Parents of child actors may find themselves at a loss when they first start talking with casting directors and others in the industry. Show business has its own “inside baseball” language. You’ll feel comfortable discussing auditions and bookings for your child with industry insiders once you learn a few terms.
Before you start:
Breakdown: A project description that provides important information about the people involved such as the directors, casting directors, and producers as well as estimated start date and production location. You’ll see a synopsis of the storyline and descriptions of all the characters and roles in the script.
Local hire: An actor who lives close to the production shooting. Hiring a local actor reduces costs for travel, housing and daily expenses.
Triple Threat: An actor or actress who can act, sing dance and act. This is a term usually used about performers in musical theatre.
Type casting: Equating performers with the “look” of the character.
Getting an audition:
Open call: An interview or audition open to anyone.
Slate: Performers who have been called in for on-camera auditions should be prepared to deliver a slate of information that introduces themselves. The info would include their name, age, sometimes height, hometown and agency.
Sides: Pages or scenes from a script that showcase a specific character. Performers who are chosen to audition for the character will use these pages of dialogue.
Cold read: Reading aloud a scene or sides with little or no rehearsal at an audition.
Getting Closer to the Job:
Callback: A second or additional audition after an initial interview or audition.
Booking: Getting hired for the job.
Extra Useful Stuff:
Copy: A commercial or voice over script.
Improvisation: Developing improvisational skills can be useful to actor. This form of theatre, often comedy, involved unplanned or unscripted performance created spontaneously by the performers.