Interview with Catrine McGregor: What She Looks for in an Audition – Part 2

Written by | The Business of Acting

We continue our conversation with Catrine McGregor, producer, casting director(CSA) and founder of She shares what she looks for in an actor when they audition and some of her greatest experiences.

Part I of this article was published in last month and can be viewed HERE.

RG: As a casting director, what are some of the things that are important to you when an actor comes in to audition?

CM: I write a monthly column in called “Casting Call” that will answer any of our readers’ questions about the casting and auditioning process. Within those answers, readers will get lots of great information about what a casting director is looking for. But let me address some key elements of a good audition. It’s important for any actor to come in fully prepared for an audition – not for the casting director’s sake – but for theirs. If, as an actor, you come in to audition for me and you forgot your headshot and resume, you really don’t have a grasp of the scene, you have no idea who your character is, don’t bother coming in. It’s a waste of your gas money. Again, it’s not a waste of MY time as much as it is yours. First of all, think about this: At an audition, who’s PAID to be there?  It’s not you. But even more importantly, your competition WILL come in professional, prepared, and enthusiastic. It is also important for an actor to stay in shape the way he would stay in shape by going to a gym. You cannot have a great audition if you have not acted in months – or even weeks. You need to study – take GOOD classes, get together with other actors, and work on scenes. will have scenes every month that you can download and work on with other actors. Keep your craft sharp and keep learning.

RG: What have been some of your greatest experiences in ‘show biz’?

CM: It’s been an interesting ride since I started, over thirty years ago. I’ve had so many amazing experiences that it’s hard to narrow them down. Casting both Danny Glover and Salma Hayek’s directorial debuts was remarkable. Watching these two accomplished actors bring their creative skills behind the camera was a treat and fascinating. What marked me the most about both Danny and Salma was that they were so open to admitting what they didn’t know. Because neither felt that they had anything to prove, they both would stop the film crew mid-sentence to ask what something meant. Because of that, their knowledge of the behind-the-camera scene grew exponentially. What a breath of fresh air. I also thoroughly enjoyed casting the IMAX movies that I worked on. Casting in the Ozarks taught me such an appreciation for the openness, kindness and honesty of the people of that region. Watching a Clark Gable look alike that I had cast swim in the mind boggling outdoor pool at Hearst Castle was like being in a time warp. Sitting in a recording studio watching James Earl Jones record voice overs for a Tex Murphy game hypnotized me. I was watching probably the greatest voice-over talent on earth, and he had just told me that he would take more time than most other actors because he stutters and is dyslexic. What a great lesson in facing your weaknesses and making them your strengths. I’ll be sharing some of my stories and experiences here on I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to tell more great stories over the years. Keep reading. (laughs)

RG: What do you hope that readers of will come away with?

CM: I want our readers to get real answers to their questions. I want them to feel that we have motivated them and validated their dreams, but always staying realistic along the way. I want people to think of as the resource they can tap into for reassurance and for unbiased answers. I believe strongly in a person’s ability to reason and form opinions when they are given the information needed to do so. That’s why we will have experts answering questions in many different columns – and these are questions that come from you, our readers. We will also have a monthly feature called “Face to Face,” which will broach a topic that is somewhat controversial. Instead of editorializing on the topic, we will simply present the interviews – in Q&A form – to you. The readers can read about both sides of the issue and create their own opinion. In our first three issues, you can read about the pros and cons of joining SAG as a regional actor. I do not want to drive what is and becomes – I want our readers to guide us in their needs. We want to applaud our readers’ successes, empathize with their bad experiences and fears, and help them meet their goals. We want to be a mentor and a partner.

For more on acting from Catrine, check out her book Acting Across America!

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Last modified: August 13, 2017

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