Five Tips to Give Your Best Audition

Auditioning on-camera is a lot like speed-dating. Just because you think you did an awesome job doesn’t mean that you’ll get a call back. While these tips are no guarantee that you’ll be cast in the role, they will help you demonstrate that you are a professional, and allow you to make that all important first impression a great one.

1. Be Calm
. Ever been on a first date with someone and their behavior simply reeked of desperation? It wasn’t very attractive, was it? In fact, you probably wanted to run away as fast as you could in the opposite direction. The same holds true for auditions. We all are nervous. And yes, we all want the job. A good deal of us may even desperately need the job, but if we give a negative impression, we’re not going to get the job.
So walk into the audition with confidence. Relax (or at least act like it, after all, you are an actor!) If it helps, pretend that you already have the part and this is simply a rehearsal. This is your opportunity to show them what you’re like to work with, so that they are much more inclined to want to hire you.

2. Dress the part. Don’t make the casting director imagine what you would look like in the role. If the role is for a business person, come to the audition dressed in a suit. If you’re supposed to be playing a doctor, wear a white lab coat or scrubs. You get the idea. The more you look like you fit the role, the more favorably you will be considered.
And if you don’t know the wardrobe for the part, it is your job to ask when you schedule the audition. Showing up in jeans and sneakers when the role calls for a cocktail dress only goes to show the casting director that you’re not prepared.

3. Know the script. Notice, I didn’t say memorize the script. This is an audition, after all, and sometimes you don’t get access to the script until right before you walk into the room. But you want to take the time to familiarize yourself with it before you have to perform. Make sure you “Walk and Talk” it – actually say the words out loud (though quietly) before you are called in. Don’t just read the script to yourself, or it will all be in your head. Practice saying the words. Try saying them a few different ways, too. See what it sounds like when you emphasize different words to convey different meanings, and experiment if they fit the character you’re portraying.
A note about memorization, however. Sometimes it will be appropriate for you to memorize the script, if it’s been provided to you days in advance, for instance. That’s when you’ll have time to do more in-depth script and character analysis. However, even in those situations, the expectation is that you will still have your script in hand. So it’s very important that you are familiar with where the words are on the page, so that you can quickly refer to them, and then look back up so the camera can see your face. The important thing is that you’re head isn’t buried in the page while you’re delivering your lines.
And if the audition has cue cards or a teleprompter, make sure you ask for a moment to familiarize yourself with the way the words appear on the card or screen. Although you won’t get a great deal of time, since you likely won’t have access to them until you walk in the room, it is OK for you to ask for a moment before they start rolling the camera and your audition starts. Typically, the text will be available to you beforehand in these situations, so this is when making sure you are familiar with the script is really important.

4. Hit your mark. Sometimes the decision makers are present and you’ve met them before, or really, really want to work with them. But this is not social hour. This is business. Show that you know what you’re doing by making your way to your mark (usually a piece of tape in the shape of a T or an X on the floor in front of the camera) when you enter the room.
Remember when you hit your mark, you’re on camera – so look alive and smile! They might not be recording, but when you know you’re in front of the camera, make sure to give a good impression.
I wouldn’t even recommend shaking hands. I know that sounds unfriendly, but think about it. If you were auditioning lots and lots of people in a day, making a point of shaking everyone’s hand is time consuming (not to mention potentially unsanitary). So unless the people in the room extend their hands to you, don’t insist on shaking hands at the top of your audition. Take your cue from the casting director.

5. Ask questions. If you don’t know how to pronounce a character’s name, you’d better ASK before you say it incorrectly. Think a director is going to hire you for a commercial if you can’t even pronounce the product’s name properly? While you can usually find most answers when preparing in advance and doing your script analysis, if you don’t know a vital piece of information you need to successfully perform, better to ask before you make a fool of yourself.
Other relevant questions you might want to ask in an audition: “What is the relationship between these two characters?” or “What happens in the scene immediately prior to this one?” Appropriate questions are only those you need to inform you performance. Just like any other conventional first job interview, the initial audition is not the time to ask about how much the job pays, for instance.

First impressions can make or break your chances of getting the role even before the camera starts rolling. While these tips may sound a lot like common sense, it’s easy to forget several or all of them when in the high-pressure, stressful situation like as an audition. So take your time to prepare, and proceed with confidence. Remember, you can’t get the part if you don’t try out!

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *