After your solid performance in the audition room, the casting director gives you a few notes and has you do it again. Maybe even a third time. Finally you get a, “Great job! Thanks for coming in!” and they send you on your way.

Now you’re in the car, replaying the interaction and trying to predict your future.

Ah, the old “Try to decode the seven words a casting director said.” game – I know it well.

So what does it mean when a casting director gives you notes and has you do it again? Is that good or bad? Should you expect a callback?

As always, my answer is… “it depends.” It could mean a number of things, but I’ve whittled it down to four options in my AUDITION FEEDBACK MATRIX below.

Note: below are examples of what the casting director could be thinking. Read on for more about what you don’t know.


The problem with trying to decode the casting director is they have much more information than you do. So you’re not really playing with a full deck when making your guesses.

Let’s say you’re going in for the role of ALICE, 25, any ethnicity, funny and hot.

You have that info and the sides. If you’re lucky, you got the full script and were able to watch previous episodes of the show.

Here are a few examples of things the CD might know that you don’t:

  • They have an offer out to a name actress and are waiting to see if they can reach a deal with her agent within budget.
  • Number 1 on the call sheet just asked if they can give this role to her best friend.
  • The director decided an hour ago that it would be funnier if Alice was mousy, not really hot.

You have no way of knowing these things, of course. And casting is too polite to cancel your audition when you’re already on your way to the lot. So auditions proceed.

You do stellar work and they say, “No notes. Great job!”

And you’re left to wonder why you didn’t even get a callback!

This is why I want you to take your gut feeling from what happened in the room at just that and celebrate kicking butt in your audition. (Did you use your Happy Actor Audition Checklist?)

As long as you prepared and delivered solid work, you’re likely to be remembered for something you ARE right for. And that’s what it’s all about… playing the long game.


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