In an attempt to not go insane from the repetition I hear from my aggravated acquaintances on an almost daily basis, I’ve devised a list in hopes that actors reading it will give them a break. Which consequently, will give me a break. Here we go!
Check those at the door. Time to be an adult. The dog ate my homework didn’t work in school, and no variation of that excuse is going to work at a job interview. Roll with the punches, and do what you can. Don’t start blaming anything or anyone. It just looks pathetic, and makes you look incompetent. Pity won’t get you the job.
2. Early Audition:
Now don’t get too discouraged, this is just a rule of thumb, but early auditions tend to get the part, or at least a callback if they were halfway descent. Reason being, the casting staff is tired at the end of the day. Like anyone at work, productivity goes down minutes before quitting time. They’re not really paying attention. They’re thinking of food, home, sleep or some other pleasurable, non-work related activity. Also, you might not impress them as much when compared to the blur of actors they’ve seen all day. Wouldn’t you rather audition in front of well-rested, fresh minds?
3. Headshots and Resume (aka a portfolio):
Even if a manager or agent is sending one over for you, bring extras. You never know whom you will meet, and you don’t want your career dependent on anyone but yourself.
During an audition, confidence in yourself and your understanding of the character is very important. What shows this are the choices you make. When someone asks you to choose “what you like” or “which song”, do not reply with “doesn’t matter” or “whatever you want”. Huge turnoff and big mistake. You must know your strengths and preferences. This is not a social conversation. You’re being tested!
5. First Impressions:
Not really much to say here. When you meet someone, you envision him or her in the context of your meeting. You do it. They do it. They want a competent, personable employee. Come in looking prepared, confident and presentable. Not unorganized, arrogant and sloppy. If you don’t care, why should they?
6. Contact Information:
Simple but crucial. Use a designated audition email address and have it on your Resume and Headshots, which you should have with you at all times! Even if you don’t get the part, they might dig your file up at a later date. You might not have your agent or they lose that information and presto, they have your contact information handy and ready to go.
7. Memorizing Lines:
Learn them! If you don’t, can’t, whatever, DO NOT pretend to know them. You’ll just look stupid. While reading directly from the script isn’t ideal, it is not the end of the world.
8. 3 C’s:
This is a little redundant, but that’s because it’s important. Comfortable-Charismatic-Confident. You’re going to be an actor. You must have a stage presence. Focus must be on you, and the audience must want to focus on you. After all, you’re the reason why anyone is watching.
9. The Show Must Go On:
Did you mess up a line? DO NOT start over. This is a sign of professional maturity. Starting over is never an option, and it probably wasn’t as bad as you think. While you’ve just messed up in front of industry professionals, they’ve seen it fifty times that same day and it isn’t that much of a shock. If you wow them with your talent, a simple mistake won’t sway them too much.
This might seem obvious, but a lot of people will only go on auditions that they really want. Go on auditions that aren’t so important to you. That is a perfect way to perfect your auditioning skills without blowing the real deal. You can also record yourself and use sites like Talent Trove to get feedback on your performance. Practice makes perfect, and you need to get those jitters out. Hone your skills, and get yourself familiar with the setting of an audition and you’ll soon walk into it like an industry veteran.