As an actor, I am constantly interviewing for a new job. It’s called auditioning! But there are do’s and don’ts for the audition room that must be respected! Take control of your audition, and prepare!
Also - don't learn this the hard way - if you submit yourself for a role, be certain you are available to audition on the posted dates (and film on the posted dates). Don't get yourself into a tangled, embarrassing situation that can be prevented up front! Also, don’t submit yourself to a role where you’ll have to do something you cannot or will not do. If you can’t juggle, don’t go get an audition and try to learn to juggle in the next 24 hours. If you don’t want to jump off a cliff for a photoshoot, don’t apply.
Be Prepared! Most of the time you will receive sides in advance of the audition. Learn them! Say them out loud, know your material so that when you walk into the audition room you can give your best performance. Memorize your sides! That doesn’t mean you can’t hold your them as you audition (this varies by casting director), but prepare and be ready to mix it up when asked to do so! Note: DON’T walk into an audition room unprepared and say “oh, I just got these this morning.” Even if you did, don't say that, just don't do it. Prepare and be confident. And DON’T say the words out loud for the first time in an audition room.
Relax! Do your warm ups in the car, find a meditation technique that works for you and do it before you walk into the audition room. Jump up and down to get those jitters out so you can start strong. Also, if there are other people freaking out doing warm ups in the audition room, find yourself a quiet space, but be sure the assistant casting director can find you when you're up!
Be present! The way you walk into a room and present yourself is more important than I can say. Be confident. Enjoy being you and meeting new people. Even if you are second guessing your entire life before an audition, walk in with confidence and a smile. Leave all that emotional baggage outside of the audition room.
Bring on the Special Sauce. Okay, each of us IS unique and approaches life, situations, and lines differently. I like to call it, an actor's special sauce. Bring YOU into the tone, the movement, and the life of your lines. YOU are different than everyone else in the audition room, so show it!
Remember there are other people in the room! When you come into an audition, make eye contact with your reader, with the casting director. Take a deep breath and look up. No one wants to stare at your hair pattern on the top of your head while you recite lines. Make a connection! That said, don’t unrelentingly stare uncomfortably into someone eyes unless you really are playing a deranged character. Also, don't be offended when a casting director or everyone behind the table doesn't want to shake your hand. It's not personal, it's hygiene.
Be confident. The casting directors in the room want to see that special something you’re going to bring. They need you, they are rooting for you. But please, be prepared and confident in yourself and your performance. Don’t come into an audition seeking approval or validation, come in and knock the ball out of the park.
Other helpful tips:
Have a monologue (or a few) prepared. You never know when you’ll need it!
I’m saying it again. Do your homework. Be prepared.
Be on time. There is never parking and always a line at the bathroom. When you are late, it causes everyone else to run late. This is a job interview. Be early.
Be prepared to fill out forms. Know your availability, know your sizes!
I’ll end with lessons from Hester Schell, author of Casting Revealed: A Guide for Film Directors
- Arrive on time.
- Arrive ready to go.
- Do any vocal warm-ups in the car.
- Never sign a release at an audition.
- Never take your clothes off at an audition.
- Never do anything you’re not completely comfortable with.
- Do not put your home address, or your social security number on your resume.
- Advance notice is required for nudity, and must be discussed before you agree to do a role.
-Never take your clothes off at an audition.
PS - there are a lot of helpful tips in this book for actors, and it’s on sale. When you understand what casting directors expect from you in the audition room, it’s much easier to do your best. Right now you can get 20% off at www.routledge.com until March 10, 2017 with discount code OSC17.
So what do you do to prepare for an audition? Do you have special techniques to prepare, memorize, relax?