In my humble opinion, Co-Star auditions are the hardest. You've got very little to work with, they see everyone (and their mother), and they are so quick - how could casting have even possibly known what you can do?
I haven't had a co-star audition in a while and yesterday I got a "same day" audition for a co-star role on a big comedy show from a huge casting office. It was 11:30 and the audition was for 5:30 that afternoon... in Santa Monica.
The scene was fairly simple - an assistant to one of the series regulars, setting up their jokes, the usual. But it was hard. And then I remembered the feeling I had when I was going out for co-stars a lot: flailing.
Flailing - /flāl/ - VERB - wave or swing or cause to wave or swing wildly.
"his arms were flailing helplessly"
Yep. That describes a co-star audition to me perfectly.
Why are these silly little under-5-line auditions so hard?
The co-star is meant to set up the series regular or the guest star
Your job is to deliver the joke, for them to hit the punchline. As a co-star you are a human prop. Your job is not to be interesting, it is to be reliable. Your job is not to stand out, it is to be a springboard for the person who is actually on the show. It sucks, but it is true.
They don't know what they want
Have you ever walked into an audition and there is every type of person there - tall, fat, short, black, white, purple, etc? That's a co-star audition. It feels a lot like a commercial audition to me - a "book a look" almost. As long as you said it they way they wanted and look they way they wanted, you will get the part, most of the time. So if you don't get the part, don't take it personally.
They are deceivingly simple.
You don't have to do 97 pages of backstory, because you don't have the information to do 97 pages of backstory. You just have to walk in, say your line and then leave. That is harder than it looks because as actors we like to DO. We like lines and direction. So it's hard when we have to just be. But that's what co-star work is. Again - a human prop. If you've booked a co-star before, you go the part because you could hit the mark, say the words and looked the right way. And if you didn't get the part - it's not a knock on your talent.
You don't have enough to work with.
So you feel out of control. You don't really know the context of the scene. You don't have a big character description or an episode synopsis and in come cases, you don't get the sides until you get there. So you're guessing. And remember - everyone there is guessing too. They have just as little information as you do.
Don't feel bad if you don't book the co-star roles. It is nothing about your talent if you don't. But if you do, congrats!! Bring on the residuals!!
Keep going, you're doing great!
Oh hey there
Thank you for stopping by. My name is Ansley and I am a creative being. With not much to show for it. Feel the same?! Welcome! For all of you artists out there who are just hanging in there - this is for you!