Relationship Advice from Nicci Topping

Relationship

OK, so you’re probably thinking why is this crazy British casting director giving me advice about dealing with my significant other / bff? Well, much as I would love to advise you on your squabbles over who does the washing up or the right answer to “does my bum look big in this,” I must admit I am as confused by the mysteries of love as the next girl, so today I am going to give you some relationship advice that I am qualified to talk about… an actor’s relationship with a Casting Director.

Just like any other relationship there are ground rules. Often such ground rules are so fundamental that they are never spoken, but today I am going to speak of the truths that dare not be spoken.

Do’s

#1 Connect Meaningfully
By all means let me know of any showcases or productions you are in, but please keep it brief and to the point preferably via ONE succinct email and please don’t spam me.

Like many of my colleagues I also love connecting with people either through twitter @niccitopping or my facebook page facebook.com/niccitoppingcasting, but please don’t stalk us. If we have spoken at a casting then by all means follow me and drop me a line to say hi and tell me about your experience or ask any questions. I often have more time to talk to you and give you feedback through social media than I would at a casting session.

Please make sure that your CV and headshot are tailored for a specific role and genre, and if you are applying for TV job list your TV roles first. We have to read so many CVs, please make it easy for us to make sure you don’t slip through the net.

#2 Let your work speak for itself
Actions speak louder than words as they say, and what better clarion call for me to remember you and get you on my radar then by delivering a truthful and connected performance and behaving in a professional and respectful manner. Often there are a variety of reasons that actors don’t get cast, and even if you are not right for the current project you are auditioning for we will remember exceptional talent and positive attitude.

#3 Remember what your Mum told you…
… always say please and thank you! Manners are really important: I have zero tolerance for prima donnas and a little note or email to say thanks if you get the role goes a long way.

Dont’s

#1 You Don’t Bring Me Flowers!
Much as I love Barbra Streisand, this is not just a random lyric quote. What I mean is… You! Don’t bring me flowers and you don’t sent me confetti and you over there at the back, don’t send me pictures of your cheeky bits. I’m only going to take you seriously if you behave appropriately and professionally – I’m not looking for a date, I just want to hear from committed and passionate actors.

#2 A Clear and Present Danger
Please don’t send me random presents – although if you are really hell-bent on doing so then a Porsche Caymen would be nice. What am I saying?! No I cannot be bought. No chocolates, no wine, no anything. Any such gift/bribe and I will simply never feel comfortable casting you.

#3 Friends – The one where I don’t need any more
I’m sorry to be harsh, but please don’t try and make me your friend or ingratiate yourself with me. I have lots of lovely friends and I already feel guilty enough that I work long hours and don’t have as much time to spend with them as I would like. Please treat me as a professional and communicate with me appropriately.

 

With over 20 years experience Nicci is one of the UK’s leading casting directors and writes an irreverent but insightful blog on the world of casting at niccitopping.com.