Casting Advice

by Aisha Walters: 3 September 2015

Casting sessions are one of the most interesting parts of my job. Before that point you have spent time thinking about who may be suitable for a role but it is in the casting session the character is finally brought to life. We appreciate how hard it is for an actor to come in and meet us, and know that they want to get it right. There in lies the difficulty – there is no right way. You could for instance play the role exactly how we want it to be played but there may be something missing. It’s difficult to articulate why an actor does not get the role and it may sound like a cliche, but ‘it’s just not that actor’s part.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you the answers to what makes a good audition. There are no answers. The only advice is to trust your instincts. Remember the audition is your time. If you have any questions ask us. We are here to help you. You have been invited to audition because we feel that you can bring something to this role and want you to leave feeling that you’ve done your best work.

You may not end up getting the part but we will remember you. Far too often actors are so anxious about getting it ‘right’ that they are nervous and flustered in their meeting, this affects their ability to act and can lead to a casting director being hesitant to call them in for other projects.

Casting is an opportunity for us to meet you and see what sort of actor you are. So give us that opportunity. Many directors I have worked with have asked us to call in actors that have auditioned for them before, who may not have got the job but made an impression. So basically all I’m saying is to be yourself. I know that is much harder than it seems but the actors who do, tend to enjoy the casting process more. I also enjoy meeting them, as whether they get the role or not they will do something interesting and unique and you’re likely to call them back for different projects.

Aisha has worked for Shaheen Baig Casting since 2008 she has assisted Shaheen on numerous projects as an Associate including The Impossible (starring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor) Starred Up (starring Jack O’Connell) Locke (starring Tom Hardy) and Black Mirror (Written by Charlie Brooker) and multiple award nominated TV series including The Unloved, Five Daughters, Southcliffe, Marvellous and the hit BBC series Peaky Blinders (starring Cillian Murphy). As a Casting Director she has jointly cast numerous projects including My Brother The Devil with Shaheen. In the last year she has started to work independently and cast feature film The Possibilities Are Endless and TV series Blackout, Youngers, UKIP: The First 100 Days and Cyberbully (starring Maisie Williams). She has just finished casting Nirpal Bhogal’s latest feature film Thea.

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