Jason La Padura has been a Casting Director for almost 30 years. His long list of Television, Film & Theatre credits include High School Musical, Heroes, and Touch, to name a few. Jason started out casting theatre in New York and eventually moved to Los Angeles where he founded the renowned La Padura/Hart Casting Agency.
Jason came to speak to my students in one of my Audition Workshops recently where we taped his visit for my Video Series on "Auditioning", which I recommend every actor view to get the latest on do's and don't when it comes to a successful audition.
We discussed questions from the class such as, Is it a good idea to chat with the Casting Director before starting the audition?
Jason says, I like the actor to come in and do the work, and then chat, because he doens't want to interrupt whatever preparation they have done outside the room. After the audition, I will usually ask the actor where they are originally from? I like to know where people are from, and then I read their resume. Everything Jason says is specific to how they work at La Padura and Hart; another casting office may prefer other things.
Jason does not like props during an audition. Not even a cell phone because he's afraid it's going to go off during the read.
What about stage direction? An actor can't do all that in the audition.
"Whatever you need to do to get there emotionally. Whatever makes it true" Jason says, you do what you need to do in the audition.
Another actor asked if and when is it permissible to start an audition over?
Jason agrees, you know when you got off on the wrong foot at the top, so he doesn't mind if you stop the read at the top. If, however, you are half-way thru, you need to just get thru it because by that point, Jason has already made up his mind. He advises that you avoid comenting on your read at the end. "Maybe we thought it was good? Don't put that doubt in our head..."
Television is a personality-driven business. If you have been called in by the Casting Director, make yourself right for the part. They brought you in for a reason. If they like you, they will rewrite the character description to fit what you are doing. Jason and I have seen it done so many times.
Jason gave the students so much incredible advice that I have made it into a 3 Part Video Series! Part 1 of our conversation with Jason covers the following topics:The difference in casting for TV, Film and Theatre -- discussing things such as:
> Is it a good idea to chat with the Casting Director or Casting Assistant before the audition?
> When is it OK to start an audition over?
> What's Jason La Padura's opinion on an actor asking if they can do the audition over again?
> Should actors use props or mime in the audition?
> What should an actor wear to the audition?
Part 2 and 3 will cover lots of other great audition tips such as:
> What a Casting Director expects from an actor in the "callback"
> Going on tape for Producers
> Taping for a Studio and Network "test"
> Non-represented actors
> Non-union actors
> The best way to keep in touch with Jason?
> Audition Pet Peeves
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