Want to know the secret to “nailing” the audition, getting the job?   It’s rightfully the goal of all aspiring actors.  Most think they know it; but then why do so many “nail it” in rehearsal at home, only to blow it when they walk into the audition room?  


Because success in the audition room is not just about reading the lines a certain way.  Success in the audition room, and the path to becoming a working actor, requires a focus on three different elements: 1. acting;  2. attitude;  and 3. administration.   


I teach how to prepare for an audition: first, how to figure out what’s going on in the scene, and overarching storyline, by just looking at the lines that are given to you, and then make acting choices that serve both the intentions of the writer and the “toolbox” of the individual actor.  Just as importantly, I show actors how to “turn the mind on” outside the room, and then “to turn the instincts on” inside the room.  In addition, preparing for an audition requires the actor’s breathing and vocal quality to be at their best, so I introduce exercises to center the breath and voice.


But “nailing the audition” requires more than the technical skills of acting.  


Actors need to learn how to become the "host" in the room at auditions, rather than the "guest."   It’s a crucial shift in attitude that takes many forms, and its strategies inform how you walk into the room, how you present yourself during the audition, even how you walk out the door at the end of the audition.


The first week, each actor will read a scene that I've chosen for him/her; the second week will be a “signature” scene that reveals who each one is as humans, and actors.   In other words, the first week will demonstrate how I see them, based on what I know about them (only a picture and resume); the second week will demonstrate how they see themselves.


The long-term goal of the class is to encourage a spirit of independence and rebellion; independence from the evaluations of CD’s, producers, even from actors’ own judgmental visions of their acting; and rebellion against the passive role that actors are brainwashed into accepting for their careers. 

I teach actors to take responsibility for the totality of their art: the specific acting choices they make, moment to moment; the way they walk into the room and how they handle themselves and the gatekeepers who are making decisions; and the ways in which they can free themselves to actively shape their own artistic lives.


Rick Pagano Bio


Mr. Pagano has a B.A. from Middlebury College and completed his doctoral studies in dramatic literature from Columbia University. He has taught at UCLA, NYU, Columbia University, and the National Theater Conservatory in Lodz, Poland.


As writer/director, Mr. Pagano has directed ten of his own original plays, as well as the screen version of one of them, TEN TRICKS, all in Los Angeles.   Mr. Pagano’s HANGING ALICE is currently in development as a feature film with director Richard Donner (LETHAL WEAPON, THE GOONIES, MAVERICK, SUPERMAN) as Executive Producer.  


His poetry has been published in “WestWord” literary journal.  An excerpt of his verse play, GOOSE AMID THE REVOLT, was published in “High Performance” literary journal.


Since 1992, Mr. Pagano has worked as President and CEO of Pagano/Manwiller, Inc.   He has worked with producers and directors James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, Oliver Stone, Jerry Bruckheimer, A. Kitman Ho, Cameron Crowe, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Gus van Sant, Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Joel Silver, Mark Gordon, James Brooks and David E. Kelley.




In television, Pagano/Manwiller  has won two Emmys and been nominated several other times. His television credits include  “ALTERED CARBON” for NETFLIX; “THE BLACKLIST,” “24”, “PICKET FENCES”, and “CHICAGO HOPE.  For the stage, Mr. Pagano has cast over 100 productions around the U.S. including the Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center, and the original Tony-Award-winning Broadway production of BIG RIVER.



This Intensive will meet on Saturdays, January 18 & 25 11AM - 2PM.


**The following disclaimer is provided specifically at the request of and in accordance with SAG/AFTRA: Seminars or classes are for educational purposes only and will not secure or provide opportunity for employment in the field or representation by an agent or casting director.

"Nail Your Audition" 2-Week Course with Top Casting Director, Rick Pagano


    Acting And Voice Studios, LLC