Recently I had an audition for a network show. Awesome! This is an office that has brought me in several (3) times prior in the last year or so; also awesome! It's for a role I know I can nail! Now I'm really stoked.
I get there and the casting director(s) which I've built a relationship (albeit a small one) aren't in the office. It's just the associate. Not ideal but I keep moving. The associate is someone new who I can build a new relationship with and get called into their office when they open up one of their own years down the road (Long term planning). Besides they CD(s) I know will surely be looking at the tape later...
I go and do my audition and it's OK... I'm asked to go again with a little re-direct. GREAT!!! Whenever a CD asks to see your work a little different it means they saw something the first time they liked. I like her direction and give it a go and it seems well received. Then the assistant pauses. "did you look in the camera? NEVER LOOK IN THE CAMERA! NO CASTING DIRECTOR EVER WANTS YOU TO LOOK IN THE CAMERA!!" I honestly was dumb-founded. Not only did I feel like little kid being reprimanded in the principal's office but I've had casting directors ask me before to look right in the camera. There is no hard and fast rule and here I'm being made to feel like an idiot for what I can't discern is any reason. The assistant continues: "I'm going to help you out a lot. Never look in the camera. You'll get more work now".
I went a 3rd time and it was ok. I politely thanked the assistant for her attention and went on my way. No sooner did I get home and check my email than I saw I was invited to self tape for another network show for a different casting director. In the notes it said "Please look directly into the camera."
What I've decided to take from this whole experience is that our business is tough and everyone has a bad day. Specifically however, I got called into an office that I know casts things I'm right for a fourth time!!! Thats a win. I didn't loose my cool. Thats a win! And I learned not to take anyone in a casting office to seriously again... Big win!!! Did I get the part? Doesn't matter, because I have no reason to think that they won't invite me back a 5th time. And that's the game..