“A ride on the Staten Island Ferry with actor Carson Grant and his audition philosophy”
On a winter Sunday afternoon boarding the Staten Island Ferry, the weather was unseasonably warm with the effects of El Nino on the northeastern waters of the Hudson Bay. Recently reading an article in Backstage (L. Davis, 11/10/2006) interviewing Carson Grant, I was curious about his last statement on his audition philosophy and asked him to elaborate.
With the restored architecture of Governors Island and Lady Liberty Island passing on each side of the transport, the compassion in Grant’s eyes as he explained, “Shooting over 250 films and going on thousands of auditions, my A, B, C, D, E audition senses could be a good philosophy for younger actors to consider.”
(A) Audition sense: An Actor prepares oneself, the audition materials, and dress for the role. By auditioning for everything, you will begin to find your niche. If you are union accept only union, sometime a project will go union while casting. – Act for the experience, not for the pay.
(B) Business sense: Submit through Backstage, Ross Report, Actors Access, and other legit listings. Allocate funds per week for materials, classes and website. Acting is a business, which YOU have to work at, not just the manager/agent. Network, share information and help others succeed. – People will only take you as serious, as you take yourself.
(C) Common sense: Beware of Con artists and scams posted in papers and on the Internet. Pay attention to the warning signs. If the producers are serious, they will rent a legitimate rehearsal space to hold their auditions, never an apartment. NEVER remove your clothes or place yourself in a compromising position for a role. If you are unsure of an audition, bring a friend with you. – Bad fish smells no matter what spice one uses. Follow your instincts not your ego.
(D) Driving sense: Know where you are driving to, your type, your abilities to deliver, take classes, audition and perform regularly. Once you get a project, try to get a demo copy. SAG is now offering ultra-low budget contracts to encourage filmmakers. – Practice moves you towards your goal.
(E) Exit sense: Know when to leave an audition, exit your emotions, look for and enter the next audition fresh and enthusiastic. – Do your best, learn from your accomplishments and your mistakes.
“I am an actor’s actor, which to me means, helping each other up the ladder whether in a scene or with an opportunity. I am only as good as my scene partner and I try to help them show their best. On auditions, I am always encouraging actors with my philosophy.”
Thank you, Denise, for your delicious brownies, the perfect sea-worthy snack, and a chance to share some life experience with your readers.