The best Man for the Job (is sometimes a woman)

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The best Man for the Job (is sometimes a woman)


Photo by Savour the Moment

One of my favorite pieces of acting wisdom was when a seasoned actor told me this:

"If you are right for the part, there is nothing you can do wrong.


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If you are wrong for the part, there is nothing you can do right."

Photo by Tom McIntyre

Think on that for a moment...

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Now, some of you will argue this I am sure.

You will be thinking to yourself : "Well, I can't control what the casting director wants!" or "The director doesn't know what he wants!". And I agree with you. But those statements do not contradict the one above.

This phrase came to mind recently when I was at an audition. I had been called into production for a very basic female character role. Breakdown literally included: "BFF to the lead. Comic relief. Not too pretty. No one that would pull from the lead's spotlight". All good.

I auditioned, was redirected, thanked and excused. I was all the way out to my car when a casting assistant chased me down. The director wanted me to return and read for a part originally written as a male. Okay, I guess I really was not "too pretty"....they were now seeing me as a male.

But, really, any chance to audition is a score in my book. So I took the sides and spent a few minutes wrapping my head around this entirely new character. This role was for a medical professional, stern and serious but reveals critical information that changes the entire story arc. Okay. Nothing about appearance in this breakdown! And really, the role could have just as easily been a female.

Now, stealing a role out from under a male happens from time to time in voiceover. (In case you didn't know, male voices take about 80% of the VO work!) But rarely in the world of film does it happen. The director has a vision. And the sex of the character is usually a predetermined part of that vision!

But in this case, the director was open to seeing something completely different. In this case, me! And while I may not be pretty enough to steal the spotlight, I am definitely female! I so love when casting is open and ready to see things in a different way. Make our auditions so much more like playtime!

So the next time you think you are not "right" for a part or maybe just aren't feeling a particular role, just have fun. Go for it! You never know what may happen!

In the end, I scored the role. And my character's name remained "Taylor".

-- Mercedes Rose (Backstage Online)