I have been asked by rookie actors about my experiences of castings so here are a few pointers I think are useful:
Without stating the obvious, if you haven't been to a venue before make sure you get there in plenty of time of your appointment; physically go to the place so you know where it is, then find somewhere for a coffee. Tardiness is seriously frowned upon and seen as unprofessional.
The Casting Directors may ask you many questions like:
What have you been doing recently?
How did you find drama school? (Do you do further training?)
What do you see your casting as?
What's your perfect/ideal role?
What did you last see at the cinema/theatre?
Which medium do you prefer: Theatre, Musical Theatre, Television or Film?
How would your best friend describe you?
Why did you become an actor?
Did you have a good journey today?
Literally hundreds and hundreds of possible questions!!!
It is an idea to re-read your c.v to refresh your memory before going in as they may ask you about credits which you did many months ago.
If you are going for a general (this is when you are not up for a specific role but they want to meet you anyway); it is always a good idea to prepare a monologue which suitably represents you, it is also likely they will ask you to sight-read.
If you have been sent a script beforehand make sure you have learnt and prepared it inside-out, having made a choice on how you will present it (which is fully directable). If the script is not available until before your appointment then always arrive early with enough ime to look and go through the script, again making directable choices on how you will do it during your casting.
They may ask whether you have any questions for them. Always say Yes!!! However, do not ask questions for the sake of it; make sure you really want to know the answer! And if they don’t ask you then ask them something anyway! The principle being if you are interested you will always want to know more. It is always an idea to find further information about the project/person/company you are meeting and with the wealth of information on the Internet this isn’t very hard.
If the part requires an accent, many believe you should go into the meeting from the start with this accent so that the casting director believes that is your natural tongue. I guess there are cases for and against this, but personally, I wouldn’t recommend it; See my article “If They Want You They Will Have You” below. It is not an idea to try to hoodwink your potential employers.
The best piece of advice I can give is: Be Yourself - clichéd I know, but it really is the best thing you can do. You will do that so much better than trying to be something you’re not then adding a further ‘character’ on top of that, after all, You are the original You! Of course you may be nervous but nerves, channelled correctly, can be a good thing as it gets the adrenaline going and truly focuses the mind.
The casting director essentially wants to see a relaxed, alert and coherent individual who can hold a conversation, present themselves well and be able get along with the rest of the cast and crew whilst doing a great job in a pressured environment:
They want to feel a sense of confidence, a feeling of self-assuredness and a certainty that there is no other candidate who can do the job better.
Are they asking for the earth? Not at all!