For the actor often the callback, is where they FALLBACK because it is full of unexpected elements and factors completely beyond your control. The copy may have changed, the concept may be completely different from your first audition. They may even have you read for another role you didn’t even know about. The last thing you want to do is panic or get flustered or worse mad and indignant.
I always say show up to the callback with an expectation that something will be different and jump up and down if everything is the same way it was in the first call.
First thing you want to do is Sign in and find a quiet place to sit. I generally avoid the chit chat. Too many chances to come unglued or psyched out. This one actress would always engage in conversation and inevitably find a way to get the upper hand. One time she told me how she had just booked something and wasn’t sure if it would be a conflict for this job… a classic psych for an actor. Still another time right before I was called told me I had a little spot on my shirt.. Tried to rub it out and then said.. oh they will never notice! There was no spot… But believe me I thought about that spot all the way down the hall. So Socialize later and discuss the business after your audition.
Get centered , be grateful for being called back and get confident in your choices.
Be ready for anything, give it 110% and keep your ears open to hear the direction.
Walking into the room when called, is art form.
Confident, not cocky,
Self sufficient, not needy.
Ready and prepared,
Not anxious and flustered.
Leave everything outside the room including coats, umbrellas, & emotional baggage. Come in unencumbered, free and ready to play!
Give up forever from this moment forward the nagging question “What do they want?” “What are they looking for?” It is the actor who brings in a solid choice within the realm of what is appropriate for the scene, makes it their own and commits to that choice, who turns the head of the director. .
The minute you worry about the Illusive
“they” and what “they” want ,you are giving your power away to the room. I always tell actors to walk in the room already with the job already. Have the attitude of having gotten the call that you booked the job and this is an informal meeting with the director. See how that affects the way you are in the callback room.
Directors often get their inspiration from you! Something you are doing will stimulate them giving you a note or redirection. This is a good thing!! It means you are giving them something to play with.
The last thing a director wants to do is have to pull a performance out of an actor. That is exhausting. They are happy as a clam when you deliver, take after take, keeping it fresh and new but hitting the beats each time.. This is what directors look for.
When a director gives you a note, listen and repeat what you heard them say.. For example, If the director says, “Try it again and this time, don’t pause at the end”
You say something like, “ great so at the end just keep my life going?”
Then they might say.. no, I want you to take the beat just quicker.
“Great, so reaction quicker at the end”. In the repeating of the direction you have the opportunity to take a moment to process and to allow the note to go in to your body. You will also remember the note more by saying it out loud rather than just nod and say got it… Often we think we are listening but nothing is going in because the nerves are blocking our receptors.
Your attitude and personality are being auditioned, as well as your talent. The director and creative team want to see how you will be on the set ALL DAY LONG. The easier you are to work with and the more you can listen and deliver to the best of your ability what they are asking, the better
A good poker face is handy to have at callbacks, as you never want to leave a room letting them know you did not have the winning hand. Stay pleasant, thankful till you get to your car.
You probably did better than you think. And there is always another audition.
Practice, Practice, Practice is the key. Go to workout groups. Practice copy in front of people and think of yourself as a Booker! Till you are one!
Nothing looks better on an actor than just having booked a job!
Judy Kain has been a professional actress now for 37 years, showcasing her skills and talents in over 350 commercials and in over 80 roles for film and television.
Some of her more well-known credits include a Television Series Regular on The Jackie Thomas Show and a Recurring role on the Emmy-winning show Mad Men, a role which won her a SAG Award. Her other favorite recurring credits include Married with Children, For Your Love, Grosse Pointe, and Manhattan, AZ with Chad Everett. She has done numerous guest appearances on the hit shows Modern Family,The Middle, Bones, Castle, Scrubs, Desperate Housewives, ER, Seinfeld, The District, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, Friends,and The Drew Carey Showjust to name a few. Her teaching career has also lead to immense success, being voted BACKSTAGE WEST'S FAVORITE ON-CAMERA COMMERCIAL TEACHER IN LAin 2010 and 2011. Her other acting classes have won BACKSTAGE WEST'S FAVORITE IN LA as well, and continue to produce amazing results for her students. She teaches Advanced Callback, Commercial A to Z and Commercial Wednesday Workouts.