Tag Archives: breakdowns
Posted on 13. Nov, 2009 by sethcaskey.
(To be honest, I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. I wrote it, then re-wrote it, then re-wrote it again. I finally decided to quit with the self-editing and just say what it is that I’m feeling, because no doubt there’s somebody out there who’ll get it. So here goes.)
“Pardon me,” the actor said.
“It’s just a term we have around the office for someone that has the kind of qualities that we know our producers will like. It’s hard to describe. We just say that people are Kringy or not.”
So this week I have been back in the casting office of SHOW X. One of the CDs was heading out of town and they needed help prepping the next two episodes.
Most of my duties involve fielding messages, taking pitch calls, scheduling appointments – and at one point I even got to pitch a couple of actor friends. (Who, by the way since the first draft of this post, BOOKED the show!)
STEP ONE: Put out the breakdown
A big part of prepping a show is to put out a breakdown. The CDs on SHOW X prefer to write the breakdowns themselves instead of having Breakdown Services do it for them:
We don’t like to give too much of the plot away in the breakdown, so I keep it as generic as possible – while hitting the main traits of the character.
STEP TWO: And the calls came a tumblin’ in
Even though it clearly said on the breakdown ABSOLUTELY NO PHONE CALLS, by the time we got back from lunch (lunch is typically from 1:00-2:00 PM) there were already dozens of messages. A quick check online revealed hundreds of electronic submissions. Where to start?
The CD went through the online submissions, while I took pitch calls from agents and managers, looked actors up online and created a list of people to pass on for consideration. Like these agents and managers, I read the exact same breakdown and immediately thought of actors that I know who would fit the bill. (That’s where my own pitch came into play.)
STEP THREE: Rank and file
For those that don’t know (hey, I didn’t know this before I started working in this office), the way your headshot comes up on Breakdown Express allows a CD to assign you a 1, 2 or 3. Each office is going to have a different meaning for these numbers, but in this office you’re either a (2) SCREEN or (1) SET-UP. Meaning the CD is bringing you in for a pre-read = SCREEN or taking you straight to producers = SET-UP.
STEP FOUR: Are they “Kringy?”
When the CD showed me the headshots of guys to set up, I noticed something – they all looked the same. I don’t mean that they all had the exact same physical features, but there was definitely something about all of them that was very similar. They all had the same intensity, the same vibe, the same essence - to borrow a phrase – the same Kringiness.
STEP FIVE: Ok, wrap it up Seth…
So what’s my point? Let’s face it. It is most likely that I will never be cast on SHOW X. And I can sit at home and watch my favorite show and think that “I am SO RIGHT for this show,” and not be the least bit Kringy. Or I could be the Kringiest actor in town and my representation is pitching me to SHOW X where I’m probably not going to get in the door.
So, as if there isn’t enough to think about – add that to the list.
This isn’t meant to make you feel worse about the possibility of finding your way on to the flatscreen, it’s meant to inspire you to check out the shows that you want to be on, pull up those actors headshots and try and find what vibe you get from them.