“There’s so many… variables. All you can do is go in and crush and do your best.” – Zach Braff on Auditioning
As successful actors move to behind-the-camera roles, they learn more about the audition and casting process that they were not aware of while standing at the front of the room. On an episode of his podcast Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach and Donald, Scrubs star Zach Braff shared something he he had learned about auditioning from his experience as an actor and director as well as advice he learned from his former partner, Academy Award-nominated actress Florence Pugh.
Braff’s first piece of advice may seem obvious, but he’s noticed that some actors aren’t aware of it — know your material. “Listen you actors, as someone who is more often a director these days, if you’re trying to audition and you don’t have that stuff memorized and you’re looking down at your page, you don’t have a shot in hell,” he explains. “I have to give Florence a shoutout for this because she’s a better actress than I am. She goes, ‘I just can’t be present. If there is a part of me that knows I have that crutch there and I can look down, I am not present in the scene enough to perform.”
With that said, Braff notes that even if an actor performs a flawless audition there are other factors influencing casting decisions. “You could literally walk in and be the best actor for the part, but you look too much like somebody else,” Braff said. “Or you are too old, or too young, or we just cast the father and you look nothing like him. There’s so many… variables. All you can do is go in and crush and do your best.”