Updated: May 13, 2019
Next weekend Casting Director Matthew Morgan will join me in class for our on-camera audition intensive Improv Your Audition.
I had the chance to chat with him to ask him about his career, his preferences, and what he looks for in actors.
TB: Hey Matthew, thanks for chatting with me. First question, how did you become a Casting Director?
MM: I did not study film and television. I have degrees in international business and foreign languages (Spanish and French). I landed a great corporate job after graduating from University. However, I decided to quit my job, take a risk and follow my dream to be an actor. After a few years of going on auditions and working as an actor here in Toronto, a casting director hired me to work as part of her team. I worked my way up to a casting director with Jigsaw Casting where I learned the ropes and so much about this amazing industry. Eventually, I opened my own business here in Toronto and then a second office in New Orleans, LA.
TB: What a great journey! And what is your favourite thing about casting?
MM: I love helping others realize their dreams. The gratitude and appreciation I get from actors keep me truly motivated and loving what I do.
TB: You and I both love that! Speaking of actors, what do you wish every actor knew before entering that casting room?
MM: That it’s often (sadly) not just about your performance, but having the right look for the part and being in the right place at the right time. The best actor does not always get the job. We work in an industry that is so subjective, and it’s important to be able to remember that. Often the role goes to the investor’s son, the lady who did not resemble the director’s ex-girlfriend, etc.
A reminder to keep good faith. To keep learning and loving what you do! Always do your best at an audition and be proud of that. Remember that each time you walk in our door, you are our special guest, and we truly need you!
Remember that when it’s meant to be, it will happen! There are many factors out of your control and unbeknownst to you that can play a part in your not landing the role. Actually, the role was cut and no one got the part…but you just aren’t privy to this internal, production information.
TB: This is so refreshing to hear and takes a lot of the pressure off. I wish more actors knew this. What are some of the most common mistakes you see actors make?
MM: Actors not giving us (CDs) a different read when asked to read a second time. It’s often an exact repeat of the 1st read, which is rarely what casting wants to see, nor what excites us! We want to see a bit of your range and some different actor choices the 2nd or 3rd time around.
Shaking of hands most CD’s do not like.
Starting over instead of pushing through and just improving the scene. Keep going at all costs! That’s the reality of being on set. I would rather see an actor who can think fast and push through the scene, recovering beautifully from a mistake vs. a perfect performance on Take 4.
TB: This is why I teach improv, being able to go with the flow (or quickly cover a mistake) in the moment is so key! Last question: what advice would you give to a new actor?
MM: To truly believe in yourself! To believe that you are the perfect person for the role and to believe that there’s something extra special that you can bring to that character that no one else can. If you don’t believe you are the perfect person for the part, then how I the world are you going to convince me?
TB: I think this is my favourite answer of them all. Self-confidence is key and I always tell actors to use visualization to see themselves in the role before the audition. Our inner world turns into our outer world. Thank you so much for this interview, Matthew. I can't wait to work with you next weekend! These students are so lucky!
MM: You're very welcome! Looking forward to it!
And if you want to be one of those students and get Matthew's feedback on your scene, we still have two spots open for next weekend and we'd love to have you join us! REGISTER FOR IMPROV YOUR AUDITION with Tony and Matthew
by: Tony Babcock (ACTRA, CAEA) - Actor, Acting Coach, Life Coach
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