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Character Development

What is a Character Breakdown?

Hey everybody! Welcome to the Green Actors Guild. This week, we are talking about Breakdowns, again. No not mental breakdowns but Character Breakdowns. Let’s get it!

Character Breakdowns…

Ok, so we have gone over slate details and we have gone over Audition Breakdowns, but what about the Character? More specifically, the Character Breakdowns. Most of the time with auditions, you have a short turnaround. This means you have a limited amount of time to submit your audition to Casting Directors. Because of the short turnarounds, you have a small amount of time to develop a solid character to portray. How do you handle this? Here are a few tips and tricks on Character Development, with short turnaround times.

How to Develop a Character with the Moment Before

The Moment Before

When it comes to your auditioning scene and the character you are assigned to play, I LOVE the technique of “Moment Before”. What is a moment before you ask? It basically means what happened before the scene.

With audition, you are given your slides, your character description, the character description of your scene partner and that’s it. You won’t know the scene before you, so make it up! Ask yourself questions, on your character’s behalf.

Questions to think about:

  • Was she running late before this scene started?
  • Was it raining and she missed the cab or train?
  • Did her car stop working?
  • Did she run into an ex?
  • Did she like this ex?
  • Is the character mad, sad, or happy in your assigned scene? Well, why are they mad, sad, or angry. The list goes on and on.

To help guide you, I created a Moment Before Journal to help you practice, process, and develop each of your characters. You can find this guide here, on

Moment Before Journal
Moment Before Journal –

The Backstory

Whenever you book a gig, you end up getting the full script to read. This provides a more in-depth detail to the character and Backstory related. For audition’s sake, you do not have this option. So, you need to create a backstory for audition purposes! More specifically the Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

  1. Who:

The questions to ask related to Who:

  • Who am I?
  • Who is this Character?
  • Who are the people in the scene with this character?
  • Are they parents?
  • Are they Siblings?
  • Are they enemies?

2. When:

Examples of questions to ask about When:

  • When is this scene taking place?
  • 1920? 1980?
  • October?
  • Afternoon? Morning?
  • When was the atraumatic event for this character?
  • When was a pivotal moment for this character?
  • How did these moments change them?

3. Where:

Some questions to ask when it comes to Where:

  • Where does this character live?
  • Where does this character work?
  • Do they work?

4. Why:

  • Why is it a beast of its own, so I want to break WHY down in more depth of explanation?

But Why?

Why has three moving parts. The goals, the risk, and the obstacles of a character. All of these contribute to the reasons why a character acts the way they do and why they are driven to be this person…well that and everything else you created.

The Goals – basically what is the intention of the character? Are they trying to find a child? Trying to find a mother or father? Are they trying to grab that dream job? Are they trying to save someone?

The Risks – What are the stakes for the character? What do they stand to lose or gain, while on this hunt for a goal? Will they gain notoriety? Will they lose their sanity? Will they gain a parent or lose a parent? Will they gain a child but lose a lover? Remember these do not have to be physical things or even people, characters can lose emotions, too.

The Obstacles – Finally, what is standing in the characters’ way to achieving their purpose? Do they have a stalker? Did their first love show up the day they were supposed to move for that dream job?

Ending Credits

WE DID IT, GREEN ACTORS. This was a long one but a much-needed talk on Character Development. When you use these tips, you are on your way to building a solid character for every audition.

Like I said before, check out the Moment Before Journal found here on

I’ll see yall next time!

The Green Actors Guild

Audition Breakdown - Actors Access

Audition Breakdown

Hey everybody! Welcome back to the Green Actors Guild. This week we are tapping into breakdowns. No, not mental breakdowns or character breakdowns (yet) but Audition Breakdowns! More specifically those EcoCast that come from Actors Access.

What is an Audition Breakdown?

What is an Audition Breakdown? Well, when a Casting Director releases a casting call and starts to request auditions, the production description is called a breakdown. It basically outlines all the required details needed for your audition and the essentials of the whole production.

What does an Audition Breakdown look like?

Below I have included an example of a recent Audition Breakdown I received from a Casting Director via AA (Actors Access). Let’s dissect the points and their meanings.

Audition Breakdown
Actors Access EcoCast Example

Eco Cast Title: Production Name:

  • The Casting Call title within Actors Access.

Breakdown Title:

  • What is the audition called. This can change at any point in pre-production.

Breakdown Left Heading:

  • Union Status -Union, Non-Union.
  • Shoot Window – How long production estimates to shoot & when the week will be to shot.
  • Run or Usage: How long this project will run within it’s designated markets ( local, regional and/or national), and any conflicts associated

Breakdown Right Heading:

  • Casting Director – Who’s encharge of finding talent for the production.
  • Start Date: When the project will start.
  • Rate of Pay: If it’s a national or regional project. The pay rate for this specific character. Typically, a day rate. This also includes buyout. A buyout is what the production will pay for the rights to your footage, i.e no residuals.
  • Location: Where this production will film.

Additional Notes: 

  • Typical logline or storyline, aka a short production summary.

Role Name: 

  • The character title you are requested to act out

Role Description: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Physical features – Tall, short, color hair desired, thin, heavy, athletic, etc.
  • Brief emotional detail of your character – brooding teenager, spunky best friend. This is a brief look into the character.

Casting Director: 

  • Name of Casting company and/or Casting Director

Audition Instructions:

  • Normally Slate specifications are listed here. If you need a recap over proper slate instructions, recap our previous discussion here.
  • Small script hints are added in.
  • Lines can be input here, but in most cases, you will find Sides.
  • Presence on background and camera angles will be added.

Audition Deadline:

  • When the audition is due.

Instruction Detail:

  • Acting sides – or better known as the script for your audition.

Short but Sweet!

That’s it for this week, pretty short yet pretty sweet. Audition Breakdowns are one of the most common things Actors will be sent, and knowing how to interrupt the long list of details is important for a talent’s success.

Until next week Green Actors, get in a solid acting studio and start laying the foundation for your career!

See ya next time!

Audition Breakdown – Actors Access – YouTube
Talent Agent Representation

Talent Agent Representation

As a Green Actor, finding Talent representation can be overwhelming when you have no clue where to start! This week, we focus on key tips to finding representation in your local market.


For Starters, know your market! In Texas, we are considered to be a Commercial Based market. This means most of our auditions are for regional commercials. Yes, large productions film in the South Central Region (Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas) but most of these auditions fall to talents with a developed marketing package. Market packages consist of Headshots, Resumes, Reels, and Cover letters. We will discuss these at a later time. So, know your market and the type of auditions to expect from your local talent agent.


Next, know which talent you want to be! There are so many avenues to the Film Industry, most think it just acting, directing, or writing. While these are some of the main categories, there are many different sectors to the industry. Such as Writing, Directing, Producing, Choreography, Stunts, Dancing, Acting, and more. Know which types of talents your agency of interest represents. It is also important to note their affiliations. See if the agency works with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Writers Guild of America (WGA), Directors Guild of America, (DGA), just to name a few.


Now it’s time to research agencies! Backstage is a great tool for not only auditions but industry references! I have linked their page for industry talent agents. Here, they have consolidated all the agencies, identified their afflictions, the types of submissions they require, and the talent they represent. Review this list and identify which agencies you qualify for and which ones you do not qualify for. Many times, you can decide your qualifications based on submission requests.

Agency list

4. PICK 5:

After reviewing the list from Backstage, identify 5 agencies you want to submit for. You can always increase this number based on responses from Talent Agents. Some agencies will respond yes or no, but the majority of the time if an agent is not interested, they will send NO response. Do not take this to heart, it just means they are not looking for your specific talent at that time.

Remember: Pick these agencies based on current qualifications.


Once you have identified your Top 5 Agencies, head to their website and find their submissions link. Although Backstage has identified each agency’s requirements, it is always good practice to double-check. The most common marketing packages agencies look for are Headshot, Resume, Reel. Other’s will require a Cover letter, Voice Over Reel, Letter of Recommendation. Do not let this stress you out. Focus on the materials you can provide, for the agencies you qualify with. If a specific agency is wanting a master marketing submission, push it aside for a later date. Just because you do not qualify for them now, does not mean you can work towards their qualifications.

Remember: The Agency you sign with now does not have to be your representation a year or two years down the line. Gain that experience, gain that credit and aim for a higher leveled agency. You want to excel in your career, not stay stagnant.

That’s it for the week! Make sure to check out our shop for our Character Development Journals.