In which you hired an actor who sucks

You did your job. You booked a studio, got a video camera with a tripod. You settled yourself into your seat for 2 hours of auditions.  And then she walks in. She’s exactly what you had pictured. Button nose, butterfly eyes, and wait… what’s that… her monologue was recited with the pointed, timed precision of someone who just finished conservatory?  BINGO!  You just cast your female lead! Only you forgot to have her do a cold read of your work or something similar, nor did you do a chemistry read with your leading man, and now you’re on set shooting your movie after you slaved and struggled to raise as much money as you possibly could, and you have an entire crew assembled, and all eyes on her — SHE SUCKS.

What happened? You forgot that, these days, monologues don’t matter for your film/webseries/pilot etc.  You need to throw the material at your auditionees and see if they embody the character pretty much off the bat.  Ever see an audition for network TV?  It’s efficient. They don’t want to see a girl recite something she memorized for her 1st year conservatory showcase. They don’t care about that story or those characters.  Those TV show creators want to see their characters brought to life here and now. That’s it. And to throw the actors a bone, I have yet to meet an actor who is elated when they have to do a monologue for an audition.* Why? Actors want to play as much as they possibly can. They too want to bring new characters to life. It excites them. They want to connect with YOU, the casting director. They want to please. And because doing a monologue doesn’t give them that opportunity, you will not see all that they can do for you.

And frankly, every time I see a film/webseries/pilot is seeing monologues, my confidence that production knows what they’re doing decreases substantially. It suggests production is out of touch, and good actors don’t bother with those productions.

*Theater aside, of course. That’s a whole other beast I don’t deal with here.

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