Professional Audition Tips – Using Your Imagination

Do you remember being a child and playing in your backyard with the fellow neighborhood kids? As children, we are continually living our world within our minds; cultivating stories, developing relationships with people who aren’t actually there and seeing a world that is invisible to the naked eye.

As an actor, you must maintain your childish grasp on the world of imagination to deliver a believable and realistic performance even when there isn’t physical evidence of the people or places you’re performing against. One of the most important auditioning tips I was ever taught was how to use my imagination.

Physical Environment

I personally love going on auditions, not because of the possibility of booking a role in a major motion picture or TV sitcom, but for the opportunity to actually perform and engage my far-too dormant imagination. When you’re at an audition, you may be reading from sides that place you in a vast wilderness, a smoky bar or in a vehicle with your lover whom you’re about to break up with. However, the actual audition room is typically a small space, cold with fluorescent lights.

In order to give a believable, and enjoyable, audition performance you must imagine the physical environment around you has changed and become the world within the script. Close your eyes, and picture the smell of the air, sense the atmosphere change. What is the lighting like? Are there decorations within the room? How many people are there with you?

This auditioning technique will help derive a perfect performance as you can trick your mind into delivering lines as you would if you were actually in that atmosphere.


At an audition, you may be reading with a casting director or another actor. And while you don’t know this person, within the script you two may be best friends, lovers, enemies, co-workers or classmates. You must use your imagination to build a faux relationship with the person you’re reading with. There is nothing more terrible than watching an audition between two actors when there is no “spark” or no “connection.” While you may not actually “feel” this connection with your scene partner, you must use your imagination and quickly build the foundations of a relationship. This can take time, but once you understand how to form your mind around this concept, you can deliver an outstanding performance with a “true” connection between you and your scene partner.

Pre-Audition Meditation

So you’ve memorized your lines, have an understanding of your bodily movements and are ready to engage your imagination in full-force. These are great things; however, when you’re actually in the auditioning waiting room the nervousness and anxiety of this situation can quickly alter your performance and imagination levels. To help eliminate this hindrance, spend a few minutes in the waiting room meditating on the scene you’re about to perform, the physical environment you’ll be placed in and focus on calming your nerves. Sit straight with your shoulders back, close your eyes and take several deep breaths.

When you’re inhaling imaging sucking in the reality of the situation you’re in, the nervousness and the anxiety. Inhale these feelings into a compact ball. On the exhale, release all of these emotions, fears and anxieties. As you exhale, you’re brining yourself one step closer to the imagined world you’ve created. Imagine every breath pushes away “reality” and transports you into the world within the audition script.

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