Showoff sessions: What are they and why they're essential for actors.
A General Audition with a Casting agent, or as we like to call them at MG, a "Showoff Session" provide an opportunity for a Casting Director to meet you, assess your acting ability and keep you in mind for any appropriate roles that come up in the future.
Casting Directors (or Casting Agent, whatever you want to call them) are not actor’s agency (eg. They don't represent actors). Instead, Casting Directors are approached by production companies and are asked to find actors to fit specific roles. They find these actors in numerous ways, including looking through their database of talent they have met in the past or by contacting an actors’ agent and requesting certain performers. These sessions at MG fill up so quickly and we get so many questions regarding what Showoff Sessions are about and WHY actors would want to go an audition when they're not actually going for a particular part?! Well you're about to find out.
The way these sessions run at MG is you apply to attend the session, and if you get in, we will assign you an audition time, a script and a partner. You will come in and practice with your partner for about 45 minutes before the audition, and then you and your partner will go in to the audition room and perform the scene in front of the director, who will give notes, give you direction and perhaps ask you to change your performance in certain ways.
There are plenty of reasons these sessions fill up so quickly, it's not just seasoned professional actors that attend Showoff Sessions, new or inexperienced actors get a lot of benefits out of them too. Here are just a few reasons that our Showoff Sessions fill up so quickly:
1. YOU GET TO EXPERIENCE AUDITIONING
Auditioning is an art. It's hard, it can be overwhelming and very confronting, even for the most experienced actors! But it is also FUN! And as they say practice makes perfect, so these Showoff Sessions are the perfect way to introduce yourself to how auditions really work. From the nervous wait in the foyer to chatting to the camera and remembering all those lines without your script.. Participating in a General Audition prepares you for auditions to come. These kinds of sessions allow you (or your child) to become familiar with the audition process, talking to casting agents and properly introducing yourself etc. This process is great if you're a nervous performer, because our Showoff Sessions are generally less stressful/confronting and can ease you into the reality of auditioning.
2. YOU GET A CHANCE TO IMPRESS A CASTING AGENT
Casting Agents/Directors are the people you want to impress! They're the people called by production companies to cast all roles, big and small - so if you fit the brief for an upcoming role & happen to impress the casting agent - you're on the right track! Regardless of whether you're represented by an agent or freelance, if you impress a casting agent and they want YOU, then you're in! So being talent which is fresh in their mind is important, and these general auditions are a great way to stay connected.
3. YOU LEARN TO TAKE DIRECTION
The great thing about a General Auditions is that you may have memorised your lines inside-out and planned your performance perfectly, only to have them ask you to play the role completely differently!! And this is a PERFECT exercise for an actor. It is important to take direction, be versatile and allow your character to change if need be. This is a great opportunity for you to show a casting agent that you are adaptable, because then they know they can trust you to take direction when you're on set.
4. YOU WORK WITH SOMEONE NEW
More often than not you'll be paired up in one of our Showoff Sessions with someone you don't know, away from the familiarity of the people you work with in class. This is about as real as it gets, because when you're paired up on set with someone you barely know and have to play their sister, partner, or best friend - it's your job to create a real connection between you and that person - which can be easier to do if you see them every week in class. Working with someone new allows you to grow and learn as an actor and is a realistic reflection of what you'd experience on set.
5. YOU GET FEEDBACK ON YOUR PERFORMANCE
Another great thing about these sessions is that the Casting Agent will give written feedback on your performance. There is ALWAYS room to improve, grow and more to learn - but feedback from a real casting director gives you the ability to improve on those things that they believe need work, something that is so important if you want to break into the industry. They might also point out which roles are best suited to you, or answer a question you might have regarding your performance. TAKE THIS FEEDBACK ON BOARD, because you can never stop learning and growing as an actor. In saying this, it's important to make sure you have practiced for your audition, listened to the advice of your teachers and listened to the direction they give you during our acting classes.
6. THE CASTING AGENT WILL NOW HAVE YOU IN MIND
These auditions aren't just great for you, they're also fantastic for the casting agent if you fit the requirements for a role they're currently casting. These casting agents are constantly looking for new, fresh faces to play various roles. So if they're about to cast a commercial or TV show and you fit the part (and pull of a killer audition) they may just call you back in to audition for a role! We've had plenty of MG students land extra auditions from these showoff sessions, the possibilities are endless!
In these Showoff Sessions, we pick your partner and your script - which means sometimes you're going to play a character that is different to what you'd normally choose for yourself. This will challenge you! Push you out of your comfort zone! But what is most rewarding is that participating in a Showoff Session will give you great experience - even if you don't end up getting a specific audition for another role. We have successfully held these Showoff Sessions for years now and have seen many students get roles and TV commercials from their 15 minute general audition with a casting agent! We aim to get as many different casting agents to Mooregrace as we can, so that you are able to show your talents to as many casting agencies as possible!
We have plenty of exciting Showoff Sessions coming up. Sign up to our email via our homepage to stay in the loop!!
If you have any questions, pop in and ask one of your teachers during your next class.