Written by Bev Leech
A “Meeting” is different than a Callback. A Callback still requires the actor to do their pages again. In the callback, be effortless and comfortable with your character. Don’t change your acting choices, because that’s what you got the callback; but, DO hone them for depth and fluidity.
A “Meeting” is an audition but without the performance, between a Director or Producer and an established actor. The actor’s reputation has preceded him and there’s already a high level of interest in him/her for the part. But, if you’re new to the process & working your way up the ranks of Indie films, here’s a few things to think about.
A Meeting is a conversation with a couple of functions: a getting-to-know you part, and discussions about the project itself. Both of you figure out if you’re compatible and how you each plan to break down the script in shooting it. “GETTING TO KNOW YOU”. Practice before you get there “as if” they’ve asked you questions about yourself – both personal and professional. If you have any negativity going on in your life, be ready with a positive spin, a benign & supportive deflection. Then, change the subject back to the project.
In telling them about yourself in personal ways, have SHORT stories/quips, hobbies, interesting things ready. It’s safer to stay away from politics, sex, and religion. In telling them about yourself in professional ways, let them lead the question, don’t start “selling” yourself. Be ready with 2 or 3 SHORT quips about some project on your resume.
Heres THE ART OF CONVERSATION: get people to talk about themselves. Do your research. Look up your Director or Producers on IMdB, find their titles and watch their projects. It will definitely give you lots to talk about. Now the OTHER part they assess is your skill & focus as a Lead with the script, (which you’ve read before you meet, and preparation is key).
After reading the script, note specific research you might want to talk about to develop the role. Ex: Dialects; Time, era, epic; Themes/Conflict; Profession; Disability; Comedic Style/Genre . Once signed, though, follow through & develop those areas. Woe to the actor with a shabby accent or weak understanding – your ego ends up on the floor in post.
All this is happens in a 20 min – 2 hr conversation at an office, or lunch at a restaurant. Beware of predators and have your agent or manager in charge of setting the time and place.
1. BE ON TIME and reasonably dressed
2. Relax. Tension is the Actor’s greatest enemy.
3. Keep your wit and be a good sport.
“Luck” is very often preparation meeting opportunity. Break ‘em baby!
Bev Leech is a 30+ year veteran of stage, film, and television, and studied with the late, great Stella Adler. For more information, visit Actor Muscle