportunities. There are often 1,000+ submissions for a two-line co-star role. Casting associates might bring 15-20 people out of those 1,000 submissions. ….So, the age old question actors rack our brains with : “How do I break through the mountain of submissions and get seen by these people?”
I can’t say that I have that one figured out, but I do know this : Actors must develop a long-term relationship of TRUST with casting offices. I have shifted my energy as it relates to ‘getting in the room’ with casting for episodic television. Here’s the deal : I want to be — check that, I AM —one of those actors casting offices think of when they need an actor of my type. And this, I believe is called ‘playing the long game.’ And it is built on trust, consistent professionalism and excellence.
Working actors are working, because….they work at it.