Audition Like A Pro
Auditions are the bread and butter of The Actor's
Life. But for many actors they can also be the most fearful
part of the job. This article will hopefully put some of
those fears to rest.
Getting auditions is always about working hard - and making sure
that you're submitting yourself for the right kind of parts.
For most auditions, you'll submit a picture of yourself (your
headshot) and/or your resume. Most auditions are by appointment,
where you have submitted something and then been invited for an
appointment with the people who are casting the production. But
there are also "open call" types of auditions, where you
can just show up. Be prepared to stand in line for these kinds of
auditions, because there will be many many people thinking just like
Sometimes when you get called in for an audition you'll also
receive part of the script that is in production. These are called
"sides". But even if you get sides, you should always
remember to have a monologue prepared that really showcases your
acting ability. If you receive sides, there is nothing more
important than preparing for the audition.
You should read the sides. If it is a revival of a play that's
available - you should make sure that you read the whole play before
going in and auditioning. You should be able to pick up a copy of
the play at Samuel French - or order it online (if you have time).
But read and prepare for your audition carefully. If it's an
important audition, consider working with your acting coach, or even
hiring one for this particular audition to help you prepare.
They can help you with preparation - and really know the character
that you're going to be playing.
The absolute number one rule is to know your lines. Whatever
technique you use, and whatever choices you use and whatever acting
ability you bring to the table will be for nothing if you don't know
your lines. Now, if you receive the sides at the audition, they
obviously don't expect you to memorize your lines in the short time
that you're waiting for your turn to audition. But know them as much
as possible. If you're constantly having to look down at the script
- then you're just reading. You're not listening and you're not
One of the biggest challenges with the audition is how to dress.
You should dress similar to the type of character that you're going
to be playing - but you certainly don't have to go out and rent a
costume (if it's a period piece for example). Remember that you want
to come across as yourself and natural in this role - you don't want
to look like you're trying to hard. But, you also want to make sure
that you make it as easy as possible for the casting people to see
you in the role. And this brings up an important point.
Remember, the casting people are seeing many many people on the
day (or days) of casting. They want you to be good. It is not like
American Idol where they are going to ridicule you. They want you to
shine - and they want YOU to be the one that they can go "whew,
that's the one, I'm glad we found him/her". So, go in with
confidence. Stretch out, warm up your body, warm up your vocal
chords and relax. When you go in, they may or not be overly
Remember, as we said before, these folks have seen many people
before you - and they're probably tired, and they're probably
waiting for a good reading. So, be friendly - but don't be surprised
if they just say Hello and ask you to start reading, or start your
monologue. When you start - remember auditioning is performing and
that's why you're an actor. You love and live to perform. And this
is a chance to perform in front of an audience. This is why you're
an actor. So, really enjoy it.
Once the audition is finished, thank them all and leave. Don't
try to get into a conversation about a critique of your performance
- unless the casting director asks you about it. You may have no
idea about what they thought of your performance. So, discretion is
the better part of valor here.
If you get lucky enough to be called back - you should wear the
exact same outfit as you did the first time. Remember, they only
sort of remember you - and now's not the time to try and look
completely different. You should also make the same creative choices
as you did the first time. Remember, they liked it. Don't try to
blow them away with some new interpretation. But, this may be the
time that they stop you mid-read and ask you to try it a different
way. Remember, that this doesn't mean that they don't like you -
they may see something special in you, but they have insight into
the character that you don't.
You won't get every part - but as you audition more, you
definitely will get more and more. And you'll start to master the
art of the audition.