5 Tips for Better Auditions

Posted by SmartActors | Leave a comment

Learning to audition is one of the most important parts of being an actor. The tips below are just a few pointers on how to improve your auditioning skills and land the job.

Show Up

It might sound like common sense, but showing up is the first step to nailing the audition. So many directors think that actors are flaky because of how often they flat out don't show up to auditions. If you commit to an audition make sure you follow through and go to it. If an unforeseen conflict arises try to call and reschedule or at least let them know you can't be there. The acting world is smaller than you think and word will get around if you consistently blow off auditions.

Read Everything

Whether it's a film, television or theatre audition, be sure to read everything you are given. If you have access to the script or screenplay take the time to read the entire thing before you zero in on your monologue or sides. The auditors will know if you are unprepared and haven't read the script. Sometimes you will be given just a few pages during the audition for a cold reading. In this case, feel free to ask for a few minutes to review the sides. More often than not you'll be allowed 10 or 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with the text. The point is, don't walk into the room with your head down and lost in the papers. They called you in because they liked your face so let them see it.

Dress Appropriately

There are several different schools of thought on how an actor should dress for an audition. Typically, the safest bet is to dress professionally without overdoing it. Business casual is a popular choice for many theatre and general auditions and will allow the director to imagine you as the character they want. If you are going out for a specific role, hinting at the character can be beneficial. For instance, if you're auditioning for a cowboy then a flannel shirt is fine but forget the hat. The idea is to avoid dressing in costume.

Make a Stellar First Impression

In theatre, this means introducing yourself in a clear, positive voice that the auditors can actually hear. Bring the energy from the moment you step on stage and don't drop it until you leave the building. In a film audition, actors will slate before beginning. Look right into the camera and speak clearly without being distracting. A lot of actors tend to sway or shuffle their sides during this time which takes away from the slate. Whatever the medium, be sure to smile and show them who you are. Give an honest first impression and make them remember you.

Be Professional

It's amazing how far you can get in this industry by being professional and polite. Being late to an audition is unacceptable, but everyone knows it happens. Be courteous and call ahead to tell them you're running behind. Also, if they ask for a hard copy of your headshot and resume bring them a crisp, clean, stapled copy that you are proud of. Nothing says, "I don't care," like a crumpled up resume and headshot. Auditioning will get easier the more you work at it so do your best and always keep trying.