A recent discussion in Power Group brought up the question of “crashing” commercial auditions again. What does it mean to “crash” a commercial audition versus “dropping in”? Is it a good idea? A bit of confusion and anxiety always seems to surround this issue.
So let’s clarify a few things: Crashing an audition is like crashing a wedding—showing up without an invitation and then sneaking in without permission. NOT a good idea and oh, yeah, really unprofessional. Dropping-in, on the other hand, (when you ask permission to audition for a commercial for which you didn’t have an appointment), is perfectly acceptable and can be quite productive, provided you follow a few basic rules.
Though I have done the drop-in a hundred times, before writing this blog I thought I should ask a few session runners how they really felt about the “drop in” auditioner? The consensus? Be Right for the Part and Be Polite. As long as you are both of those things, however, they don’t have a problem with it.
So exactly how do you drop-in to a commercial audition? First of all, scope out the scene and make sure that you are right for the role (do you seem to fit in with the other actors there in type, age range and wardrobe?). Be present to the vibe of the office and use good judgment (if the session runner seems stressed or running behind or the office is already crowded or chaotic, you may want to give it a miss). Next, POLITELY ask the session runner if you are right for the role and would they have time to fit you in on the audition. Then accept their answer graciously, REGARDLESS of what it is. Everyone gets turned down if you do this enough –don’t take it personally. I have been turned down for a multitude of reasons—not quirky enough, too young, too old, too Hispanic-looking, not Hispanic enough, you name it. I even had a runner turn me down because I was “too pretty”, then think better of it and let me in after all—and that one I actually booked! But remember, it is not about booking that one commercial. It is about the long-term relationship with that casting office.