“How are you?”
It’s a question we hear all. the. time. And we’re so conditioned to give a generic response.
What do you usually say?
- “I’m great!”
- “Good, thanks, and you?”
- “Happy to be here”
But when you enter a live audition, a producer’s session, or a meeting with someone who has hiring power in the industry, instead of a basic, overused answer, what if you used this question as an opportunity to connect?
As an artist, when a producer, casting director, or someone else – who has the potential of offering you a job or chance for collaboration – asks this question, this creates a great moment to give a personal YOU-nique response. One that shares your personality and brings out a common human interaction.
For example, I was in a producer’s session and when asked, “Tiffany, how are you today?” I said, “Well, I got my son’s hair in a ponytail today so I am doing pretty good.” Notice how this response is quick, shows personality, and gives information about me.
- I have a son.
- My son has long hair.
- I’ve had a hard time doing my son’s hair, but today was a win so we can celebrate that.
- I have a sense of humor.
I knew one of the producers had children. This related to them and allowed us to have some common ground before doing the audition. It also helped me feel comfortable by sharing a normal human interaction despite their titles and experiences.
Now, it’s your turn. Use these tools to help you create a YOU-nique response.
a) If you know who will potentially be in a room, research them.
Find some common ground. You can create a quick quip that makes them perk up and share who you are.
Example:CD: How are you, Tamika?Tamika: I was just on the phone with my mom so I feel like 100 bucks.
b) Be HONEST.
Don’t create something just to stand out or sound funny. It will come off inauthentic.
Example:Showrunner: How are you, Darnell?Darnell: Making it. I played Kickball this weekend and I’m feeling it.”
c) Keep it simple and feel the room.
Sometimes this works well and other times the room needs a generic response.
Think about whether:
- they are running behind
- the person/ organization does not like small talk
- the awesome quick quip you created is not fitting for the tone you are feeling as you enter the room or conversation
Ok, to summarize: Use “How are you” to connect with casting directors, producers, or other career game changers. Research who will be in the room, find an authentic commonality, create a quick quip, and feel out the room when using it.
This takes practice, but don’t be afraid to try it out. You may be one “How are you?” away from a YOU-nique connection.