Tag Archives: acting auditions

Starfall Acting Contest Moves to Second Round

With an understated yet palpable sense of destiny, Ervin Peter, host of the Starfall Acting Contest, announced “It’s time to move to Round Two.” Inaugurated in October of 2015, 2LJ Productions launched an acting contest, the first of its kind, with the aim of identifying a new star to play the lead in the upcoming feature drama Starfall.

In the second round, we’ll find out how a given actress embodies her character”, says Ervin. It’s the next step in finding the talent needed to play the key roles in the female-centric drama. When asked why he chose to create a story that centers around women, Ervin remarks “We have a great deal of talent on the men’s side – DiCaprio, Downey, Bale, and others, but on the women’s side, talent of that caliber is far more rare, and I’d like to see women reach parity with men in this, and every other regard.”

In the first round, aspiring actresses were asked to perform three monologues from classic stage plays. Of those, the actresses displaying the greatest talent and potential to bring out the particular personality traits of the characters in Starfall were selected to advance to the second round. “It’s difficult to get a feel for an actor from a headshot alone,” says Ervin, the starting point for most castings, “and when each actor has their own unique reel, it’s difficult to compare them against each other, which is why we chose to have each actor perform the same three monologues in the first round – it allows us to do an apples to apples comparison between all actors.”

In the second round, the selected actresses will be reading lines from “Starfall” in a traditional audition type setting. “But what will make this experience unique for the audience,” says Ervin, “is that we’ll be filming the behind-the-scenes goings on. Everyone will get to see the deliberations that go on in the casting room after an actor steps out the door.” Will it be like the Kardashians reality show? “Not a chance,” says Ervin, “our product will be interesting for all the right reasons, and we’re going to keep things very positive.”

When asked what qualities he’s looking for, Ervin says “We’re searching for that special actress who has the type of charisma that draws you to her like gravity. We’re looking for someone who feels beautiful, and who has ultimate confidence in her mind an body.” In other words, someone with the talent and attributes to be Hollywood’s next great leading lady. “If we can give the world the next Meryl Streep or the next Jennifer Lawrence,” says Ervin, “then my wildest expectations for this contest will have been exceeded.”

Following the conclusion of the second round, the top candidates will advance to the third and final round, which will be a live audition in which the actresses will be acting out scenes from Starfall alongside other actors. “We’re going to be very thorough, because we have high expectations of the actors, and high expectations for ourselves, as well as for the production.”

“I hope that our new casting process will shake things up,” says Ervin, “all processes evolve and improve over time, and there’s no reason for the process whereby actors are selected for roles should be any different.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Starfall Acting Contest

Starfall is a unique story that deals with subject matter that doesn’t get a great deal of attention in film or television, despite the fact that we’re all fascinated by it. This apparent contradiction is one of the areas that Starfall will explore, and is representative of the type of entertainment that 2LJ Productions specializes in – stories that provoke, challenge, and entertain. And because the subject matter is so different, the existing acting community and traditional casting methodologies employed today are not geared toward identifying the type of talent that will be needed to play the lead in the story. And so we’ve elected to employ a new and radically different casting method to find the right lead – an acting contest, which will be able to reach all aspiring and established actresses alike across the US and Canada. The advantage of the contest, is that it will be able to reach talent that is not already “plugged in” to the traditional casting ecosystem.

Submitting an Entry:

Round 1

In order to submit an entry to the Starfall Acting Contest, you’ll need to do a self-recording of three monologues, which we’ve pre-selected. The three monologues are from classic stage plays (Three Sisters, A Doll’s House, and Miss Julie) and are available on our Facebook page. You’ll also need to upload two photos – one headshot and one body shot, and answer two questions regarding your comfort level with certain types of scenes. In order to be eligible to win the grand prize, you’ll need to be a resident of the US or Canada, and be 18 years of age or older. Actresses not meeting this criteria can still submit an entry, but will be considered for supporting roles in Starfall.

Round 2

At the end of Round 1, twenty four finalists will be chosen to advance to the second round. The criteria used to select the actresses who advance to the second round are as follows:

  • Emotional range as displayed in your monologues.

  • Your personal charisma.

  • How you answer our questions regarding your comfort level with certain types of scenes.

The second round will consist of a live Skype audition, in which the actress will be reading scenes from Starfall. This round will start with the top twenty four contestants from Round 1. If you are selected, we will provide you with sides from Starfall, which you’ll be able to use to rehearse prior to the audition.

Round 3

At the end of Round 2, eight finalists will be chosen to advance to the third and final round. The criteria used to select the actresses who advance to the third round are as follows:

  • The suitability of your acting style for the lead in Starfall.

  • Your comfort level with the subject matter of Starfall.

The third round will consist of an in-person callback in which contestants will be acting scenes from Starfall.

Contest Winner

At the end of Round 3, one actress will be selected as the contest winner. The criteria used to select the winning actress are as follows:

  • Suitability of your acting style for the lead in Starfall.

  • How you interact with other actors in the final audition scenes.

The winning actress will be awarded a grand prize of $50,000 and the opportunity to negotiate a contract for the lead role of “Kendall” in Starfall.

The name of the winner will be announced on 2LJP’s website (www.2ljproductions.com) by December 31, 2016. If the winner is later disqualified for any reason, 2LJP will choose a replacement winner at its sole discretion.

Starfall Audition Tips: Naturalism in a Nutshell

Coming across as natural is one of the highest ideals that an actor can aspire to – the ability to look like you’re not trying, even though you are. Naturalism is about achieving the effortlessness of everyday speech, while being conscious of what’s being said, and how. It’s something that’s easily achieved once you’re aware of it!

The audition process consists of recording three monologues, and uploading them to the contest website. The three monologues are from classic stage plays, and can be found in the “Photos” section of our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/2LJProductions You can record these monologues using your computer’s webcam, or your smartphone’s camera, or you can ask someone to help you record the videos for you using a camera.

Guidelines for recording your monologues can be viewed in the following instructional video:

 

How to Give a Natural Performance

  • Don’t get into the character’s “head”. Instead, get into your head, and think about how you would behave if you were in the same situation as the character.

  • You can eliminate self-consciousness by talking into the camera for a few minutes about something that you’re passionate about – a pet, a new pair of shoes, or an upcoming vacation!

  • Wear clothing that you feel comfortable in.

  • After each take, review the video and ask yourself the question: “is this the best that I can do?” If the answer is “no”, do another take.

  • Don’t feel that it’s necessary to move around in the space, or to gesture. If you find yourself moving or gesturing, do another take, and put the energy and effort from the movement and gestures into your facial expression and voice.

  • While preparing, review each line and be able to answer the question: “What is the emotional state of the character while she’s delivering this line?” Then, think about how you wish to convey that emotion through facial expression, and voice.

  • Running words and sentences together will seem unnatural – feel free to put pauses between words and sentences, as long as they seem natural to you.

  • Don’t feel that it’s necessary to do any accents or to speak with an affectation – doing so will only distract you.

  • The choice of which emotions you wish to convey is yours. If you’re unsure, use the following as a guide:

    • Three Sisters: happiness, realization

    • A Doll’s House: sadness, disillusionment, hurt, helplessness

    • Miss Julie: anger

In our weekly spotlights, we highlight actresses who deliver compelling performances that reflect one or more of the acting principles we consider to be important. Feel free to view them for tips and tricks! The following is our spotlight from April 5, featuring the very talented Clarissa Thibeaux: