Audition Tips – Move that Body!

So you have aspirations to work in movies, TV shows or on the stage? There are several steps you must follow in order to begin your career as a working actor; however, the most important skill to master is auditioning. Until you become an A-list celebrity, you are required to audition for all acting roles, and throughout my experience in the entertainment industry I have found that while many actors have talent, they do not hold adequate auditioning skills. The sad truth is: you can be the greatest actor, but if you don’t possess proper auditioning skills, then your talent will go unseen by the masses.

One of the most important auditioning techniques you as an actor must master is how to move. While the actual movements required within an audition will vary based upon the scene or monologue, you should always engage your body while performing. Very rarely will you encounter a scene or monologue where your body remains static. I have gathered several tips and techniques cultivated throughout my years of working as an actor and casting director that will hopefully help keep your body moving while auditioning.

Emulating Emotion through Movement

While moving throughout an audition is vital to ensure a believable performance, it is the type of movement that is of utmost importance. I want you to think about your daily life, and the movements your body performs. Very rarely are you standing or sitting completely still. Even if your movements are small, you typically shift your body weight from one hip to the other, you bring your hand up to your face to scratch your nose or you wave your arms around to help support your words. Each of these movements is backed by an emotion, and the dynamic of your movements become more elaborate as your emotional range gets into high gear. When auditioning, keep all of your movements in-tuned with the emotional level of your character., and add movements that support the personality or current state-of-mind of your character.

Moving with Purpose

We all move with purpose. There is no movement performed by your body that is simply because you felt like it. You walk to get a cup of coffee, the purpose is to help keep you awake. You scratch your nose because it itches, and you walk briskly because you’re running late or wish to avoid a situation. While your movements in an auditioning space will be smaller than those in real life, every movement you perform must be backed by an actual purpose. If not, you run the danger of your bodily actions looking empty or without just cause. To help streamline this process, write out a description of your movements within the audition sides, and beside this description describe the purpose behind the movement.

Avoiding Nervous Movement Ticks

While this entire article is about the importance of moving in an audition, you shouldn’t take this as “any ole’ movement will work.” There are certain movements that you MUST subdue – these are known as nervous ticks, or physical static. The exact manifestation of your tick will vary; however, it can include clinching your fists together, adjusting your clothing, tapping your fingers against your thigh or fixing your hair. These movements have no purpose within a scene and can distract from your actual performance. If you have a tendency to engage in physical ticks, take time to recognize and acknowledge these ticks, and mentally focus on not performing these actions during an audition or performance.

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