As we prepare for our upcoming audition weekend intensive featuring Casting Director Millie Tom, I wanted to sit down with her to discuss the ins and outs of auditioning from her perspective.
IYA: Hi Millie. First of all, thank you for doing this interview, I really appreciate your time.
I have known you for many years and you have been the Casting Director on many big projects including: Mayday, Life with Derek, Degrassi and of course the smash hit Kim's Convenience. How did you become a Casting Director?
MT: The short version - I was an Executive/Legal Assistant at Alliance Films and we had an in-house Casting Department headed by John Buchan. I was curious about how actors went from auditions to booking and how his department worked. He was incredibly kind and walked me through the process. Unbeknownst to me, he was leaving to start his own company, and Deirdre Bowen was coming in house. She and I worked together briefly and she took me under her wing and mentored me for 3 years at Alliance Casting.
IYA: What a great journey! I love the collaboration in this industry. What is your favourite thing about casting?
MT: I love being in the audition room and watching actors work. I love when an actor shows us something about the story that we didn't even think about.
IYA: I am constantly reminding actors to mine their work and find the layers, it always makes for a fabulous audition. What do you wish every actor knew before they walked through the door?
MT: Come to do the work you love...not to please us or get our approval. Make no excuses!! Leave your baggage outside -- better yet... leave it at home!! Know that we are on your side....we want you to succeed.
IYA: What are the most common mistakes you see in the audition room?
MT: Don't apologize!! Own and commit to your choices Don't forget to breathe!! Ground yourself and be present Don't give in to your nerves!! Don't forget your photos & resumes -- even if we don't ask for it. You never know who is in that room!!! There is no excuse for you not to have it at the ready... ALWAYS!!
IYA: What great advice! And speaking of advice...what would you say to a new actor who is just starting out?
MT: Do your work! Learn how the business works both in front of the camera and behind the camera.
Learn what people in the business do and the learn their names. Be punctual, be present, be passionate and take a breath & don't forget to have fun.
Millie Tom is a Canadian Screen Award winning Casting Director with a wide-ranging experience in casting series, shorts and features for film and television with special experience in diversity casting.
As an independent Casting Director, Millie has worked with many of Canada’s finest directors, including John L’Ecuyer, Jerry Ciccoritti, James Genn, Richie Mehtaand Kate Melville. Her independent feature film credits include: Picture Day, A Sunday Kind of Love and most recently feature film The Education of Fredrick Fitzell. As a Casting Associate/Assistant with RDC Casting she helped with casting on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World; Mama; The Lookout; The Incredible Hulk (2008).
The Improv Your Audition Weekend Intensive will run on November 2 & 3 2019 at Milestone Casting. Register today and use coupon code IYA50 for $50 off at checkout!