Auditioning in Hollywood has changed according to a recent guest on the show, founder and co-owner of the Actors Comedy Studio Gunnar Todd Rohrbacher. During his 20+ years in the business, he’s seen production budgets for TV sitcoms and dramas stripped down and the audition process stripped down with it. What does this mean for actors? They’d better understand how writers think and construct a script, because more than likely they’ll be auditioning for the guy who created the show and/or wrote the episode.
What Has Come Before
In the not so distant past, there was no such thing as original content for the web. Networks had money to spend and an actor could be assured of an audition as well as, if the producers liked what they saw, at least one callback. The callback let the actor know that their interpretation of the role was on the right track and they would have a chance to perfect it.
What Has Come To Pass
Much of today’s original content is being produced for netflix, amazon, yahoo etc… exclusively and an actor can expect to get only one audition that will be taped by someone assisting the casting director and played at a later date for the producer/writer of the episode. There are very rarely second chances, which means there’s even more pressure on an actor to get it right the first time. Gunnar insists his students understand the writing process so they can break down a script properly and walk confidently into any audition setting.
What Is the Writer Thinking?
- When a writer creates a show one of the first things he’s thinking about, particularly when it comes to sitcoms, is creating distinct characters based on archetypes that are relatable.
- Next, a writer will consider exposition and conflict. As Gunnar teaches, “Nothing’s alright and nobody’s OK.” What he means is every single scene must have either set up and a conflict for which the characters will try and find a resolution. This will move the story forward.
- Finally, the writer is making sure that a scene will have a clear beginning, middle and end so that although it fits into part of the whole story, it also can stand on its own.
The bottom line is that there is so much opportunity for writers and actors in today’s market, but being prepared for those opportunities will make the difference between being hired or just being tired. Thank you for reading and as always, keep writing.
Click on the link below to listen to Gunnar Todd Rohrbacher from Actors Comedy Studio