Workshop teaches students ins and outs of auditioning

Director of performing arts enrollment at New York Film Academy Roger Del Pozo visited Brodie Hall on Friday Oct. 16 to hold a workshop for aspiring actors and filmmakers about auditioning.

He spoke of the daunting and—for many—unfamiliar process in any actor’s career: casting for film and television. Del Pozo has a wide array of experience, having casted hundreds of television commercials and has worked in every industry from music videos to video games. He had plenty of no-nonsense advice for students to book as many roles as possible.

The focus of the workshop centered on his emphasis of the importance of a good audition. “For you, as an actor, auditioning is the most important thing you can do. Especially when nobody knows you,” he said. “You’re going to be auditioning your entire career and it’s the only way to show the people who matter that you’re a good actor.”

Del Pozo also highlighted the importance of persistence in terms of auditioning. He provided a real-life example, saying, “Do you know ‘Mad Men?’ You know Jon Hamm? He auditioned seven times in one year for the role [of Don Draper].”

Another vital aspect of auditioning is sincerity. “Good actors play as close to who they are in real life as possible,” Del Pozo said. “Good acting is the illusion of non-acting—and that’s not easy if who you’re playing isn’t at all you.”

A third necessity for auditioning was presence. “Do not worry about getting the part,” Del Pozo said. “Don’t think about the audition as a means to an end. Just focus on the audition if you want to actually get the part.”

Later in the workshop, individual students were invited to act out a script they were given only moments ago in front of Del Pozo’s digital camera. Before letting volunteers take the stage, he offered some advice. “Remember, this is a close up,” he said. “How your legs look doesn’t matter, but one smile contains a lot of information.”

Senior Samantha Clowes was the first student to volunteer. After her performance, Del Pozo gave her some helpful pointers. “I saw you looking at the script a bit, but I don’t need the lines to be perfect,” Del Pozo said. “You don’t get extra points for memorizing the script—I care about your performance. Sometimes screwing up lines makes a script better.”

Del Pozo’s audition workshop was both informative and encouraging. “Casting directors don’t know what they want. All they want is for you to do you really well,” he said. “And if you don’t get the part, who cares? ... What is important is that they remember you and that you auditioned sincerely.”